New 3D-Printed Steel Pedestrian Bridge To Be Printed In Amsterdam

New 3D-Printed Steel Pedestrian Bridge To Be Printed In Amsterdam

If centuries ago famous architect Antonio Gaudi heard that his masterpiece Sagrada Familia construction will be completed with 3D printers, he would be surprised. However, 3D printers are successfully implemented in construction processes. For example, Emerging Objects Company created 3D printed ceramic cool bricks, Chinese company WinSun 3D printed a five-story apartment building and a 110 square meters villa , American architect Adam Kushner plans to build the newest 3D-printed estate . World's first 3D printed home constructed in Amsterdam

Today the innovative Dutch construction company Heijmans has unveiled their latest avant-garde project: a 3D-printed steel bridge in the heart of Amsterdam. A new bridge created in collaboration with Dutch startup MX3D and designed by Dutch designer Joris Laarman. Multi-axis industrial robots will construct the pedestrian bridge using cost-effective and scalable technologies.

MX3D equips multi-axis industrial robots with 3D printing tools and develops software so that the robots print metals, plastics and combinations of materials in virtually any format. From large construction to small part - with this technique MX3D can 3D print strong, complex structures of durable material. The new technique is cost-effective and scalable, more than current 3D printing methods, and offers creative robot production solutions for art, construction and more.

The goal behind the experimental 3D-printing project is the eventual creation of an automatic construction site. According to Jan van de Ven, Heijmans' Manager of Business Development, the use of 3D printing for construction purposes also has benefits in the design sector and, once popularized, can revolutionize the way we approach the design/build process.

"Construction and design are currently rather separate factors in construction - the architect design something and the constructor interprets the design and builds what he thinks is needed. But using 3D printing for a bridge makes design and construction operate hand-in-hand. For instance, both activities are done at the same time, instead of first building the structure and then adding the design later. This means we will also have to start looking at design in a completely different manner."

The location of the bridge has not yet been determined but will be announced soon. The pedestrian bridge will span one of Amsterdam's old canals and has been described by designer Joris Laarman as a "fantastic metaphor for connecting the technology of the future with the city's historic past, in a way which would reveal the best aspects of both worlds."

From September 2015 a visitor center opens for the public, where the progress of the project can be followed. MX3D and the City of Amsterdam will announce the exact location of the bridge soon.