World’s First 3D-printed Bridge Unveiled in The Netherlands
It wasn’t long ago when we first read the reports of small buildings being successfully 3D-printed. Now the Dutch have come up with the world’s first 3D-printed bridge. Located in Gemert, the small bridge was designed for cyclists by the Eindhoven University of Technology and assisted by construction company BAM Infra.
The bridge was launched on Tuesday with officials riding across the bridge as part of its inauguration. The bridge, which measures eight meters long, was printed using 800 layers and work on it started months ago in June. It was built to connect two roads that were separated by a water-filled ditch.
The bridge was made using reinforced, pre-stressed concrete and can withstand a load of up to two tonnes. According to the university’s website:
One of the advantages of printing a bridge is that much less concrete is needed than in the conventional technique in which a mould is filled. A printer deposits the concrete only where it is needed.”
According to head of BAM — Marinus Schimmel, 3D printing can help in the use of less resources and generate less waste in the construction industry.
The bridge in Gemert will not be the only 3D-printed bridge in the country soon as another Dutch company is currently working on a 3D-printed bridge made using stainless steel. Indeed, the future of construction seems bright with the introduction of 3D-printing as we see more and more companies and bodies experimenting with it to come up with better and more efficient ways of building large structures.
(Photo by Bart Maart / EPA)