07 September 2017

Across The Canal In 3D

The Dutch ride bicycles more than just about any other  people in this world.

Their capital, Amsterdam, has more than one hundred kilometers of canals and about 90 islands.  So, perhaps, it's not surprising that the city has about 1500 bridges--or that some of those bridges are devoted to bicycles.

As an American, it's difficult for me to imagine any city in this country even envisioning a bridge for bicycles.  Hey, some of our major bridges, such as the Verrazano-Narrows, don't even have pedestrian or bike paths!

As an American, it's interesting--though not surprising--to me that the Dutch are also among the world's leaders in applying advanced technology to everyday life, and their infrastructure.  

So, perhaps, it was inevitable that the first 3D printed bicycle bridge would be built in the Netherlands.

Yes, you read that right.  The Eindhoven-based construction company BAM has collaborated with the Technical University in that same city to create a structure that will be 8 meters (26 feet) long and 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) wide when it is set up in the nearby town of Gemert, where it has just been delivered.  

The bridge is constructed in eight one-meter segments which will be connected with a special concrete mortar.  Thus assembled, it will be built between two bridge heads and secured by cables.

Cyclists riding across Peelsche Loop in Gemert can 
expect to see the bridge in place by October, according to published reports.


  1. I guess we aren't considering the 1720 foot long Tilikum Crossing in Portland since it allows light rail, buses and emergency vehicles in add, however, in addition to bikes and pedestrians. The smaller, Gibbs Street Bridge (also in Portland) is only 700 feet long, has no provisions for anything other than bicycles and pedestrians. Neither of the bridges in Oregon were 3D printed. I'm not sure the Dutch would be so bold as to attempt even a 700 foot printed bridge, so we in the US still have a chance to lead the world! Perhaps Microsoft will consider a 3D printed MUP floating bridge across Lake Washington?

  2. Steve--We Americans are, if nothing else, dreamers. And DREAMers!