The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
A couple years ago, Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, announced their intentions to print the first pedestrian bridge out of steel. That steel bridge has yet to finish and is hoping to be unveiled in June of 2018.
Most recently, a team of researchers from TU Eindhoven and construction group BAM infrastructure, joined forces to print a 26 foot long (8m) bicycle bridge in the Dutch province of Brabant. It took around 3 months for robots to print the concrete structures, which were placed in 800 layers, pre-stressed, and reinforced, according to dezeen.
The team is referring to the bridge as the "world's first 3D printed reinforced, pre-stressed concrete bridge". There was another bridge that opened in Spain in December of last year, which claims to be the first 3D printed bridge, but it's not clear if that was pre-stressed or not.
The concrete sections were printed offsite by the robots and later secured together, transported to the site, and installed under human power. Since using robots clearly doesn’t speed up the construction process yet, one benefit of printing the concrete is the ability to give it an extremely unique design, allowing less waste and making it more sustainable.
You can check out the 3D printing process in the video below, uploaded to Youtube by New Civil Engineer. Unfortunately, we English speakers will need to rely on the subtitles for the dialogue.
Full story: "World's first" 3D-printed concrete bridge opens in the Netherlands | Dezeen
Tracking your construction project’s submittals and their approval status can be a tedious and frustrating process, but thankfully several project management applications are helping solve that issue with technology. At the beginning of this year, PlanGrid announced the release of an automatic submittal log creator tool, which scans through your project’s specification book and creates a trackable log of each submittal. The company has recently added several new features to make the Submittal platform, which allows users to manipulate the submittal log, even more useful.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.
We’ve heard a lot of promising developments on construction technologies in the past few years, many of which will not only make the industry more efficient, but create a much higher quality product. Testing this technology inside of a controlled facility, however, doesn’t quite paint an entire picture for how the product will perform on a constantly evolving jobsite.
[sponsored] Construction daily reports are necessary for project management and tracking. The need to keep accurate and complete reports has caused the industry to evolve their process from pen and paper to spreadsheet software and now into simple to use mobile apps and software. This has greatly improved the way that daily reports are created, stored, and shared.
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Just over a year ago, DeWalt announced that it was expanding its reach in construction technology with the release of Construction Site WiFi System. As mobile applications for construction tasks, like daily reporting and plan review, become more and more popular, it’s becoming increasingly important for contractors to ensure there is adequate internet connection on the jobsite. Managing that connection on an often changing construction site can prove to be a bit of a challenge.
PlanGrid users who have been wanting the ability to add additional documents to their field reports within the platform now have the ability to do so with a recent update.