The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Last Tuesday, October 17th, the Netherlands inaugurated the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists. The bridge, which crosses a canalized river in the southeastern town of Gemert, is made of 800 layers of reinforced, pre-stressed concrete with a steel cable running through it to handle tensile stress. Constructed in Eindhoven by the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Dutch construction company BAM, it is 8 meters long by 3.5 meters wide and it took around three months to put together, while its life cycle is estimated at 30 years at least. “The bridge is not very big, but it was rolled out by a printer, which makes it unique,” Theo Salet, from the Eindhoven University of Technology. The new bridge is part of the Noord-Om project, a new section of ring road around the village of Gemert linking the existing routes N605 and N272, and hundreds of cyclists are expected to ride over it every day.