The Hebei University of Technology (HEBUT) is a provincial public university in Tianjin, China. Hebei Province, Tianjin Municipality, and the Ministry of Education now sponsor the university. The university has around 23,000 undergraduate students and 7,500 postgraduate students. There are 1,940 academic staff members at the university.

About half the size of the Zhaozhou Bridge, the 3D-printed structure was created by a research team led by Professor Ma Guowei of the Hebei University of Technology.

Zhaozhou Bridge, which crosses the Jiaohe River in Hebei Province and is reputed to be the world’s oldest open-spandrel arch bridge, was built around 1400 years ago by thousands of craftsmen. However, its 3D printed version was built by young people using modern technology but was fraught with difficulties. The 3D printing bridge project team was formally established in the second half of 2017. After topic selection and repeated demonstrations, the project officially started in early 2018 and was not fully completed until September 30, 2019.

In addition, team members with an educational background in automation disciplines designed sensors to monitor the safety performance of the bridge. The data on the impact of temperature, foundation settlement, and water level on the bridge was continuously monitored within 24 hours and uploaded to the cloud.