After two years of waiting, Amsterdam is now home to the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge. Designed by architecture firm MX3D, the bridge lays over one of the capital’s oldest canals, in the Red Light District.
The eye-catching, futuristic bridge boasts hidden sensors that gather data on its structural integrity, crowd behavior, and more. The project was designed by Joris Laarman Lab, with Arup as lead engineer, and was transported by boat through the city’s canals and then raised into position using a crane.
Equipped with a state-of-the-art sensor network, the futuristic steel bridge also functions as a research tool, providing the city of Amsterdam with useful data streams and an opportunity to explore the role of IoT systems in the built environment.
The different sensors integrated within the bridge will allow the collection of structural measurements concerning strain, rotation, load, displacement, and vibration. It can also read data on environmental factors like air quality and temperature as locals and visitors make use of it. All this data is then fed into a digital twin model of the bridge to help engineers monitor its structural status in real-time.
The 3D-printed smart bridge was unveiled last week, by the queen of the Netherlands, and is now open to the public.
Image source: MX3D