In Amsterdam, as the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal winds through the city, a series of more than 1,000 bridges are in place to help pedestrians get from one side to the other. One of those bridges is a temporary structure, made of concrete and unattractive with graffiti scribbled along its sides. Soon, this bridge will be replaced by something altogether different: a gleaming steel structure with sides that swoop, ripple and curve. It’s unlike anything the city – or, really, the world – has ever seen before.
The bridge was first conceptualized in 2015, as MX3D, Heijmans, and Joris Laarman Lab announced their ambitious plans to 3D print the bridge in place over the canal, literally in mid-air. The idea was to utilize MX3D’s novel freeform 3D printing technology, which involves six-axis robots that can build, yes, in mid-air. Construction would start simultaneously on either side of the canal and meet in the middle. This plan was eventually scrapped and construction was moved into a large studio space where pedestrians couldn’t interfere and where the team had control over the environment.
thumbnail courtesy of 3dprint.com