Longest 3D-printed bridge of the world

The world’s longest 3D printed pedestrian bridge has been constructed in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. The project was an initiative of Rijkswaterstaat; the design came from Michiel van der Kley. The Eindhoven University of Technology was involved as a knowledge partner, with BAM, Dywidag, Weber Beamix, Summum Engineering and Witteveen+Bos involved as industry partners.

Witteveen+Bos was responsible for the structural design and analysis of the bridge, supported by a complex parametric model from Summum Engineering. ‘3D printing offers greater design freedom, but it also brings new challenges,’ explained Steven Delfgaauw of Witteveen+Bos. ‘How do you approach structural safety and how do you perform calculations with these kinds of shapes? And what input is needed for the 3D printer? The form-free designs have to be ‘rationalised’, which is possible with the help of a parametric model. Using that model’s output, Witteveen+Bos analysed the complex shape of the structure. The results of the parametric model were also directly used as input for the 3D printer.’

The entire bridge was printed at a 3D print factory, a collaboration between BAM and Weber Beamix.

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