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HANNOVER MESSE 2018, 23 - 27 April
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Digital Twin

A data twin watches over the Amsterdam 3D printing bridge

A Dutch startup has additively manufactured a complete steel bridge and now controls it with a digital twin in real time on the computer.

27 Dec. 2017
Marie-Lucine Tapyuli
MX3D B.V.
A data twin watches over the Amsterdam 3D printing bridge (graphic: MX3D B.V.)

The Amsterdam-based startup MX3D has developed a process to manufacture even larger components with 3D printing. To do so, it uses several six-axis robots working simultaneously on one project. This allows much more flexible designing, since the size of parts is no longer limited by the volume of the build platform as with conventional 3D printers. The process has already been used for a 12-metre long pedestrian bridge in Amsterdam .

The bridge was additionally provided with a sensor network that continuously monitors the load as well as any deformations and vibrations. Air quality and temperature data are also monitored. All these data are transferred to a digital twin of the system as a computer model, allowing the condition of the bridge to be monitored in real time. Should any design modifications become necessary, they can be implemented directly on the one hand and taken into account in future 3D developments on the other hand.

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