The world’s first 3D-printed metal bridge is taking shape at the NDSM-Wharf in Amsterdam. The bridge will eventually span the canal on the Ouderzijds Achterburgwal. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) is participating in this project with the AMS-3D Building FieldLab, where it is investigating new forms of digital design and production using robotics, among other things.
People are essential
The bridge is being built by Dutch company MX3D. The workplace is also home to the AMS-3D Building FieldLab, an initiative of AMS Institute and TU Delft. It functions as a centre of expertise and platform for cooperation between government, businesses and knowledge institutes. The project features intensive collaboration between designers, engineers and other scientists. They are developing new knowledge and experimenting with digital construction and the use of robotics, particularly for infrastructural working. This is all based on the conviction that people play an essential role in finding innovative solutions to everyday problems. Although robotics and computational design facilitate innovations, people ensure that innovations gain value and can be applied in practice.
Cost-effective printing technology
Using 3D-printing to build the bridge provides an opportunity to research the pioneering, cost-effective robotic 3D-printing technology. For this, he project is using industrial robots that can work freely in a space. This means that the design is no longer limited to a fixed place where robots print, as was previously the case. The robots can print strong, complex structures out of different materials, including metals, plastics and combinations of the two. This makes it possible to print long-lasting objects in 3D. The technology is both cost-effective and scalable. It promises solutions in all kinds of fields, including construction.
Visit the construction site
Members of the public can follow the project’s progress at a dedicated visitors’ centre. The visitors’ centre is open every Friday from 12.00 until 16.00 at Neveritaweg 15 in Amsterdam.
See also: 3D Building Fieldlab