A new bridge! 3D printed! In Amsterdam:
I get emails from Google about 3D printing, and one of the prejudices I am acquiring about it is that it is at its best when finding better and cheaper ways to make rather small and very complicated components in small numbers, and when making other small and very complicated components possible which had previously not been possible. 3D printing’s most impressive achievements so far have been largely invisible to the naked eye.
However, architects and designers being architects and designers, 3D printing is also being used to make big objects, all in one go, like houses and … bridges, very visibly indeed.
This is being justified not on cost grounds, because there are as yet no cost benefits, but rather on the grounds of increased aesthetic possibilities.
Trouble is, I think this particular bridge is very ugly. There’s something disproportionate about it. It’s a huge palaver, just to have a footbridge. It’s like getting Frank Gehry to design your front door, or a dustbin, or a mowing machine. Like getting your outside toilet redone in Scottish Baronial. It’s just a little footbridge! It shouldn’t be drawing attention to itself in this absurdly grandiose fashion.
But, if I saw it in the flesh, so speak, maybe I’d get to like it.