China's first 3D printed bridge to be ready in Shanghai by year's end

China Plus

03:25, December 01, 2018(GTM +8)

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The conceptual design of the 3D-printed bridge. (Photo: China Plus)

By the end of the year, a 3D-printed bridge will be put to use in China for the first time.

Different from traditional bridges, its novel design doesn't use reinforced concrete. It is made of resin designed to weather rain and sun for an extended period, and that's durable enough to meet national construction industry standards. If parts of the bridge become damaged, they can be repaired separately.

The 15-meter-long footbridge in Shanghai will take 35 days to build, and will have service life of up to 30 years, according to its chief architect. The complex curved surfaces of the bridge can only be achieved using 3D printing technology. Based on laboratory testing, it can bear a load of 250 kilograms per square meter.

This isn't the first time that a 3D-printed bridge had been made in China. In July last year, Tongji University in Shanghai made the world's first two 3D-printed pedestrian bridges. But that pair of bridges was only build as a demonstration, and not for actual use.

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