World's Largest Plastic 3D Printer Unveiled
Additive manufacturing has many advantages for a variety of sectors, such as the medical, architectural, and musical industries. This technology is becoming a great asset to the construction sector. It is used by researchers and engineers to carry out different experiments.
3D printing is a useful technique for building designs efficiently. With a 3D model, the project can be modified with 3D modeling software for as long as necessary. In order to create architectural features or urban structures, a large 3D printer is required. In order to obtain strong structures such as bridges, the construction must have many layers and often be strengthened. However, it depends on the materials used. The various materials can be used for the construction of large-scale bridges with concrete or 3D plastic or steel.
A smart city in Shanghai unveiled the first 3D footbridge in China, a 15-meter long structure crossing a small lake in a park. The bridge is positioned in the Taopu Smart City complex in the Putuo district and is robust enough to hold four adults per square meter in weight. The footbridge printed 3D printer was created by Coin Robotic and Shanghai Machinery Construction Group. The bridge is made up of plastic, and Polymaker supplied acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) or plastic filament combined with glass fiber for manufacturing. It has chosen ASA because it is weather-resistant, hard, thermal, and chemical resistant. The fiberglass reduced the warping effect of 3D printing, which can be seen in the production of large prints. It also added strength to the bridge, which is expected by the engineers for 30 years. It took 450 hours to print the 3.8 meters wide, 1.2 meters deep and approximately 5,800 kg plastic bridge. The printer used is the largest 3D plastic printer in the world.
Additive manufacturing technique could completely change the construction processes in the upcoming years and could be useful in different situations. Stainless steel or concrete reinforced bridges created by 3D printing could become increasingly common in the future.