The First Ever 3D-Printed Bridge for Cyclists in Netherlands

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Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands, developed an innovative 3D printer, back in 2015. It can print structures using concrete, using its concrete mixing pump and four-axis gantry robot. The development was done, as a part of their research project, in the 3D printer technology. Well, now the research project has crossed a prudent checkpoint, in its endeavors.

Accordingly, the university, in collaboration with BAM Infra, a construction company, has built the world’s first 3D printed bridge. The printing work of the 3D bridge was started, back in June. It’s made of 800 layers of reinforced, and pre-stressed concrete.

The 3D printers are very much acclaimed to bring in technological exuberance in various sectors. In that way, the bridge is considerably an affirmation to it. Well, the 3D printed bridge especially built for cyclists to move across. However, it’s actually capable of withstanding the weight of up to 40 trucks.

The opening ceremony of the 3D printed bridge, held last week. It connects two roads, such as Handelseweg Boekelseweg and Peeldijk, to a stretch of 8-meters in length, consisting 800 3D-printed layers. Theo Salet, professor, involved with building the concrete construction, has accepted that the bridge isn’t a massive establishment; but in any case, being built by a 3D printer, makes it a unique and enumerative to future developments.

The printing tech offers more flexibility to the bridge’s shape. The other major highlight, about the usage of 3D printers, in constructing concrete structures, is the usage efficiency of raw materials. Only minimal quantity of concrete was used in building it, as reported. Yes, the printer pumps-in concrete, only in the needed areas. By this, the air pollution caused by CO2, in the conventional methods, is also considerably reduced.

Officials wearing hard hats and workmen jackets, rode over the bridge, during the inauguration. It symbolized the reduction of hard labors in such constructions, which became greatly plausible. It’s already known that MX3D, a Dutch startup is working on printing a stainless-steel bridge, which is expected to be completed by next year. Hence, we can expect more and more innovations from the 3D printing tech, in the sector of concrete establishments.