unm 3d bridgesStudents in The University of New Mexico Department of Civil Engineering designed and built a railroad bridge this semester, which may not seem like an unusual feat for these students. But, this group of budding engineers did it a little differently – with the aid of 3D printing. Students in Fernando Moreu’s Civil Engineering 410 (structural design for non-structural engineers) course were tasked with designing a bridge using the typical method of calculating load, stress, materials and other details, then putting them into blueprint form.

But, instead of just putting them on paper or in a software program, they were assigned to take it a step further and actually put their designs into a 3D printer to build a miniature bridge to their specifications. Moreu said the idea of using 3D printing in a classroom setting is very new. He got the idea to incorporate it into his class from a book he recently read called “Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. Read More