First 3D Printed Bridge Created In Madrid

The wonders of 3D printing seem to be endless at the moment and the practicalities of 3D printing in construction are beginning to be realised. In December 2016 the first 3D printed bridge for pedestrians in the world was completed and inaugurated in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid.

The bridge was architecturally designed by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), showing how 3D printing can be pioneering in ways once thought impossible. The bridge itself has a total length of 12 meters along with a width of 1.75 meters and was printed using micro-reinforced concrete.

In its press release, IAAC heralded the 3D printed footbridge as a ‘milestone for the construction sector at international level’ and cited that ‘this technology has not been applied in the field of civil engineering’. The 3D printed bridge was developed and made a reality thanks the use of parametric design, a process which helps to collate and minimise many of the materials used during distribution. To cut down on waste materials, much of the raw material was recycled in the manufacturing process also.

 

The Design Process

A great deal of effort is always made to ensure the reliability and structural strength that is often required with an ambitious project such as this, which is why the bridge was designed and analysed using advanced computer software. This integral planning meant that the material that the bridge consists of is completely porous and will be able to withstand rainy weather conditions throughout the year.

The design process used means that the 3D printed bridge complies with local legislation regarding its placement into a public space, meaning that many residents are now able to use the bridge which will be installed in the urban park of Castilla-La Manchas in the city of Alcobendas.

 

This revolutionary project was lead by a number of experienced architects, mechanical engineers, structural engineers and other team members belonging to the construction company, ACCIONA, and is the first instance of a brand new additive manufacturing technique that IAAC has tried to bring to the architectural world for more than 15 years.

 

Resources: 

The Institute For Advanced Architecture Of Catalonia Designs The First 3D Printed Bridge In The World – https://iaac.net/institute-advanced-architecture-catalonia-designs-first-3d-printed-bridge-world/

Sam Rose