Among the many interesting things 3D printing can make, (from prosthetics to houses) you must now include a pedestrian bridge. Royal HaskoningDHV, CEAD and DSM announced that they have designed the first lightweight 3D printed FRP pedestrian bridge prototype using a composite material.
The material is a glass filled thermoplastic PET (Arnite) and is combined with continuous glass fibers that are added in the 3D printing process. This combination offers high strength with versatility and sustainability.
To build a 3D printed bridge Royal HaskoningDHV, an international engineering and project management consultancy, partnered with DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living and pioneer in 3D printing materials, and CEAD, supplier of 3D printing equipment on the frontier of large scale composite additive manufacturing.
Maurice Kardas, Business Development Manager at Royal HaskoningDHV commented: “What’s new here is the use of a new 3D printing technology, enabling us to print large scale continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic parts.
The designers included sensors in the bridge, enabling them to build a bridge digital twin. The sensors will help predict and optimize maintenance, ensure safety and extend the life span of the bridge. The sensors will also monitor environmental aspects and deliver dynamic real-time reports on the condition of the bridge.
The combination of the companies’ generative design and predictive modelling expertise enabled a more efficient bridge design that uses only the precise amount of material required.
Patrick Duis, Segment Leader Additive Manufacturing at DSM added: “Using a material such as Arnite has huge benefits for the construction of bridges. Rather than using traditional materials such as steel or concrete, these bridges can be more sustainable and offer greater flexibility in design using recyclable materials.”