In a recent post I mentioned a trip to Amsterdam to visit with Van Wijnen and MX3D. The press embargo has now lifted on MX3D’s bridge – as you can see from a slew of recent articles – so I can now share a bit more information about that part of the visit.
During that week I spent 2.5 days at MX3D, mostly to participate in discussions about how best to instrument the bridge with sensors. Autodesk started our collaboration with MX3D around the vision of using generative design for the creation of the bridge’s form… during the last year or so (actually more) our collaboration has morphed to focus on the creation of a “smart” bridge that knows how it’s used and how well it fits into its environment.
Here’s a video from MX3D about the recent progress:
My role in the team relates to the software for data visualization: mainly around Dasher 360, of course. Other Autodeskers are participating in other ways: Alex Tessier and Alec Shuldiner are heavily involved in the sensorization of the bridge – using learning acquired from instrumenting the bridge in Pier 9 – while Tristan Randall is using reality capture technology to create an accurate “as built” scan of the bridge in its current state as well in addition to the surroundings of the bridge it’ll replace in Amsterdam’s red light district.
Here’s a video I took while at MX3D:
And now for some photos I snapped during my time there. The bridge itself has a fantastic, organically inspired form designed by Joris Laarman Studio.
During the course of the week we had ample opportunity to examine it from every direction.
There were also many hours of presentations and discussions related to the current state of the project and the steps needed to make the bridge smart.
While the original vision for the bridge was for it to be “3D printed” in situ across the canal, this clearly wasn’t feasible for lots of very good reasons. The printing and assembly has so far been performed in a warehouse at the NDSM wharf. Over time this vision is likely to evolve, but irrespective of whether the work has adhered perfectly to the original vision, MX3D has broken significant new ground and learned a great deal about what it takes to do largescale 3D printing of steel structures.
Here are a few snaps of Gijs Van Der Velden, MX3D co-founder.
I’m thrilled Autodesk is continuing to be involved in this exciting project. It’s going to be really cool to see the bridge take its place over the canal sometime during the coming year, as well as seeing what can be learned from smart infrastructure that perceives its surroundings and collects information on how it is used.