The bridge, which was printed from stainless steel, spans the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
The structure used 4,500 kilograms of stainless steel, which was fabricated by four welding robots over a period of six months in a factory before been installed over the canal this year.
Its curving S-shaped form and balustrades with lattice-style perforations were created using parametric modelling software.
“This robotic technology finally allows larger optimized designs to be 3D printed in metal,” said MX3D co-founder Gijs van der Velden.
“This causes significant weight reduction and reduced impact for parts manufactured in the tooling, oil and gas and construction industries.”
The creators of the bridge hope that it will demonstrate how 3D printing can be used to make structures that require less material.
“The industry is facing a huge challenge in becoming carbon neutral in 2050,” said Arup structural engineer Stijn Joosten.
“By stepping up our game and the will to make a change as designers and engineers, we can bring the necessary innovation to make a difference in tomorrow’s built environment.”
However, architect Philip Oldfield calculated that the stainless-steel structure has 27.7 tonnes of embodied carbon in its material use alone.
The digital twin will monitor corrosion, load changes, environmental conditions and pedestrian use in efforts to further data-centric design.
The bridge has undergone multiple iterations since the project was launched in 2015. It was originally planned to print the structure across the canal in situ as a single piece and be open by 2017.
The structure was strengthened to be more in line with council regulations and to protect the structure against any potential boat collisions.
Although this is believed to be the first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge, bridges have previously been 3D printed from other materials. In 2017, construction company BAM Infra built what they claimed was the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge.
Photography is by Thea van den Heuvel unless stated otherwise.
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