The finished bridge has just been unveiled in Shanghai. The 3D printer was built by Shenyang Machine Group and the extruder system was manufactured by Coin Robotic. Polymaker Industrial developed the ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate) plastic for the print, a material chosen for its favorable properties of weather and chemical resistance, thermal stability, and toughness. To determine the best plastic for the job, Polymaker 3D printed a 5m version of the bridge with several different compounds before choosing AS100GF for its overall strength and printability. The bridge is rated to hold 13 tons or four people per square meter, so strength is important.
Watch plastic footbridge being printed in China
Materials company Polymaker has released footage of Shanghai Construction Group's 3D printer in the process of producing a 15m-long pedestrian footbridge, which took 30 days to complete and weighs 5,800kg.