The Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia has designed the first 3D printed bridge in the world.
The extraordinary creation, which resides in a park in Madrid, is 12 metres long and 1.75 metres wide. The bridge is the brainchild of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), a Barcelona-based research and education center that worked with a contingent of architects, mechanical and structural engineers, and municipal representatives to bring the design to life.
The 3D printed bridge, which reflects the complexities of nature's forms, was developed through parametric design, which allows to optimize the distribution of materials and minimize the amount of waste by recycling the raw material during manufacture. The computational design also allows to maximize the structural performance, being able to dispose the material only where it is needed, with total freedom of forms, maintaining the porosity thanks to the application of generative algorithms and challenging the traditional techniques of construction.
In addition, the design responds to the challenges posed by the legislation, being implemented in a public space: anyone can now cross the bridge, which will be installed in Alcobendas as an urban infrastructure integrated in the park.
The executive project, led by ACCIONA, was developed by a multidisciplinary team of architects, mechanical engineers, structural engineers and representatives of the municipal administration, among them Enrico Dini, an expert inventor of large-scale 3D manufacturing and IAAC collaborator.