In anticipation of the 2024 Olympic Games, Plaine Commune Grand Paris has awarded the Freyssinet / Lavigne & Cheron Architects / Quadric / XtreeE / LafargeHolcim consortium the design-build of a 40-meter pedestrian footbridge in Paris whose deck will be entirely made of 3D printed structural concrete.
This project, which combines complementary technical expertise, paves the way for the realization of complex architectural and structural 3D printed concrete elements and for the development of customized solutions, with controlled costs and deadlines.
For the first project of this magnitude – at least as far as footbridges are concerned – leveragin 3D structural concrete printing, construction enters into the era of industrialization 4.0. The digital design of the structure, the production in industrial conditions of footbridge components and their rapid assembly on-site bring agility and frugality: less transport, no need for formwork, less material consumed (target of a 60% reduction in concrete consumption compared to conventional structures) and greater freedom of form for architects.
This project will be the forerunner of a new infrastructure typology, which can be declined in France and around the world, and further validates the 3D printing technology developed by XtreeE.
Founded in the 2010s, XTreeE sprouted from a research project, named DEMOCRITE, between the Paris-Malaquais School of Architecture, the Arts et Métiers ParisTech engineering school, the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, INRIA Sophia Antipolis and the École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle-Les Ateliers. The company is made of engineers, architects, automation specialists and programmers who share a common vision of the future of construction and a worldwide network of connected 3D printing units.
The firm’s R&D and prototyping centre is located at Rungis, a cluster in Grand Paris. It systems are currently operational at Ecole des Ponts ParisTech (Marne la Vallée, France) and in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), together with partner Concreative. Two other 3D printing units will be launched at the end of 2020 in Japan and the United States.