Engadget has an update from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, who are about to commence with the construction of the world’s “first” 3D printed bridge.
This bridge, which will serve along a bicycling path, is very close to being constructed. Eindhoven researchers “have started manufacturing parts for a 3D-print reinforced concrete meant for a cycling bridge. When the construction is complete, it’ll apparently be the first bridge to use 3D-printed, reinforced concrete (but not the first 3D printed bridge using other materials — or even concrete itself.)
“Manufacturing of the concrete parts has begun, and it’s anticipated that bridge construction will start in September. To get to the point where the 3D printed parts were considered reliable, the team at the university first built a 1:2 scale model, which was able to hold a 2,000kg (over 4,400 pounds) load.”
3D printing a bridge has several advantages over constructing a bridge using conventional, concrete means. “Printing a bridge will use far less concrete than pouring it into molds. There’s an environmental impact here, as well — the production of concrete cement releases CO2, so cutting down on those emissions is worth noting. There’s also more freedom of design, as a 3D-printer can fabricate shapes that are much harder to produce with a mold.”
Though this bridge is designed for lighter traffic such as bicyclists, it is a huge step in a fantastically innovative direction.
Image and Quotes Courtesy of Engadget