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
Whether you’re looking to begin using software for the first time or update your current system, here are some ways that software can help improve your company in 2018:
Picture documentation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a construction project. They can help communicate a story, catch mistakes, and assist in warranty calls. In the past, pictures only told part of the story, because they were two dimensional and often impossible to place where they were taken on the site. Now, 360 degree photos are becoming the norm and pictures are becoming an even more powerful tool.
By all accounts, Apple has become the operating system of choice for the construction industry. According to JBKnowledge’s latest Construction Technology Report, 70% of respondents stated that they used iOS devices in 2017, and iOS was also the most used system in 2015 and 2016. Procore, another tech company that’s a favorite for the industry, has just released a fully redesigned iOS app for both the iPhone and iPad.
Early in 2018, PlanGrid announced that they would be organizing their very first annual Construction Summit, which would unite PlanGrid users and stakeholders in the company’s home city, San Francisco. At the Summit, which took place on June 10 and 11, 2018, PlanGrid CEO Tracy Young and CTO Ralph Gootee chose to announce several major product innovations and developments.
Construction Junkie's 4th Annual Best Construction Podcast Competition has officially come to an end and the results have been tallied. It was a very exciting competition this year, with several very strong competitors pulling in tons of votes.
Tracking updates to construction software is uncharted territory for many contractors and very easy to miss. I’m going to be highlighting a lot more software updates and enhancements for several of the major project management and construction productivity software that many construction professionals are using in the future. Recently, PlanGrid announced 7 new updates that its users will most certainly find helpful.
Creating submittal logs and tracking forms can be a complete hassle, so thankfully tech companies have taken notice and have begun creating tools to alleviate the problem. Earlier this week, Procore announced the release of their new Submittal Builder tool, which will scan your project’s spec book and create a submittal log within minutes.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.