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MX3D: Bridging the Virtual + Real

The Times visits Dutch design firm, MX3D to learn more about the 3D printed, stainless steel pedestrian bridge they have designed to span the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in their home city, Amsterdam. While being truly innovative in its use of steel as substrate and large scale robot as the extruder, the bridge will also be achieving a first by being layered with a full array of smart sensors provided by the Allan Turing Institute. These sensors will allow the bridge to not only report its current condition, allowing for day-to-day optimization and repair but also enable the creation of a 1:1 digital twin. The virtual bridge will make experimentation and future forecasting a much more accurate proposition since all parameters will be exactly those of the physical bridge in real time.