3D Printing

Get over it: Madrid gets world's first 3D-printed footbridge

Get over it: Madrid gets world...
The world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge sits in an urban park south of Madrid
The world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge sits in an urban park south of Madrid
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The world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge sits in an urban park south of Madrid
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The world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge sits in an urban park south of Madrid
The 3D-printed bridge is constructed out of a fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene
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The 3D-printed bridge is constructed out of a fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene
The 3D-printed bridge design
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The 3D-printed bridge design
The 3D-printed bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide
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The 3D-printed bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide
The 3D-printed bridge proves safe for the IAAC team
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The 3D-printed bridge proves safe for the IAAC team

The Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has designed the world's first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge. Installed in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid, and made up of eight separate 3D-printed parts, the bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide.

Developed in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers, the bridge is constructed out of a fused concrete powder micro-reinforced with thermoplastic polypropylene. Enrico Dini, a pioneer in giant 3D-printing techniques, was a principle collaborator with his D-Shape printer allowing for the creation of this novel structure.

The 3D-printed bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide
The 3D-printed bridge spans 40 ft (12 m) and measures 5.7 ft (1.75 m) wide

Large-scale 3D printing has become more widespread in recent years and many types of materials are currently being experimented with. A 3D-printed office building was constructed in Dubai in 2016 utilizing custom-built printers that exuded a cement mixture, while an Italian engineering company has been working on massive 3D printers that can build structures out of mud, clay or natural fibers.

Dutch printing firm, MX3D, is even planning on building a steel bridge across a canal in Amsterdam using an innovative robotic 3D-printing technology that allows structures to be created on-site, in mid-air.

The 3D-printed bridge design
The 3D-printed bridge design

The IAAC designers appear to have been inspired by the organic works of Spain's most well-known architect Antoni Gaudi, but the final product, which was inaugurated last month, does look a little like a styrofoam prop from a Lord of the Rings movie. It may not be the most elegant looking large-scale 3D-printed structure we've seen, but it is certainly one of the strangest and is likely to be a sign of things to come.

The video below shows the design of the bridge.

Source: IAAC via Inhabitat

First 3D Printed Bridge in the World - Design Render

5 comments
Bob
Couldn't they have added some color? Actually, compared to other things being constructed with 3D printers, this really isn't very impressive. 40 feet isn't that big. I would have expected more from architects and engineers. There are bigger Lego structures around. Is there something unique about the materials or the actual process that would make this an interesting story?
Bob Flint
What a waste of time and material...
ljaques
Once again, just because you can...doesn't mean you should.
WillieNAz
The thing that amazes me about this creation is how ugly it is. They could have included miniatures of some great works of art built into the structure but chose to make an ugly blob of connecting joints... WFH? The city of Tucson loves to spend millions on pretty foot bridges to nowhere, so if this printer can do it for $100,000, I'm sure Tucson won't be interested. It looks like a promising use for a 3D printer... only let someone with artistic abilities do the creating not some engineers without an eye for beauty.
Nik
I think most people will walk around it, rather than over it!