A 3D-printed steel bridge from Heijmans and MX3D to inspire the automatic construction site in future

Construction phase is one of the important aspects of civil engineering structures. The success of a project depends on how well the construction phase is carried out. Efficient and economical construction is particularly important because of the increasing complexity of structures being built, the availability of improved materials and construction equipment. With an automation in construction industry we may achieve many advantages over the traditional way of construction. The long strive of automation in construction industry could come to an end with new innovation of Heijmans’ technique of building a 3D printed steel bridge.

collaborates on the 3D printing of a steel bridge that will be located in the
centre of Amsterdam. The project was initiated by Dutch start-up MX3D. Heijmans
will contribute its knowledge of and experience in construction and technology
to print the bridge. The bridge is designed by Dutch designer Joris Laarman.

is a listed company that combines activities related to property development,
residential building, non-residential building, roads and civil engineering in
the working areas living, working and connecting. Heijmans is active in the
Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and as a technology partners delivers know-how
and concepts in various markets.

Image credit: Heijmans/Max 3D
‘automatic construction site’ is a concept where all parts of the construction
process are coordinated, which causes energy to be minimised and
construction-related waste to be eliminated.

collaboration is the next example of Heijmans’ innovative way of building the
‘spatial contours of tomorrow’. As Innovation is essential in order to realise
sustainable and effective solutions. The MX3D-project being a natural step for
Heijmans in realising a more automatic construction site. Thanks to ICT and
robotics new possibilities arise in the area of design, use of materials,
logistics and safety.

goal behind the experimental 3D-printing project is the eventual creation of an
automatic construction site. According to Jan van de Ven, Heijmans’ Manager of
Business Development, an automatic construction site would not only be
dependable and fully managed, but would also be environmentally friendly
because of its energy-efficiency processes and minimization of construction
waste. The use of 3D printing for construction purposes also has benefits in
the design sector and, once popularized, can revolutionize the way we approach
the design/build process.

Video credit: Heijmans/Max 3D

and design are currently rather separate factors in construction – the architect
designs something and the constructor interprets the design and builds what he
thinks is needed,” says Jurre van der Ven, Heijmans’ Innovation Manager. “But
using 3D printing for a bridge makes design and construction operates
hand-in-hand. For instance, both activities are done at the same time, instead
of first building the structure and then adding the design later. This means we
will also have to start looking at design in a completely different manner.”

location of the bridge has not yet been determined but will be announced soon.
The pedestrian bridge will span one of Amsterdam’s old canals and has been
described by designer Joris Laarman as a “fantastic metaphor for connecting the
technology of the future with the city’s historic past, in a way which would
reveal the best aspects of both worlds.” A visitor center will open in
September 2015 and serve as an educational public space that will track the
progress of the project.

further in Heijmans


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