APPLICATION CONSTRUCTION

China’s Unveils its First 3D Printed Retractile Bridge

3D printed retractile bridge
Above: People pass by the 3D printed retractile bridge in Shanghai/Image Source: Yu Xi/GT

China unveiled its first 3D printed retractile bridge in Shanghai, paving the way for future attempts at retractile architecture using 3D printing technology.

The bridge is installed in Wisdom Bay, a park in Shanghai that fosters innovative firms. There are 36 triangle panels built though the 3D printing technology that run along the two sides of the bridge, each with a different design and image like ripples spreading outside.

3D Printed Retractile Bridge

Above: China’s first 3D printed retractile bridge in action/Video Source: Global Times/YouTube

The bridge is 9 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, and 1.1 meters tall, and it weighs only 850 kilograms. According to the Global Times, the 3D printed retractile bridge is divided into 9 retractile segments.

The bridge was made by the China-made manufacturing integrated machine. It took three days to complete the 3D printing of the 36 panels. The bridge is made of a type of material called carbonate polyester from a German firm, which is a kind of composite material that is environmentally friendly.

The operator can open the bridge via Bluetooth within one minute, and it can hold up to 20 people at a time, with a gravity automatic warning system, according to the designer.

As per the Global Times reporter, the retractile garden bridge can stretch out and draw back as a cylinder fluently. It was located on a small pool in JY Wisdom Bay, which is expected to officially open at the end of July. A staff member told the Global Times on Monday that the bridge will also officially open to the public at that time.

Earlier this year, China also unveiled its first 3D printed concrete bookstore built in Shanghai. It was built with a floor area of about 30 square meters, the 3D printed bookstore can accommodate 15 readers at a time.


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