China's first 3D-printed concrete bookstore created in Shanghai
Published: Jan 22, 2021 01:31 AM

The 3D-printed concrete bookstore in the Wisdom Bay innovation park in Shanghai, on Thursday. Photo: Chen Xia/GT

A concrete bookstore under construction in Wisdom Bay innovation park in Shanghai will be the first 3D-printed bookstore in China, and it is due to open to the public at the end of January.

"The bookstore was printed on-site in three weeks,” He Yuting, who is responsible for this project, from Tsinghua University School of Architecture in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday. The printing work has finished and the bookstore will now be decorated, He said. 

Compared with simple works such as a 3D-printed flower basin, the bookstore is an innovative attempt in the architecture field, as the 3D-printed architecture is cheaper than conventional construction techniques and saves time, He said.

What makes this bookstore so unique, is that “we used fiber concrete to resist compression,” He said, noting that the floor also has a heating system.

He said the 3D-printed bookstore is as safe as traditional concrete construction based on their experimental data in terms of structure and earthquake resistance.

Model diagram of the 3D-printed concrete bookstore Photo: Courtesy of Wisdom Bay innovation park

With a floor area of about 30 square meters, the 3D-printed bookstore can accommodate 15 people inside at a time. The construction is composed of three parts – the main part outer round wall, the roof and the other part of the outside wall.

The outer round wall was printed in situ, and the other two parts were printed separately, He said.

So far, different teams in France, Switzerland and Russia all have similar research on 3D-printed concrete technology, but China’s research and achievements in this field are among the best in the world, according to He.

In the Wisdom Bay innovation park, there is also a 26.3-meter-long and 3.6-meter-wide 3D-printed bridge, the world’s largest 3D-printed concrete pedestrian bridge. 3D technology is being more widely used in medicine and autos as well as architecture and construction, Zhu Li, manager of Wisdom Bay innovation park and also a 3D tech expert, told the Global Times on Thursday.