3D printing seems to have become somewhat of a scientific fad in the last few years as people could hear about many 3D printed objects; from transplant-ready hearts for people with severe heat conditions to toy guns for people with maybe just too much time and resources on their hands.
The latest piece of news from the world of 3D printing could be very interesting in the context of the structural steel industry as, by late 2018, Amsterdam’s network of canals and bridges is expected to be made richer by the addition of the largest 3D printed bridge to date. Although the size in itself will not be very impressive, sitting at twelve feet, what makes this bridge so interesting is the fact that its constructors claim that the strength and ductility of a 3D printed piece will be as much as three times higher when compared to ordinary steel. Such performance would render the material interesting even for military application. As far as the structural steel industry in the near future is concerned, this is unlikely to cause a shakeup as the 3D printing process is still long and rather expensive, but the potential use of such strong materials on a large scale in the future certainly sparks the imagination.