The single-arch structure was created using a 3D printing concrete system developed by Professor Xu Weiguo’s team, integrating digital design, cost efficiency, smart technology, and architectural dynamism. Enclosing the 3.6-meter width, the bridge’s handrails are shaped like flowing ribbons on the arch, creating a light, elegant movement across the Shanghai Wisdom Bay pond.
The bridge is constructed of 44 hollowed-out 3D printed concrete units, while the handrails are divided into 68 units. The bridge’s components have been printed from composite materials, containing polyethylene fiber concrete to match the structural performance of conventional materials.
The design process involved the construction of a 1:4 scale physical model of the bridge, built to demonstrate the scheme’s viability, and proving that the bridge could hold pedestrians crowding the entire surface. For the actual construction, concrete components for the bridge were printed by two robotic arms, over the course of 450 hours. The streamlined process is estimated to have produced savings of 33% when compared to a more conventional construction process – attributed mainly to the elimination of templates and reinforcing bars, according to information website ArchDaily.
The bridge was jointly built with the Shanghai Wisdom Bay Investment Management Company.
This is not the first 3D printed bridge ever built in China. Last December, a 15 m long 3D printed bridge made from resin and composite materials was open to pedestrians in Taopu Park in Shanghai. This bridge has benefited from 3D-printing technology developed by the State-owned Shanghai Construction Group.
Industries: Building and Civil Engineering