Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.

On July 19th 2021, the ETH Zurich university of Switzerland unveiled a 12-by-16-metre 3D printed concrete bridge in Venice, Italy. (ETH is short for Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.) Named Striatus, it was built by the university’s Block Research Group of architects and engineers in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects of London. In addition, the concrete used to build it was developed in collaboration with concrete 3D printing specialists Incremental3D of Innsbruck, Austria and constructional materials manufacturer Holcim of Zug, Switzerland.

Taking 35 days to build, the bridge was constructed from 53 3D printed concrete blocks. With neoprene pads placed between the blocks during assembly, no adhesives of any sort were used during construction. Furthermore, ETH Zurich proclaimed that the bridge did not need to be built with any mortar or steel reinforcement, ergo its constituent blocks could be dismantled such that the bridge could be reassembled elsewhere. The bridge is intended to remain on display until November 2021; it is unknown what is intended to happen to it afterwards.

The first ever 3D printed bridge was installed in Alcobendas, Spain by the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in December 2016. However, the concept of 3D printed bridges goes back at least as far as June 2015, with the MX3D Bridge project of MX3D of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (MX3D is a self-appointed “developed the first dedicated Robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) software to enable end-to-end, large-scale 3D metal printing” company.) In mid-July 2021, the 12-metre-long, 4,500kg steel bridge was installed in Amsterdam, more than 6 years after the project was first announced and having undergone multiple design changes.

3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.

Disclaimer: Featured image of “Dankvart Dreyer, Broen over Kirkegårdsåen i Assens, 1842, KMS1690, Statens Museum for Kunst” has been dedicated to the public domain by its author under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.