MX3D led a project to create the 12 metre long structure, which has been also installed with a "sensor network" that will allow them to get measurements such as strain and displacement as well as environmental factors such as the temperature and the quality of the air.
They shared on their website: "MX3D is 3D printing a 12 metre long stainless steel pedestrian bridge, which will be in place and crossing one of Amsterdam's canals in the old city centre by late 2018. We have teamed up with a consortium of mathematicians, IoT specialists and e to develop a smart sensor network to monitor the bridge's health in real time. A great example of data centric engineering ... The team from The Alan Turing Institute is responsible for designing and installing a sensor network on the bridge.
"These sensors will collect structural measurements such as strain, displacement and vibration, and will measure environmental factors such as air quality and temperature, enabling engineers to measure the bridge's health in real time and monitor how it changes over its lifespan. This data will also allow us to 'teach' the bridge to understand what is happening on it, how many people are crossing it and how quickly."
This data will be used to create a computer model version of the bridge, which will plot how the bridge's structure changes over time.
They added: "The data from the sensors will be input into a 'digital twin' of the bridge, a living computer model that will reflect the physical bridge with growing accuracy in real time as the data comes in. The performance and behaviour of the physical bridge can be tested against its digital twin, which will provide valuable insights to inform designs for future 3D printed metallic structures. It will also enable the current 3D bridge to be modified to suit any required changes in use, ensuring it is safe for pedestrians under all conditions."