Work starts on 3D printed cycle bridge in Gemert

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On Friday 16 June 2017, the first part of the world’s first 3D printed concrete bridge was produced in a laboratory at Eindhoven University of Technology. The bridge, intended for cyclists, will be erected later this year as part of a larger infrastructural project which involves laying a new bypass around Gemert in North Brabant. Printing concrete in this way is a new and innovative production method which not only reduces the materials requirement but does away with the need for formwork. There is significantly less waste and far less reliance on increasingly scarce raw materials. Witteveen+Bos was responsible for the structural design and engineering for the bridge.

The project involves a number of partners, including BAM Infra, the Province of Noord-Brabant, the Municipality of Gemert-Bakel, Eindhoven University of Technology, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix B.V., Dywidag Systems International BV, Verhoeven Timmerfabriek and NV Bekaert SA. The use of 3D printing technology allows the cross-section of the bridge to be optimized. Structural integrity is provided by a pre-stressed framework. The approach reveals interesting opportunities for the use of 3D concrete printing in construction projects. The bridge concept was tested using a 1:2 scale model.

Witteveen+Bos is currently involved in several projects which involve 3D printing in concrete. Theo Salet is the leader of the Buildings PMC at Witteveen+Bos and is also professor of Structural Design (Concrete Structures) at Eindhoven University of Technology. He has conducted extensive research into this new technology with a view to furthering its development. Witteveen+Bos regards 3D printing as a promising way of achieving its Sustainability Development Objectives (which are based on those of the United Nations) by virtue of its efficiency, effectiveness, reduced materials requirement and smaller carbon footprint.

+ Listen to an interview with Prof. Theo Salet here. (In Dutch)