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Has Anybody Seen the (3D Printed) Bridge?

The city of Alcobendas Spain rolled out a 3D printed pedestrian bridge made of concrete.


As 3D printing catches on, we’ve seen some interesting (and weird stuff) be produced by this new medium. Bikinis, human organs, even tiny houses. Now a city in Spain has just unveiled what it claims is the first-ever 3D printed pedestrian bridge made entirely of concrete.

Alcobendas’ landmark structure measures 12 metres in length and 1.75 metres in width and is made up of eight separate pieces, according to an article appearing on Applying organic and biomimetic techniques, the walkway was designed by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and constructed by Acciona, a Spanish civil engineering company, the article said.

Touted as the first fully-executed large-scale civil engineering project involving 3D printing, the city claims a number of advantages by using 3D printing concrete as opposed to traditional methods. Specifically, the city was able to greatly reduce the amount of waste, resources, and energy typically associated with creating concrete structures, the article said. The team also cited the the freedom of building structural elements without molds and the ability to adapt structures to any shape as advantages of 3D printing concrete in large scale. Strength was another benefit cited.

Not the prettiest bridge, IMHO, but the sustainability aspects far outweigh the looks factor. And good to know it’s sturdy.

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