Alex Bowden June 20 2017
A new bike bridge is being 3D printed in parts and will be put together on site at a roundabout connecting the N605 and N272 in Gemert in the Netherlands.
Made from pre-stressed and reinforced concrete, NL Times reports that it will be the first bridge of its kind.
Theo Salet, a professor at the Technical University in Eindhoven where it is now being printed, said that the process was stressful, “because the work you do is being put into practice for the first time. It must be safe.”
The university is working with construction company BAM and began printing at the weekend. It will be printed in parts and put together on site.
“If you pour normal concrete, it runs away on all sides,” said Salet. “That is the intention, so that it spreads well in the mould. But this is very special material. If I lay it down, it stays in place. Compare it with toothpaste or mayonnaise – it does not lose form.”
He added: “A lot has been done to investigate how the material behaves and how it will behave if it forms a real construction. So this step, from the laboratory to something that is used in practice, is very beautiful, but also stressful.”
In December, the city of Alcobendas in Spain unveiled a 3D-printed pedestrian bridge.
3ders.org reports that the 12m by 1.75 bridge comprises eight separate pieces and thanks to recycling raw materials during the manufacturing process, as well as the overall sustainability of 3D printing, it incurred virtually no economic cost to the city.