MX3D Finalises a 3D Printed Bridge with Help from FARO



Amsterdam, October 20th, 2018 – Amsterdam based startup MX3D has finalized its 3D printed steel bridge.


The Bridge, designed by Joris Laarman Lab, with Arup as lead engineering partner is now ready to be installed at its final location, but will first be on display at the Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven, from October 20th till 28th  2018.


In addition to its unique construction, the bridge is also a living laboratory for data scientists. It is instrumented by Autodesk, Force Technology, Imperial College London, Lenovo & HBM with an innovative sensor network. Data obtained from the sensors visualize intelligence about bridge traffic, structural integrity, and the surrounding neighborhood and environment. During the DDW visitors are invited to walk over the bridge to generate the first data set. Data from the bridge will be used by partners like The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, along with Autodesk to build a digital twin model and sensor network which use advanced data analysis to monitor the bridge’s performance in real-time.  The work on this 3D printed bridge will contribute to the future of safe, efficient and data-driven engineering by monitoring the structure as thousands of people and bicycles traverse the bridge hourly once in place.


Arup, the project’s Lead Engineer, and researchers from The Alan Turing’s Data Centric Engineering Programme (a consortium of researchers from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge) have performed a successful load test of 10+ ton this September. Comparisons between predictions from computer models that the team have developed with the results from this test will be made to demonstrate the load carrying capacity of the bridge and provide invaluable structural performance data.



The MX3D project has only been made possible through the close collaboration with partners Autodesk, Heijmans, Joris Laarman Lab and ArcelorMittal and the support of Lead Structural Engineer Arup, The Alan Turing Institute Data Centric Engineering Programme, Lloyds Register Foundation, Air Liquide, ABB Robotics and Lenovo.

Important contributions have been made by: Force Technologies, HBM, Oerlikon, Faro Technologies, STV, Oerlikon Welding, MousBV and Plymovent.

The public partners are TU Delft, Imperial College London, AMS Institute (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions) and the Municipality of Amsterdam.

MX3D’s Visitor Center is supported by the Dutch VSB Fund.



The consortium of mathematicians from The Alan Turing Institute have teamed up with MX3D to deploy a smart sensor network to develop a new data centric engineering approach for 3D printed structures. Arup, Imperial College, Autodesk and Force Technologies are actively involved in the design, install and use of the sensors network.


These sensors will collect structural measurements such as strain, rotation, load, displacement and vibration, and will measure environmental factors such as air quality and temperature, enabling engineers to measure the bridge’s health in real time and monitor how it changes over its lifespan. This data will also allow us to “teach” the bridge to understand what is happening on it, how many people are crossing it and how quickly.


The data from the sensors will be used as input for a ‘digital twin’ of the bridge, a living computer model that will reflect the physical bridge with growing accuracy in real time as the data comes in. The performance and behaviour of the physical bridge can be tested against its digital twin, which will provide valuable insights to inform designs for future 3D printed metallic structures and ensures it is safe for pedestrians under all conditions.


New Partnerships

In March 2018 MX3D announced a partnership with Dutch bridge builder Haasnoot Bruggen. Together they serve the market for bicycle and pedestrian bridges in the Netherlands. The partners expect to present their first project soon, to be delivered in 2019.  On the 26th of October, Haasnoot and MX3D organize a lunch next to the Bridge in Eindhoven for interested clients. Please RSVP to info@mx3d.com.


Other Work

Parallel to this MX3D is working with artists, architects and several industrials to introduce Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) into their workflow. Large scale industrial prototypes are currently being produced in the MX3D workshop.



Like all innovative projects the MX3D bridge project required several pivots. The initial design for the 12 meter metre bridge has changed significantly. Based on material research and structural testing Arup and Joris Laarman Lab created a structural design strategy. This led to the final bridge design by Joris Laarman Lab in early 2017.


In March 2017, the printing and assembly of large segments of the bridge began. In parallel MX3D engineers have continued working on realizing their vision of robots autonomously 3D-printing infrastructure. Last summer, a robot was placed on the bridge. It validated the company’s vision and confirmed that robots will be able to print bridges without human intervention.



FARO® is the world’s most trusted source for 3D measurement, imaging and realization technology.

The company develops and manufactures leading edge solutions that enable high-precision 3D capture, measurement and analysis across a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, engineering and public safety.


FARO provides AEC professionals best-in-class surveying technology and point cloud processing software that allows them to get their physical building and infrastructure sites into the digital world (along all phases of their life cycle).

FARO was involved in many stages of the MX3D project with the FARO Focus S350 Laser Scanner. FARO helped to verify if the bridge structure was built according to the design 3D model using FARO BuildIt Construction software. The laser scanner was also used to verify and visualise the bridge installation in its final location. It has also been critical for internal communication within the project team, and externally to explain the bridge project to stakeholders. In another application a FARO Arm was used to create an accurate as built (or printed) 3D data set of sectional parts of the bridge, this was used to create stress analysis and CFD models.


AEC customers benefit from high quality and complete data capturing, faster processes, reduced project costs, minimized waste and so increase their profitability.


The Bridge, designed by Joris Laarman Lab, was awarded several prestigious prizes this year. The Projects received the STARTS Prize from the European Commission for the best Arts and Technology project, choosen out of 2300+ project worldwide.

The project also received a Dutch Design Award & the 3D Printing Challenge award.


Visitor & Expert center

The MX3D doors will remain open this winter! This is a great opportunity for professionals and the curious minded to see the printing process and the Bridge. Information can be found at: mx3d.com/visitor


Placement at final location

The bridge will be installed on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, at the crossing with the Stoofsteeg located in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, as soon as the renovation of that canal is completed, which will be no earlier than mid 2019.


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