Amsterdam Steel Bridge 3D Printed


To complete the bridge, multi-axis industrial robots will be fitted with 3D printing tools and controlled using custom software that enables the robots to print metals, plastics, and combinations of materials. Dutch construction company Heijmans will be completing a steel bridge in the center of Amsterdam using what on paper seems like a futuristic method: with a 3D printer, robots, and steel. The project was initiated by Dutch startup MX3D using a design by Joris Laarman, the company said in a statement. The bridge project, in partnership with Autodesk and a number of other supporters, is possible thanks to MX3D’s earlier efforts to 3D print using six-axis robotic arms.

These computer-guided robotic arms tipped with welders to 3D print a steel bridge in midair over a canal in Amsterdam. The robots print using steel, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, or copper. They make lines in the air, without the need for support structures, by sequentially building welds in any direction in space. And eventually they’ll even print tracks to move along as their creation materializes below. The new technique is cost-effective and scalable, more than current 3D printing methods, and offers creative robot production solutions for art, construction, and more. The future of digital production and local production is in the new craft. 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.

Opening in September 2015 is a visitor center that will give the public access to the project’s progress. MX3D and the city of Amsterdam will announce the exact location soon. In fall of 2017, they’ll set up robots on opposite banks of a canal in Amsterdam (final design and location TBD) and hit the print button. Over the course of two months, the robots will simultaneously print the bridge from each bank, eventually meeting in the middle to join the halves. This being the Netherlands, MX3D decided that a bridge over an old city canal was a pretty good choice. Not only is it good for publicity, but, if MX3D can construct a bridge out of thin air, it can construct anything. The finished bridge will measure 24 feet long. Constructed using a steel composite specially developed at the University of Delft, it will be as strong as any other bridge and able to handle regular foot traffic for years to come.



The three Rotterdam bus shelters were designed by Dutch studio Maxwan with concave and convex razor-thin rooftops reminiscent of billowing fabric. According to Maxwan, the three 5-by-10-metre canopies, which measure just 9.5 millimetres in thickness, are the world’s thinnest steel roofs. The pastel-pink Bus Station Canopies are located on a patch of tarmac outside a new bus terminus in Rotterdam Central District, providing seated shelters for 40 waiting passengers. The canopies are raised up on four flat-steel columns. One arches upwards in the centre, while another bows downward – both are intended to look like fabric moving in the wind. The caving helps makes the canopies structurally sound, allows for a thinner roof, and is beautiful, and the studio nicknamed the shelters Pillow and Hammock after these forms.

Produced by Dutch firm Studio Metalix, the curving surfaces are finished with glossy pastel-pink paintwork. The tables, treated with a skin-tone finish, are warped silk-gloss surfaces that conjure up images of suspended cloth and wind-blown sails, despite weighing five tonnes each. According to studio founder Rients Dijkstra, the pink paintwork was a purely emotional choice. Pillow and Hammock are part of a major overhaul of the Dutch railway system, including upgrading stations in Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam. An original brief from the City of Rotterdam outlined the need for 16 standard-issue bus shelters to serve a newly opened bus station. Maxwan instead created just two that fitted the same brief to shelter 40 people sitting and more standing for the same budget. The efforts at creating quality environments related to public transport should not be limited to the station building itself.

New Genoa Bridge, Italy

The final piece of the new Morandi Bridge decking in Genoa, Italy has been put in place. Designed by Renzo Piano, the structure is being built to address the tragic collapse of the original bridge that claimed 43 lives. In the aftermath of the disaster, Piano offered to donate the design of a bridge to replace the old one, having been deeply affected by the tragedy.

Under Piano’s vision, the scheme will incorporate weight-bearing columns reminiscent of a ship’s bow. In honour of the victims, 43 lamps will cast a light across the bridge, shaped like ship sails. Renders show a minimalist white beam bridge supported at regular intervals by tall piers. The new bridge will have to be simple and parsimonious, but not trivial. it will look like a ship moored in the valley, a light and bright steel bridge. it will reflect the sunlight during the day and absorb solar energy to return it at night. it will be a sober bridge, respecting the character of the Genoese.

The bridge serves as an essential element that will allow genoa to reclaim its role as a great port and trade city. the bridge is an important junction connecting the city with France, the port and, generally, with nearby areas. Renzo piano building workshop designed the bridge with a continuous steel deck extending 1,100 meters (3,609 ft) with 20 spans. the 19 elliptical piers of reinforced concrete will be primarily positioned at 50-meter increments, although because of their location on the river and the railway, two of these piers will be 100 meters apart.