Four robots take six months to print steel bridge for centre of Amsterdam

A project to print an elaborately curved steel bridge for a canal in Amsterdam’s red light district had been completed in an off-site workshop, and the 12.5m, 4,500kg structure is ready to be tested before being installed next year.

The bridge is made from printed stainless steel. The work was done by Amsterdam start-up MX3D, with Joris Laarman Lab as designer, Arup as structural engineer, Heijmans as a construction specialist and in collaboration with Delft University of Technology.

Joris Laarman, said: "This bridge will show how 3D printing finally enters the world of large-scale, functional objects and sustainable materials while allowing unprecedented freedom of form.

"The underlying principle is very simple, we have connected an advanced welding machine to an industrial robot-arm. In principle, both pieces of equipment are made to perform repetitive actions. But we have now used our own intelligent software to operate these machines so they can print very complex metal shapes which can differ each time."

Announced in 2015, the bridge will cross the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, one of the oldest canals in the centre of Amsterdam.

Images courtesy of Joris Laarman Lab

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