Amsterdam has just inaugurated the whole thing first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge. An achievement that we owe to both the engineers at JorisLaarmanLab and the MX3D builders. The structure also takes its name from the same company: the MX3D bridge. The building is 12 meters long and required 4,500 kilograms of steel. There are only two years left over the old town canal to collect as much data as possible.
The project, which started in 2015, consists of numerous sensors that measure the condition of the bridge. Deformation, displacement, vibration and inclination are recorded in real time and available live. Environmental factors such as air quality, temperature and weather are brought together in order to analyze live what is happening in the structure. All data collected is compared with the bridge’s “digital twin” in order to train the model as realistically as possible. In this way, the next structures can be adapted according to the virtual bridge in order to discover as true to the original as possible what the buildings of tomorrow can support. Future 3D printed steel structures will learn from the MX3D bridge.
Oculus becomes mixed reality
It’s a big open-air data science lab. The goal is to use raw data to determine exactly what is happening on the bridge. Cameras film the comings and goings of passers-by in order to compare the recordings from the sensors. Then it is possible to know how many people are on the structure, their speed and their position.
This intelligent bridge enables Amsterdam to understand the behavior of pedestrians and crowds. This is an incredible tool for studying the impact of tourism, but also the ethics surrounding open data. The bridge is to be dismantled within two years.