Amsterdam has just become home to the world's first 3D-printed steel footbridge, opened up in the city's infamous Red Light District.
The new 3D-printed bridge features the latest sensor technology, which measures how the bridge is handling pedestrian traffic in real-time. The 12-meter (39 feet) bridge was built using 3D printing technology that involved the use of welding robots, with MX3D the company behind the technology.
Tim Geurtjens, who developed the MX3D technology, explains: "If you want to have a really highly decorated bridge or a really aesthetic bridge, suddenly it becomes a good option to print it, because it's not just about making things cheaper and more efficient".
Researchers at the Imperial College London will monitor the structure in real-time thanks to the built-in sensors in the 3D-printed bridge, where the researchers will take the data in over the weeks and months and see where the bridge could change depending on how it's used by locals and tourists.
Amsterdam City councillor Micha Mos said: "That will help us to think about how people behave in the public space, but also how our bridges and our canals will wear down because of those people. We're looking at how to keep it liveable for the people who are here. This may attract a new kind of visitor, one who is more interested in architecture and design, which will help change the way the neighborhood is perceived".
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