MX3D completes span of robot-made 3D printed smart bridge

The full 12-metre span of MX3D’s steel pedestrian bridge, that was 3D printed by robots and will be fitted with smart sensors, has been completed.

Dutch designer Joris Laarman is working with with Amsterdam-based robotic manufacturing technology start-up MX3D to build the bridge, which will eventually span a canal in the Netherlands’ capital.

Six-axis robots were used to “draw” the 4-metre-wide structure in the air from layers of molten steel in a former shipbuilding hangar.

Arup and researchers from Imperial College London are due to perform several full load tests to prove the structural integrity of the bridge.

The first informal load tests were conducted during a party held to celebrate the milestone, and the team reported it “performed well”.

MX3D aim to have finished the printing, placing the deck and coating the bridge by October 2018. It will be installed on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s red light district once the renovation of the canal is complete.

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