China Inaugurates 3D-Printed Concrete Bridge

Image: People's Daily

TIANJIN (Xinhua) — A 3D-printed concrete bridge modeled on a 1,400-year-old stone arch bridge has been unveiled in northern China’s Tianjin Municipality.

Around half the size of the Zhaozhou Bridge, the world’s oldest open-spandrel segmental stone arch bridge, the 3D-printed structure was created by a research team led by Professor Ma Guowei from the Hebei University of Technology.

The new bridge, around 28.1 meters long, was formed by 3D-printed concrete and was installed on the university’s campus.

The Zhaozhou Bridge, also known as Anji Bridge, stands over the Xiaohe River in Zhaoxian County, northern China’s Hebei Province. It was built in the Sui Dynasty (581-618).

“We used special concrete materials and a self-developed 3D printing device. Compared with traditional engineering, 3D concrete printing technology can save around one-third of construction materials and two thirds of human labor,” Ma said.

He said the technology can also be applied in ancient building protection and restoration.