Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

UN Habitat Bridges.jpg

Urban Infrastructure © UN-Habitat

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Keith Breene

Engineers in the Netherlands have used robots to “print” a 12-metre steel bridge which will span one of Amsterdam’s famous canals.

Six-axis robots were used to “draw” the 4-metre-wide structure using layers of molten steel. Dutch designer Joris Laarman is working with Amsterdam-based robotic manufacturing technology start-up MX3D to build the bridge inside a former shipbuilding hangar.

Engineering firm Arup and researchers from Imperial College London are due to perform several full load tests to prove the structural integrity of the bridge but informal tests have already been carried out and the team say the structure has performed well.

MX3D aims to have finished the printing, placing the deck and coating the bridge by October in time for Dutch Design Week.

Made by machine

The construction of the steel bridge is just the latest in a line of extraordinary firsts for 3D printing technology.

San Francisco start-up Apis Cor reported that it had become the first company to launch a mobile unit that could print an entire house.

A 3D-printed home in Russia
Image: Apis

Not just that, when it tested the printer on an experimental site in Russia, the houses were finished in just 24 hours.

Dubai, as it often does, has taken things a step further by announcing that 25% of the emirate’s new buildings will be made using 3D printers by 2025.

The move is part of an ambitious 3D-printing strategy announced in 2016 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Dubai.

The 3D-printing strategy aims to reduce labour by 70% and cut costs by 90% across different sectors, according to the Dubai Future Foundation.

3D-printing construction has the potential to help solve a looming global housing crisis as more people gravitate to living in cities: the UN predicts that by 2030, the world will have 41 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants.

Patient printing

3D-printing technology is set to transform medicine too. There are a huge variety of possible uses from patient-specific surgical models to personalized on-demand medicines and even 3D-printed human tissue.

And studies have already shown that surgeons who rehearse procedures using 3D-printed models of the relevant part of each patient’s body complete the real operation faster and with less trauma for patients. This saves money but it also saves lives.

Printed meals

3D food printers can be used to extrude soft liquid edible matter through nozzles that build up layer by layer in patterns directed by a computer program.

They can pump out everything from chocolates, confectionery, biscuits and pancakes, to pasta, pizza and other savoury snacks.

News reports and industry blogs are very positive about what 3D food printing can offer. They have covered such events as Michelin-starred chefs experimenting with 3D food printers in pop-up restaurants in Europe.

But there is a serious side to printed food too – with its potential to cater for astronauts, air travellers and people in emergency situations.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Why the foundations of the modern world are costing the earth

Europe is no longer an innovation leader. Here’s how it can get ahead

Medical Education is #NotATarget

$675 million appeal to stop coronavirus in its tracks, as deaths rise

Cities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. These organizations are leading the urban response.

The next Google in biotech: will it be Chinese?

Providing mental health during pandemic times

5 key concepts for blockchain newbies

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Facts and prejudices about work

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

How we can win the war against antibiotic resistance

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

Final preparations for DCX and IFRA Expo 2019, in association with The European Sting

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

Powering through the pandemic

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

How traditional Islamic giving can play a role in the future of aid

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: World Breastfeeding Week kickoff, Second Ebola death on DR Congo’s eastern border, UN chief lauds climate activist Thunberg, Afghan bus attack, and outgoing UN agriculture chief hands over reigns

World Bank President steps down, Chief Executive assumes temporary role

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

For small island nations, climate change is not a threat. It’s already here

First Western Sahara talks at UN in six years, begin in Geneva

UN-based World Summit Award (WSA) presents its master list on digital innovation with impact on society from 24 countries

nCoV: An Emerging Respiratory Infection

‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

Monday’s Daily Brief: ‘Horror’ at Notre Dame fire disaster, Yemen still bleeding, measles now ‘global crisis’

London is becoming the world’s first National Park City

Remain united for Syrians, UN envoy de Mistura urges Security Council

Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

Colombia: Santos thanks the EU for its support to the peace process

Coronavirus reinforces the importance of empathy

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

Killings and violence targeting ethnic group in DR Congo ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’

A seafood fraud investigation DNA tested fish sold in the US. Here’s what they found

What my transgender child can teach us about the workforce of the future

EU and Japan select first Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Programmes

What COVID-19 tells us about the changing nature of disaster risk

‘€1 million’ fines for rescue boats prompts UN concern for future sea operations

Starbucks and FIAT again under Commission’s microscope: is Europe ready to kick multinationals out of the house?

OECD welcomes foreign bribery enforcement efforts and urges Colombia to mobilise key government and law enforcement agencies in the fight against foreign bribery

UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

How tomorrow’s buildings will make you – and the planet – healthier

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

Access to healthcare: what do we lack?

Tax crimes: special committee calls for a European financial police force

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

Europe eyes to replace US as China’s prime foreign partner

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

How to replace coal power with renewables in developing countries

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Yemen bus attack just the latest outrage against civilians: UN agencies

The world is too complacent about epidemics. Here’s how to change

Haiti stands ‘at the crossroads’ between peacekeeping, development – Bachelet urges strengthened ‘human rights protection’

Investing in rural women and girls, ‘essential’ for everyone’s future: UN chief

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

EU Summit/Migration: Parliament calls for joint solutions based on solidarity

State aid: Commission approves market conform asset protection scheme for banks in Greece

More Stings?



  1. This is the new discovery of the 3d printer. Now making the big bridge with help of 3d printing.A good service on which is applicable for your business

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s