Large-scale 3D printed bridge
About Royal HaskoningDHV & DSM
For this project, three companies joined forces to break new ground: CEAD, international engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV, and DSM: an international company focussing on developing game-changing scientific science across multiple societal areas.
On a daily basis, Royal HaskoningDHV notices the pressure construction and structural engineering are under to cut costs, improve efficiency and reduce carbon footprint. Fiber-reinforced polymer bridges form a viable solution for this, as it’s known they have a longer lifetime expectancy and lower maintenance costs than steel bridges. However, the challenge here is being able to develop such a product fast, low-cost, and in a sustainable way.
The Pilot Project solution
To face this challenge, Royal HaskoningDHV partnered up with DSM and with us, to build a 3D printed bridge. We ran a pilot project and built a prototype, designed by Royal HaskoningDHV, of the bridge. The prototype of four meters long and 60 centimeters wide, was built with AM Flexbot: a modular robot-based solution for composite 3D printing.
DSM contributed the recyclable material to print the bridge: Arnite® AM8527 (G) fused granulate fabrication (FGF) material. According to Patrick Duis, Segment Leader at DSM, these bridges can be more sustainable and offer greater flexibility in design, using recyclable materials.
As a result, one of the first bridges in the world is built in this sustainable, cost-effective, and time-efficient way. During the development, only the needed amount of material is used which reduces waste, the need for stock, and transport costs. Moreover, because of the fast construction process of 3D printing, this project shows the time to market can be improved tremendously: the construction time is speeded up by weeks.