A town called Gemert in the Netherlands just became home to the first 3D-printed cycling bridge ever. It took its creators at Eindhoven University three months and 800 layers to complete the 26-foot-long bridge, but now it's open and ready to support hundreds of cyclists a day. The researchers had to develop a new 3D printing technique that uses steel reinforcement cables to create pre-stressed concrete. Once they were done laying out all its layers, they tested the bridge by placing a five-ton weight on top of it. Their efforts paid off: while they'll surely improve the method even more, they believe they're now capable of using the technique to build even bigger structures.
Printing out concrete has a number of advantages over typical techniques. To start with, it can form any shape, since it's not limited by molds. Further, anything made using the method might be finished a lot quicker, since it doesn't require the construction of formware structures to give shape to concrete.
Read the full story at engadget.com.
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