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Shanghai has installed a set of 3D printed bus shelters, believed to be the world’s first, to serve a bus route in suburban Jinshan district

New bus shelters, built by a Shanghai company, feature a closed-loop design that looks like a rectangular frame, and which is 16ft 7in long, 4.ft 9in wide and 8ft 8in high. Placed along a country road in Fengjing town, the futuristic structures that come with original ink marks left on the surfaces, are believed to be the world’s first produced by 3D printers, says 3ders.org, a global news organisation dedicated to providing the latest news, trends and analysis in the 3D printing industry.

“All the printing materials are from recycled and classified industrial waste or tailings,” said Wang Aijuan, who is responsible for the 3D bus stop project at WinSun Construction Technologies. “The printing process is environmentally friendly, because such new technology does not produce additional waste.”

The company, which has been working on the development of 3D printing technology for the construction industry and related products for more than a decade, says 3D printing technology can save up to 60pc of building materials and 50 to 80pc of manpower, which greatly improves work efficiency and helps reduce costs.

Many industries and fields in China have embraced 3D printing technology for its high efficiency and ecological benefits

“Normally it takes several days to build a bus stop, and traffic is blocked during the construction,” Ms Wang said. “However, it takes no more than an hour to set up a 3D bus stop at the side of the road, after printing and transport.”

“In addition, the 3D printed structures are five times stronger than those built in traditional ways,” she said.

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The 3-D bus stop project has been launched as a pilot programme to demonstrate the practicality of this application for the potential 3D printing of future bus shelters, Ms Wang said. The company plans to promote the idea nationally and even globally, incorporating more functionality into the bus shelters, such as chairs, garbage cans and a small table.

Many industries and fields in China have embraced 3D printing technology for its high efficiency and ecological benefits. The value of output from the country’s 3D printing industry is expected to reach $7.68 billion (£5.47 billion), or one-third of the global market, by 2020, the China Industry Information Institute says.

As a specialist in 3D printed buildings, WinSun has attracted many headlines for its various 3D printed structures, such as 10 single-storey houses in Shanghai, a standalone villa in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and 19 local government office buildings in Dubai.

This article was originally produced and published by China Daily. View the original article at www.chinadaily.com.cn

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