Chinese city uses 3D printing to build bridge railings

Photo: 3D Printing World.Photo: 3D Printing World.

A well-traveled bridge in Nanjing, China, recently had its unstable railings replaced with 3D-printed bridge railings constructed by Nanjing Jiayi Precision Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd., 3D reports. According to Li Jin, chairman of the company, using traditional methods to replace the railings would have taken at least a month, but 3D printing technology allowed the railings to be completed in just two weeks and was cheaper.

The 3D printed railings are attractive, strong, and safe, and are said to be two to three times stronger than traditional concrete bridge railings. Li Jin told the news agency that his company uses a combination of raw materials to produce the railings and other structures, showing that, when done right with the right materials, 3D technology can outperform traditional manufacturing methods in terms of strength.

3D-printed bridges are being built in Madrid and Amsterdam, and a pair of 3D bridges are being printed using plastic in China. A large-scale 3D-printed bridge capable of supporting highway traffic has not yet been built, but if companies continue to produce strong structures using 3D printing methods, it may not be long before one is built.