Three-dimensional printing technology has evolved to the point that it can now produce infrastructures and not just objects.
According to an episode of "Next Now," a footbridge in Venice, Italy and a concept store in Dubai, United Emirates are among the latest creations of 3D printing.
Dubbed as "Striatus," the footbridge is located at the Giardini della Marinaressa public park. It was designed by the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich and Zaha Hadida Architects.
"This precise method of 3D concrete printing allows us to combine the principles of traditional vaulted construction with digital concrete to use the material only where it is structurally necessary without producing waste," said Philippe Block, Co-Director of Block Research Group at ETH Zurich.
The arched bridge, which measures 12 meters by 16 meters, is freestanding and assembled like Lego. It can be dismantled and erected in another location.
Each block is digitally printed and used 500 layers of concrete. The printing took 84 hours using the 3D concrete printer, Incremental3D. No mortar or any other form of binders was used and the structure is stable because of its geometry and gravity.
Meanwhile, the concept store in Dubai was created by Italian manufacturer World's Advanced Savings Project (WASP) in collaboration with luxury fashion brand Dior.
Two circular structures were built using natural materials such as clay, sand, and raw fibers processed using WASP's 3D printing system. They were erected in Jumeirah beach and cover a total surface area of 80 meters.
According to Francesca Moretti, WASP's Communication Team Manager, the structures were made from two half-moons assembled together. Dior's iconic pattern is also printed on the walls.
"It was really challenging to print this pattern for Dior. It's a signature of the brand and to transport it on the wall is not easy in terms of coding," Moretti said.
The collaboration with Dior allowed WASP, which aims to create eco-housing from natural materials, to design a habitable structure in a sizable proportion for the first time.
The Striatus Bridge was exhibited as part of the Venice Architecture Biennale until November 2021. The Dior concept store in Dubai, meanwhile, will remain open until March 2022.
—MGP, GMA News