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Where is the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge?

Answer: The Netherlands.

3D printer
Installed across a canal in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, the world’s first 3D-printed stainless steel bridge took just six months to print. It was designed by Joris Laarman Lab, engineered by Arup, and also involved ABB, Air Liquide, ArcelorMittal, Autodesk, AMS Institute and Lenovo.

The 40-foot-long pedestrian bridge was printed and welded by robots in a factory in 2018. It then had to wait a while due to other projects, such as refurbishing the canal walls, before it could finally be brought in and installed. Now open to the public, the bridge is currently on a two-year permit.

But this bridge is more than just a cool-looking place for pedestrians to cross — it’s armed with an array of sensors gathering all sorts of data. They’re constantly monitoring the bridge’s structural integrity, including strain, rotation, load, displacement and vibration. And they’re gathering environmental data like temperature and air quality, in addition to monitoring pedestrian usage, such as how many people are crossing and how quickly. On the receiving end of all this data is the bridge’s “digital twin,” allowing engineers to keep a close eye on everything and hopefully prevent any issues.
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