April 4, 2019

Joris Laarman Lab Designs a 3-D-Printed Pedestrian Bridge for Dutch Tech Startup MX3D

MX3D Bridge by Joris Laarman Lab. Photography courtesy of Joris Laarman Lab.

Large-scale 3-D printing is, err, crossing into new territory with the Bridge in Amsterdam. Joris Laarman Lab designed the sinuous pedestrian expanse for Dutch technology startup MX3D, whose mission is to equip multi­axial robots with 3-D tools and develop the software to operate them. Currently being produced by said robots in stainless steel, part of an overall process that is taking nearly three years, the 40-foot-long bridge represents the largest 3-D printed metal project in history, a feat accom­plished with partners Arup and Autodesk, among others.

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MX3D Bridge by Joris Laarman Lab. Photography by Thijs Wolzak.

“It proves large-scale 3-D printing can be done with sustainable materials and freedom of form.”

After fabrication at MX3D’s workshop north of the city and testing for structural integrity are complete, the structure will travel via canal atop low boats to the historic red light district by year’s end. Once in place, it will be a laboratory for scientists to collect data on traffic and the surrounding environment thanks to the bridge’s integrated sensor network. “It’s a beautiful meta­phor,” Joris Laarman says, “about connecting 21st-century technol­ogy with the old city, in a way that brings out the best of both worlds.”

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