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The longest 3D printed bridge in the World

Inaugurated at Shanghai, the biggest pedestrian bridge created with a 3D printer, with a workload able of helding up to a hundred of people! 

Talking nowadays about printing our entire world with a 3D printer is just something not that unusual. This amazing cutting edge technology is showing its unlimited capabilities around the world, as it witnesses this bridge 3D printed in concrete at Shanghai. With its 86,28 ft long and 8,5 ft width, it is the longest of the world and is able to withstand one hundred of people.

Puente impreso 3D
Tsinghua University


The design is a tribute to the chinese architecture, inspired by the ancient Zhaozhou bridge, the oldest in the country, builded in the 605 year after Christ.

How was the longest 3D printed bridge in the world built?

Building the Zhaozhou bridge took a decade, while the team of Professor Xu Weiguo from University of Tsinghua, in charge of the construction, took 450 hours of printing work and refining details. That means they took about 19 days to get it all done.

Designing process implies an scaled 1:4 production model, in order to evaluate viability and scheme dimensions, assuring the structure was able for bearing pedestrians in the whole surface.

Modelo Puente Impreso 3D
Tsinghua University


The one arc structure was created with an specific software for 3D printing developed by the head of the team. Professor Xu Weiguo himself accomplish this by integrating digital design, cost reducing tools, cutting edge intelligent and dynamic architecture.

Material Puente 3D impreso
Tsinghua University


The foundations are made of 44 3D printed concrete units, and sides are made of 68 individual slabs, thinner and located one by one by a mechanic robot arm.

Moreover, this bridge has a monitoring system with many sensors to detect vibrations and tension whenever there is an overload in real time.

During the presentation conference, Prf. Xu team declare the bridge cost reached only two-thirds parts of what it would normally takes for a regular bridge construction, saving on the material used amount, engineering and operaries.

Puente 3D Impresión
Tsinghua University


The research team recognize there’s still a long pad to walk on the 3D printing construction, because even when a lot of companies are addressing investments on new building technology, this is not being used.
Prf. Xu Weigo’s plan is to keep moving forward into research in getting a digital architecture design and robots able to run printing routes and capable of keeping an operative system integration.

Proceedings: Tsinghua University


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