Royal Has Conninderf DHV, Polymer Company Desman and Composite 3D Printer Company CEAD cooperated in the construction of a pedestrian bridge. CEAD, based in Delft, Netherlands, is planning to commercialize a large-scale continuous optical fiber 3D printing process. Their CFAM printing process can produce glass fiber or carbon fiber reinforced components with a size of 4 x 2 x 1.5 meters. Combining the design freedom of the 3D printer with these materials, it can provide a new way for the construction of bridges and other building parts.
In the past few years, we have heard a lot about concrete printing. Nowadays, large-scale polymer printers have been used as templates, and designers use printers to make large parts for tunnels and other structures. CEAD and BAAM systems directly experimented on the structural components. This pedestrian bridge is the first polymer 3D printing bridge.
The combination of polymers and continuous fibers can produce rigid structures of light weight and high strength, which may be too fragile for Bridge Applications in some cases. In the past, many 3D printing buildings often faced failure when contacting components, especially things like freezing temperature.
Maurice Kardas, Business Development Manager of Royal Hasconing, said, "This collaboration will bring about a shift in the way we think about the form and function of bridges. Compared with steel bridges, fiber reinforced plastic bridges are known for their long life and low total cost. Now we will use the new 3D printing technology to mass produce fiber reinforced plastic parts. By adding sensors to the bridge, we can become "digital twins" of the bridge itself. These sensors can predict and optimize maintenance, ensure safety and extend the service life of bridges. "
Patric Duis, head of the DSM division of the additive manufacturer, said, "The use of Arnite has significant advantages in bridge construction. Instead of traditional materials such as steel and concrete, we can make more environmentally friendly bridges by using more flexible designs and recyclable materials. Previous designs were challenging or even impossible... Now they can be designed with a 3D printer.
Concrete is a huge pollutant. It will be a great development to see bridges made of recyclable materials or recyclable bridges. Arnite is a hard PBT or PET material, especially in its PET form, which may be ideal. However, the composite material itself is difficult to recycle.
Teams must prove that these complex materials can actually be turned into useful recyclables. Researchers are facing the challenge of transforming complex conforming materials into recyclable materials. Today, smart manufacturers are turning to the use of natural fibers to make composite materials, thus achieving simple and sustainable use of composite materials.
A printing method of CEAD is suitable for the manufacture of molten particles. Many large-scale 3D printing technologies are particle-based, because it reduces the cost of components, and the use of polymer templates or structures is an ideal solution.
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