River Wall Among Largest 3D-Printed Structures
In the Jiangsu region of China, west of Shanghai, 3D printing company WinSun recently completed one of the largest 3D-printed structures in the world to date: a 1,640-foot-long river protection wall—an endeavor that eclipses the two-story, printed administrative building for a Dubai agency earlier this year.
The completed structure, located in the city of Suzhou, is among the first 3D-printed river revetment walls.
3D-Printed River Revetment Wall
According to the company, river repair projects in recent years have often required materials such as prefabricated bricks for the construction of projects like dams. These projects are often known for being expensive and complicated to build.
Revetments, normally shaped as a sloping structure, are put in place in areas like banks in order to absorb the energy of incoming water. Structurally, the wall is composed of 3D-printed modules that act as protection against river currents, as well as erosion. The wall, by extension, will also help prevent the shoreline from collapsing from rising water levels.
WinSun’s riverbank project follows the general form of the waterway shore, which also contributes to the protection of the local environment, as well as flora and fauna. The company’s design features modules that are placed above the riverbank, which provide space for plant growth. According to the company, the slope protection is trapezoidal, as well as stable. The ecological hollow space can also accommodate aquatic life.
The company writes that its "revetment wall can be changed and customized to any shoreline ecological requirements. 3D printing technology changes the shoreline to maintain the static beauty of its past ‘smooth and straight direction.’ We have every reason to believe that in the near future, waterfront scenes will be spectacular sights for everyone.”
WinSun Decoration Design Engineering, based in Shanghai, uses a certain kind of “ink” in its projects—a proprietary mixture of steel, sand, cement, fiberglass, hardening agents and recycled materials.