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The world’s first-ever steel 3D-printed bridge opened Thursday in Amsterdam.
“It feels like the discovery of a new continent. A world of new opportunities is in front of us, but we can only just see its contours. I can’t wait to start exploring and very much look forward to this journey,” said Joris Laarman, who designed the bridge.
The bridge spans a canal in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, where it will be subject to sensors that gauge how it reacts to people walking over it and relay information about how many people frequent the area.
“If you want to have a really highly decorated bridge or really aesthetic bridge, suddenly it becomes a good option to print it. Because it’s not just about making things cheaper and more efficient for us, it’s about giving architects and designers a new tool, a new very cool tool, in which they can rethink the design of their architecture and their designs,” said Tim Geurtjens, the chief technology officer and co-founder of MX3D, the company that produced the bridge.
The bridge was completed in Laarman’s workshop in late 2018, but it was not put in place until Thursday, replacing a traditionally constructed bridge that crossed the canal before it.
Upon its completion, the 3D-printed bridge won a Dutch Design Award for the category of design research.
“The leap in research into 3D printing opens the door, once and for all, to other (large and/or public) applications in architecture and the metal industry,” the awards committee said. “The jury is curious to see how this will be emulated, and where it will lead. Laarman has set the bar high, with an extraordinary choice of material: steel, a typically (conservative) construction material, known for its extremely static properties. The form and material freedom achieved by the design hint at almost unimaginable scenarios.”
It will occupy the place of the bridge that was originally in its spot until 2023 while it is being renovated.
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Original Author: Charles Hilu
Original Location: 3D-printed bridge opens in Amsterdam