Amsterdam’s Famous Red-light District Boasts Of World’s First 3D-Printed Bridge

Amsterdam’s Famous Red-light District Boasts Of World’s First 3D-Printed Bridge PHOTOGRAPH: MX3D Website |

The world’s first 3D-printed bridge that measures 40 feet will be another reason to visit Amsterdam’s best-known red-district.

The structure is ready for installment by 2019. Specifically, the breakthrough construction will stretch over the oldest canals in the city, the Oudezidjds Achterburgwal.

Four robots have woven 10,000 pounds of stainless steels and 684 miles of wire in six months to make the concept a reality. At the helm of the project is MX3D, a team consisting of people who are passionate about developing groundbreaking robotic manufacturing technology. The structure is designed by Joris Laarman Lab, a company that focuses on building emerging technologies.

The Building Of World’s First 3D-Printed Bridge In Amsterdam

MX3D has worked with about 20 companies that are the best in technology. The collaborators include Lenovo and the City of Amsterdam. In June 2015, everyone on the project has decided that the best location for the bridge is over one of the old canals in Amsterdam.

“It would be a fantastic metaphor for connecting the technology of the future with the beautiful city’s past in a way that would reveal the best aspects of both worlds.”

Like any other projects, the making of the bridge is not without challenges along the way. In July 2016, the team has encountered a problem with its engineering software which turns out to be unable to read complex geometry. The team has been unable to define the stress-level that the olden canals can handle. At this point, the only logical thing to do is to start from the scratch all over again.

The team remains persistent and by February 2017, Joris Laarman Lab and Arup, a London-based engineering and design firm, have finally come up with the bridge design complete with a powerful aesthetic.

“It feels like the discovery of a new continent.” – Joris Laarman Lab

For the next six months, robots add layers upon layers of steel, creating a ribbed surface that makes the bridge seemingly alive.

Amsterdam Is A Promising Hub For 3D-Printing Technology

“When the bridge came in, even I started to believe myself and my stories about how great this technology is—instantly. It’s such a massive structure that immediately, even if you’re not a technician or someone who’s been playing around with this tech for years, you can see that steel objects are going to change drastically in the coming years.” – MX3D co-founder Gijs van der Velden

Many large-scale 3D-printing projects are underway in Amsterdam, Gizmodo notes. Many of them have made it past the concept stage. There is another bridge in the village of Gemert and an entire canal house not far from MX3D’s workshop location.

In comparison, the free-form 3D printed home construction in Tennessee remains at the conceptual level; the same goes about the Chinese company that is aiming to 3D-print houses.