First 3D-printed steel footbridge unveiled by Queen Máxima in Amsterdam

·2-min read
3D-printed steel footbridge
3D-printed steel footbridge

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has inaugurated the world’s first 3D-printed steel footbridge, a “living laboratory” bridge co-developed by Imperial.

The bridge has been in the works for almost four years. The Dutch business MX3D directed it. Also, it will serve as a “living laboratory” in Amsterdam’s city center. Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands launched it in July 2021.

Imperial College London researchers will measure, monitor, and also analyze the operation of the unique 12-meter-long structure. It likewise manages pedestrian traffic using its enormous network of implanted sensors.

The Dutch Queen Maxima debuted a steel 3D-printed steel footbridge over a canal in the heart of Amsterdam’s red-light district with the help of a tiny robot on Thursday. Maxima pressed a green button, which activated the robot’s arm. Then, it used a pair of scissors to cut a ribbon over the bridge.

The 12-meter (40-foot) bridge’s unique flowing lines were constructed using a 3D printing method. It is the wire and arc additive manufacturing, which mixes robots and welding. Tim Geurtjens, of the company MX3D, said the bridge likewise showcases the possibilities of the technology.

“If you want to have a really highly decorated bridge or really aesthetic bridge, suddenly it becomes a good option to print it,” he said. “Because it’s not just about making things cheaper and more efficient for us, it’s about giving architects and designers a new tool — a new very cool tool — in which they can rethink the design of their architecture and their designs.”

The bridge, according to Micha Mos, an Amsterdam politician, may also help bring in new tourists. The city works to clean up a district notorious for sleazy clubs and loud stag celebrations.

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