Written by Reuters
12 Jan, 2019 | 3:25 pm
Reuters – China’s first bridge made by three-dimensional (3D) printers was set up over water in Putuo District in Shanghai on Friday. It took designers over six months to chart the grotesque bridge, but only 35 days to mold the S-shaped metal-gilded bridge at one stretch by means of 3D printing technology.
“If we use traditional techniques, you may not be able to imagine how difficult to build a bridge according to the design paper. So we depended on the 3D design and printing technology to perfectly embody the designers’ ideas,” said Zhu Xiangming, chief engineer of the bridge project from Shanghai Construction Group (SCG).
Different from traditional bridges, this one, with 15.25m in length, 3.8m in width and 1.2m in height, was made from resin and fiberglass rather than concrete and steel. However, it holds great weight capacity, safe enough for pedestrians.
After the bridge is put into use, it is expected to inspire more architects to apply the 3D printing in the building field.
“We can image shaping a whole building by the 3D printers. If the materials used for the 3D printing gets close to the usual materials in traditional buildings, there will be a large space for imagination,” said Xu Zheng, chairman of the board of the SCG.
The bridge can be repaired by replacing components and serve for 30 years. The local authorities also plan to build a huger bridge above the Suzhou River by the 3D printing technology in the future, making it a new landmark of Shanghai.
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