Bridge building just got a lot more high tech: Designer Joris Laarman, along with engineering company Heijmans and MX3D are combining their skills and technology to create a 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge, which, if all goes to plan, will join approximately 1280 other bridges in Amsterdam in 2017.
"I strongly believe in the future of digital manufacturing and local production—it's a 'new form of craftsmanship,'" Laarman said. "This bridge can show how 3D printing has finally entered the world of large-scale functional objects and sustainable materials, while enabling unrivaled freedom of design."
Laarman and Heijmans will use MX3D technology to build the bridge. At least two—but potentially more—six-axis robotic machines will print 3D steel structures on the banks on both sides of the waterway and meet in the middle.
"The project will effectively change the construction sector because it will add something which does not already exist. It will also allow tailor-made and complex metal elements, or combinations of materials, to be manufactured in a cost-effective manner," Laarman said.
The exact location of this bridge has not yet been disclosed, but an announcement from MX3D and the city of Amsterdam is coming soon. In the meantime, starting in September, curious citizens can find out more at a visitor center that offers extensive information about the project.