3D-printing has conquered everything from rad collectibles and home tech to micro homes to offices. And now, over in Madrid, Spain, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) has a new 3D-printing “first” to share: a functional footbridge spanning about five-and-a-half feet wide and 40 feet long, installed in a local park.
About that finished product? This tweet puts it nicely.
world’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge looks like the world’s first 3D-printed pedestrian bridge pic.twitter.com/4OCBhMyHOV— andrew liszewski (@aliszewski) January 23, 2017
As much as the result looks like something that has been drawn on a computer and then blown up to full scale in real life—which is the big-picture story here—the nitty-gritty of the design process is way more rigorous. Created with parametric design, the bridge optimizes material distribution to minimize waste and recycle more raw materials. It also only uses micro-reinforced concrete at the most critical spots. A closer look, below.