Bicycle bridge, Gemert
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In the Dutch town of Gemert, a small 26-foot-long bike bridge spans a canal. What makes this unassuming bridge unique is that it was 3D-printed using reinforced concrete. The Eindhoven University of Technology and BAM Infra construction company collaborated to create the bridge, which utilized 800 layers of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete. This method is more resource-efficient than traditional mold-based techniques. The bridge can support up to 2.2 tons and is intended for use by pedestrians and cyclists. Given the high number of cyclists in the Netherlands, the bridge is expected to see frequent use.
The 3D-printing process involved the use of a special mortar provided by 3D.Weber, which marked the official launch of the company’s concrete printing factory. This project was a significant achievement in 3D-printed construction and has paved the way for further exploration of efficient and sustainable 3D-printed construction methods.
The world’s first 3D-printed bicycle bridge was put into operation in 2017 as part of a new ring road around the town of Gemert. The structural design and engineering of the bridge was carried out by Witteveen+Bos, while Eindhoven University of Technology printed the bridge and BAM Infra assembled and installed it. The 3D-concrete printing process is an innovative and promising method that requires fewer construction materials and eliminates the need for formwork, reducing waste and conserving scarce resources. The cycling bridge is a world first, and the technology has immense potential for other applications in construction projects. This sustainable construction method aligns with the principles of ‘Circular design’ and ‘Trias Energetica’ by reducing CO2 emissions and material usage.
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