One of the key digital revolutions in the past decade is 3D printing. It’s starting to have more and more of an impact to the extent that major artifacts can now be built using this approach
The first ever 3D-printed steel bridge has opened in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was created by robotic arms using welding torches to deposit the structure of the bridge layer by layer, and is made of 4500 kilograms of stainless steel.
Interestingly, this structure now is also directly feeding data into a “digital twin”….a model that is modified in real time with data.
More than a dozen sensors attached to the bridge after the printing was completed will monitor strain, movement, vibration and temperature across the structure as people pass over it and the weather changes. This data will be fed into a digital model of the bridge.