Recent advances in 3D printing technology have seen builders, architects and designers use the same. Applications of 3D printing technology are expanding from building small objects, toys, and equipment to full-scale buildings and vehicles. Recently, I saw an Indian starter using 3D printing technology to build an entire house. And now, Amsterdam recently opened the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge.
MX3D – The World’s First 3D Print Bridge
This structure, called the MX3D Bridge, was recently installed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is open to the public. Founded by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, it is the world’s first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge.The bridge 12 meters long Manufactured by four commercial industrial robots.
It took the robot six months to build the bridge, and over 4,500 kg of stainless steel was used. The robot arm used a welding torch to build a layered structure of a stainless steel bridge. When completed, the entire bridge was taken from the workshop to its current location, on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in central Amsterdam. The MX3D Bridge is currently open to the public in the city. However, only pedestrians and bicycles can cross the bridge.
In addition, there is an array of Sensor integrated into MX3D structure.. These sensors monitor structural strain, vibration, movement, temperature, and other such factors for a period of time. People use the bridge to withstand changes in the weather while detecting significant changes in the structural orientation of the bridge in real time.
The engineer then sends the collected data to a digital model of the bridge. This allows them to study the properties of unique materials and leverage machine learning to find changes in the data. In addition, engineers can understand if maintenance or changes are needed.
Therefore, if MX3D bridges can stand for a long time without any problems, there is a possibility that such 3D printed bridges will increase all over the world. In addition, according to Amsterdam city counselor Michael Moss, the bridge is also a tourist attraction in the city.
Featured image courtesy of New Scientist (twitter)