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3D CAD Model of Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

3D CAD Model of Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA

  • Brooklyn Bridge Day Scene showing blue water

Introduction to the CAD MODEL

This is a 3D scaled-down model of the Brooklyn Bridge which spans the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. This 3D CAD model has been created by CAD FM, a social enterprise based in Glasgow, and is available for 3D printing free of charge for educational purposes.

The 3D model was created using CAD software and will prove beneficial for adults or children interested in the Brooklyn Bridge or in understanding the uses and benefits of CAD modelling.

The CAD modelling software used depicts the features of the bridge in an authentic way and with maximum realism.

Please note that this model is available for educational purposes and that for any technical details of the bridge you should contact the relevant authorities.

3D Model Designed

This 3D model of the Brooklyn Bridge was made using CAD modelling software and neutral files are provided for 3D printing.

 

Features covered in model

This CAD model of the Brooklyn Bridge displays the towers and the lattice of steel cables to which Roebling applied the Hegelian philosophy of opposites to engineering and balanced tension with mass at great distances which provide structure to the bridge’s cable system.

Difficulties faced

In designing this CAD model of the Brooklyn Bridge, the most difficult aspect was the parabolic guy wires. These are the wires which take the bulk of the weight and in the actual bridge are created using strong wires to support such weight.

In the CAD model, it was necessary to create these in such a way that they look authentic without needing to take on excessive weight. Similar can be said of the vertical guy wires.

The principal structure of the bridge is quite complex and was posed challenges due to the number of parts which, on a CAD model are relatively thin and fragile but which, in the real bridge, create a structurer which can bear heavy loads and adapt to extremes of weather seen in New York.

Rendered Images

  • Brooklyn Bridge Rendering Trimetric View

Available file formats

Here are available file formats

CAD Format Extension
STEP .stp
Stereolithographic .stl
IGES .igs

Tips for 3D printing

The smallest feature of the model measures 2 mm, which can easily be printed with any commercially available 3D printer. The complete model can be printed with very low infills.

The model is a single piece, it can be scaled and sliced to create a larger version. If you want to print at a larger scale then you should divide the model up into small individual pieces and print each piece separately.

In this way, the multiple pieces of the model are printed separately and then joined together with glue.

 

About the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge and was the first fixed crossing across New York’s East River. At the time of its construction, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m).

The main span and side spans are supported by 6 trusses, each 33ft(10m) deep. These allow the bridge to hold a total weight of 18,700 tonnes. This was to support the weight of trains which were initially able to cross the bridge when it was first constructed.

Between each suspension tower and each side’s suspension anchorages are 930 feet (280 m) long. The deck is 127 ft (38.7 m) above mean high water. It was originally known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge or the East River Bridge but was officially renamed the Brooklyn Bridge in 1915.

It allows only pedestrians, cyclists and passenger vehicles to cross and is the southernmost of four toll-free bridges which connect Manhattan Island and Long Island and carries over 150,000 per day.

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most iconic images and has been designated a National Historic Landmark, a New York City landmark, and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. During extremes of weather the bridge extends and contracts between 14 and 16 inches.

The Brooklyn Bridge is supported by four main cables, which descend from the tops of the suspension towers to support the deck. Two are located outside the bridge’s roadways, with the other two are in the median of the roadways.

Each main cable is 15.75 inches (40.0 cm) in diameter and contains 5,282 parallel, galvanized steel wires which have been wrapped together tightly and bundled in 19 individual strands. Each strand contains 278 wires.

The Brooklyn Bridge saw the first use of bundling in a suspension bridge with the bundles alone taking months to create.

History and Construction

The Brooklyn Bridge took 14 years to build and cost $15 million (equivalent to over $320 million today). Proposals for a bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan were first made in the early 19th Century but construction did not begin until 1870.

The man given the task of designing the bridge was John Augustus Roebling, a German immigrant who failed as a farmer but went on to build a reputation for designing and building suspension bridges.

Suspension bridges were widely used at the time but were notoriously weak in the face of strong winds or heavy loads. Roebling combined structural elements from some of his previous bridge designs—including cable arrays and stiffening trusses in an effort to make the bridge 8 times stronger than it needed to be.

At least two dozen people died in the process, including Roebling who was fatally injured when a  boat smashed the toes on one of his feet, causing tetanus, while he was taken some last minute compass readings.

His 32-year-old son, Washington A. Roebling, who had worked with his father in previous projects and had helped design the bridge, was made chief engineer in his place.

To provide solid foundations for the bridge the riverbed had to be excavated. This perilous task was undertaken by workers known as ‘sandhogs’ who used huge, airtight wooden boxes called caissons which were pinned to the river’s floor using granite blocks.

Pressurised air was then pumped in to keep water and debris out. The sandhogs used shovels and dynamite to remove debris from the river bed and each week the caissons moved gradually close to the bedrock until they reached a depth of 44ft (13.4m) on the Brooklyn side and 78 ft (23.7m) on the Manhattan side.

As the airlock descended into the river, it filled with compressed air which made it possible to breathe in the caisson and kept water from coming in but also dissolved a dangerous amount of gas into workers’ bloodstreams.

When they resurfaced, the dissolved gases in their blood were quickly released causing a painful condition known as the bends which can also affect divers and can be fatal.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened on 24th May 1883 in a ceremony presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland and was dubbed the eighth wonder of the world.

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