You read that right, Heijmans, the innovative Dutch construction company behind the Starry Night bicycle path, has unveiled their project: a 3D-printed steel bridge in the heart of Amsterdam. Created in partnership with MX3D, this bridge is part of Heijmans’ goals of building the ‘spatial contours of tomorrow,’ and multi-axis industrial robots will be used to make it a reality. “Construction and design are currently rather separate factors in construction – the architect designs something and the constructor interprets the design and builds what he thinks is needed. But using 3D printing for a bridge makes design and construction operate hand-in-hand. For instance, both activities are done at the same time, instead of first building the structure and then adding the design later. This means we will also have to start looking at design in a completely different manner,” says Jurre van der Ven, Heijmans’ Innovation Manager. Continue reading for a video and more information.
Designer Joris Laarman describes it as a “fantastic metaphor for connecting the technology of the future with the city’s historic past, in a way which would reveal the best aspects of both worlds.” It will span one of Amsterdam’s old canals and a visitor center will open in September 2015 to serve as an educational public space that will track the progress of the project.