A new 3D printed bridge for cyclists has opened in the Netherlands. The bridge was built and designed by the Technical University of Eindhoven and construction company BAM Infra. The materials used for the bridge include reinforced concrete and steel cables. The bridge was printed in pieces and then assembled on site and it’s pretty impressive. This isn’t the first 3D printed bridge. There was one built in Madrid last year but that doesn’t make this one any less impressive. Check out the video below showing some of the processes that went into making this a reality.
It was made at Eindhoven, using a huge purpose-built cement printer. Liquified mortar is sent through a printhead to print individual layers 1 cm (0.4 in) thick, and before each layer dries steel wire is fed down through the head for reinforcement. Layer by layer, the printer builds up a section that stands about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall.
Six of these pieces were printed and carted to the construction site, where they were then glued together and hoisted into place. The final bridge stretches 8 m (26.2 ft) long, 3.5 m (11.5 ft) wide and is 0.9 m (3 ft) thick, and according to the team, it was able to support 5 tons in tests – far more weight than the cyclists it’s designed for. It’s expected to last for at least 30 years.
This is a pretty cool project and one wonders if it could be done on a much larger scale? Maybe soon. The same project is working on 3D printed houses as well. Very interesting to see where 3D printing is going.
What do you think about this project? What do you think of 3D printing? Do you think we’ll be using this tech in construction more in the future? Let us know what your thoughts in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.