Large-scale 3D printing is a growing trend, with architecture benefiting a great deal from the technology. They’ve already printed perfectly habitable houses, metal bridges, and NASA’s even talking about 3D printing structures on the Moon. Now, the oldest city in the Netherlands flaunts its longest concrete bicycle bridge in the world, also made with a 3D printer.
The Dutch city of Nijmegen might be the oldest one in the country but that didn’t stop it from using some of the most modern technologies available to mankind. With a great deal of help from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, the concrete 3D-printed bridge was finally finished and officially inaugurated a few days ago.
It is located in the De Geologenstrook park and had to be printed layer by layer in a concrete printing factory. It was designed by Michiel van der Kley, and constructed by BAM and Weber Beamix.
The bridge has a length of over 95 ft (29 meters) and it is now the world’s longest concrete 3D-printed bridge, stealing the title from the 86-ft (26.2 m) concrete bridge of the Tsinghua University in Shanghai, according to 3D Printing Industry.
In order to make the job easier, the bridge in Nijmegen was divided into several printable parts, even though printed bridges take less time to be built anyway, compared to traditional ones. Less concrete is required because the printer only adds material where it actually supports the construction, and the entire process is more flexible, giving you more freedom in design.
The 3D-printed concrete bridge in Nijmegen is not the only special one in the Netherlands. Earlier this summer we also wrote a piece on another “world’s first”, namely the world’s first 3D-printed stainless-steel bridge in Amsterdam. It is 40-ft (12 m) long and 20-ft (6.3 m) wide, weighing more than 13,000 pounds (6,000 kg), and it’s located in the Red Light District.
3D printing is also used for building entire homes, with the housing development in East Austin, Texas, or the TECLA eco-home in Italy being just a few examples.