World’s first 3D-printed bridge made entirely of steel is opened in Amsterdam

Following an extensive period of testing, the 3D-printed bridge connecting the quays of Oudezijds Achterburgwal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District was opened by Queen Maxima on Thursday, July 15.

We know what you’re thinking, Queen Maxima in the Red Light District…

The Gemeente Amsterdam reports that the bridge, which was first seen at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven in 2018, will be in place for two years while the original walkway is being repaired.

Queen Maxima opens new 3D printed bridge in Amsterdam. Image: MX3D_Bridge_Opening_YourMajestyTheQueen_byJandeGroen/supplied.

Wanna know more about the bridge? Of course you do!

The bridge is constructed entirely of stainless steel and weighs more than 6,000 kgs. That’s the weight of six fully grown polar bears, or one very large elephant — if you were looking for a comparison.

The walkway was designed by Joris Laarman, and made at home in the city, by the Amsterdam 3D metal printing startup MX3D.

A bridge of the future

First, the Dutch 3D printed houses, now a bridge — who knows what will come next?

This futuristic pedestrian bridge is fitted with sensors that will record all kinds of measurements. This will allow the bridge itself to indicate when a repair is needed — crazy, right!? The next bridge they build will be making people cups of coffee — we can dream, can’t we?

It will also be possible to measure how many pedestrians walk across the bridge every day.

Award-winning innovation

When the project was first showcased at Dutch Design Week in 2018 it won numerous awards, including a Dutch Design award and the Audience Choice award. The project team was also awarded the Starts Prize from the European Commission in 2018 for their groundbreaking work.

Worlds-first-3D-printed-steel-bridge-opened-in-Red-Light-District-in-Amsterdam
Image: MX3D Bridge in Amsterdam city center. Credit Thea van den Heuvel/supplied

What do you think Dutchies will be 3D printing next? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: MX3D_Bridge_Opening_YourMajestyTheQueenMaxima_ByAdriaandeGroot supplied

Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Leave it to the Dutchies to think out of the box. AND, carry it through to the end. Like one young Dutch engineering student I knew started experimenting with making a coffee machine ( for Dutch coffee, of course), and coffee cups to!!!!! Fantastiche!!!!!
    And this was about 5 years ago…..

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