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The world’s largest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge

The world’s largest 3D printed concrete pedestrian bridge, designed by Professor Xu Weiguo from the Tsinghua University, was completed in Shanghai.

The bridge is 26.3 metres long, single arch structure and was inspired by the ancient Anji Bridge in Zhaoxian in China. The bridge was printed using a 3D printing concrete system developed by Professor Weiguo’s team. Th bridge’s handrails have a wavy pattern on the side, making the bridge look like draped fabric.

The bridge is constructed of 44 hollow 3D printed concrete units, and the handrails consist of 68 units. The components are made from a composite material, containing polyethylene fibre concrete to match the structural performance of conventional materials.

Each component was printed by two robotic arms, taking 450 hours in total. The method saves about 33 per cent of material compared to conventional construction techniques, thanks to the elimination of templates and reinforcing bars.

A real-time monitoring system built into the bridge provides data on vibrating wire stresses and strains. The results will be used for research into the performance of concrete materials and 3D printed components.

Photos: Xu Weiguo (via Archdaily)