Design of the Week: Golden Gate Bridge

A massive 3D printed replica of the Golden Gate Bridge

A massive 3D printed replica of the Golden Gate Bridge

This week’s selection is the massive Golden Gate Bridge model by Reddit contributor TheOrangeWolf. 

The print is a complete scale model of the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, designed by TheOrangeWolf from scratch. 

What did it take to produce this print and create the design? TheOrangeWolf explains: 

The towers alone took me about 5 hours to design. Also, since I used school machines I sometimes used up to 6 machines at once. If I had to give an estimate I would say about 100 hours, though a decent portion of that was the trial and error getting used to the printers and their tolerances so if I did it again it would take considerably less time.

The printers were in fact a series of Flashforge machines at TheOrangeWolf’s school. This demonstrates the power of multiple machines - and inexpensive ones at that. 

Designing the Golden Gate Bridge 3D model using Autodesk Inventor

Designing the Golden Gate Bridge 3D model using Autodesk Inventor

The model bridge acts mechanically very much like the real item, as the 3D printed cables do support the road surface. TheOrangeWolf explains the design: 

There were five main parts to the bridge, the towers, the black road, the red road that the black road laid in, the trusses on the sides, and the suspender cables. The last three were connected using the little connections you can see in the pictures. You can see the trusses and cables don't end when the road ends, that is so that it has more support and doesn't flex when it has a connector.
Developing components for the 3D printed Golden Gate Bridge replica

Developing components for the 3D printed Golden Gate Bridge replica

Huge, multi-part 3D prints are always impressive, and this one impresses even more as the model’s design was also created as part of the project. Fortunately there are many images and schematics of the Golden Gate Bridge, so design is a matter of replication in a 3D modeling tool. In this case, TheOrangeWolf used Autodesk Inventor. 

Can you 3D print and assemble this enormous bridge yourself? Not quite yet. TheOrangeWolf explains that after “fixing up some blemishes”, it will be posted to Thingiverse for everyone to access at no charge. 

Via Reddit

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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