3D printed bridge MX3D reaches full span

News - 04 April 2018

The Amsterdam based startup MX3D has finalised the full span of its 3D printed steel bridge. The coming months Arup and researchers from Imperial College London working in the Alan Turing Institute’s data-centric engineering programme will perform several full load tests, proving the structural integrity.

The bridge will be installed on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, located in the red light district of Amsterdam, as soon as the renovation of that canal is completed. TU Delft faculty Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) is involved in this project as a partner, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute).

Anne Bekker and Jouke Verlinden of IDE’s 3D Building Fieldlab were involved in this project. They worked extensively on calculations with regards to sustainability and power consumption. “What we see is that this production method achieves better results and scales up better than traditional production methods such as casting and milling”, says Jouke. ‘The Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) technique used for printing this bridge also consumes less energy than other forms of metal printing.’ The 3D Building Fieldlab is a collaboration between IDE, MX3D and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) in which TU Delft participates.

Photo by MX3D/Olivier de Gruijter

The 3D Building Fieldlab has produced several other products in order to explore material characteristics such as torsion strength, rigidity and form language. They printed a bicycle and a small tower structure in 3D.

Internet of Things Professor Gerd Kortuem, also Principal Investigator at AMS Institute, will participate in the NWO Smart Bridge project this year. This project, in collaboration with Neelke Doorn from the TU Delft faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, University Twente and 3D-printing company MX3D, will manufacture and construct a 3D-printed smart bridge in Amsterdam. It will explore the role of smart public infrastructure in making and re-making of public space. TU Delft research will focus on developing data-monitoring and lighting infrastructure for the bridge. This could improve bridge-inspection in the future, for instance.