In Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, the first bridge in the world printed in 3D was inaugurated, that is through the production technique that involves a software design that then leads to the realization of a three-dimensional model through the deposition of the material layer by layer. It weighs 4.5 tons, is 12 meters long and is located downtown, in the famous red light district, on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal. The structure of the bridge, which is in stainless steel, was made by mechanical arms with welding torches, which deposited the various layers of steel which then went on to make up the bridge. Last week the facility was moved to the canal, and on Thursday it was opened to pedestrians and cyclists who were able to start using it.
The bridge project was carried out by the Dutch start-up MX3D and was launched in 2015. In 2018 the construction was completed and the complex sensor system mounted on the structure that monitors the effects of vibrations was presented, then in 2019 the structure has passed the various tests and load tests.
The sensor data will be analyzed by a team of engineers through automatic learning processes (“machine learning”), which will be used to study its progress and to intervene with changes or adjustments if necessary, and to develop a model to be used in the future for structures that are still larger. According to Mark Girolami of the University of Cambridge, who is working on the data on the bridge, the response of the bridge on first use has been good.