World's first 3D-printed bridge

For the Noord-Om project – a new ring road in the Dutch town of Gemert – the world’s first 3D concrete printed bicycle bridge was constructed. Witteveen+Bos designed and engineered the bridge. The use of pre-tensioned printed elements was a unique development in the 3D concrete printing world, with the concept being fully lab tested under the guidance of Witteveen+Bos.

The project was initiated by general contractor BAM as part of a larger infrastructure project. The bridge, intended for bicycle traffic, crosses a small local canal in Gemert and is 6.5 m long and 3.5 m wide. It consists of 6 segments which were printed horizontally and rotated 90 degrees before being assembled using post-tensioned tendons that ensure the entire section remains compressed. The bridge’s elements were printed at the 3D concrete printing facility of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and then transported and assembled on site. TU/e performed extensive materials testing, including assembly mock-ups and a 1:2 scale 4-point bending test. It also provided extensive design support. An in situ test was performed on the bridge before it was approved and subsequently opened for general use on 17 October 2017.

Project partners

  • Client: Province of Noord-Brabant (the Netherlands);
  • General contractor, initiator: BAM Infra (the Netherlands);
  • Structural design and engineering: Witteveen+Bos (the Netherlands);
  • Research, print design and manufacture of printed elements: Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands);
  • Print mortar supply: Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix (the Netherlands);
  • Prestress system and application: Dywidag (the Netherlands);
  • Reinforcement cable supply: Bekaert NV (Belgium).

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