Madrid’s Alcobendas city houses first ever 3D printed pedestrian bridge in the world

by Shilpa Chatterjee

Madrid’s Alcobendas city now houses the first ever 3D printed/constructed pedestrian bridge that’s 12 meters long and 1.75 meters wide, in Castilla-La Mancha – an urban public park. The unique footbridge is the work of a talented design team comprising Alexandre Dubor, Areti Markopoulou and Rodrigo Aguirre, belonging to the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC).

This project that ‘reflects the complexities of the forms of nature’, aims to prove that 3D printing to develop outdoor structures has now become a reality. It has been developed through parametric design, an approach that enables the optimization of materials distribution and minimizes waste by recycling the raw material during the manufacturing process. Further, the computation design is such that it facilitates optimization of structural performance. This is made possible because it discards the micro-reinforced concrete only where required, with complete freedom of forms, and at the same time also leverages generative algorithms to preserve the porosity, thereby challenging traditional construction techniques.