4 Rogart Street, Suit 3/17 G40 2AA, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Clyde Arc Bridge Glasgow – 3D CAD Model

Clyde Arc Bridge, Glasgow, SCOTLAND 

  • Clyde arc photo day view

Introduction to the CAD MODEL

This is a 3D scaled-down model of the Clyde Arc bridge which spans the River Clyde in Glasgow between Finnieston and Plantation. This model has been created by CAD FM, a social enterprise in Glasgow and is available for 3D printing free of charge for educational purposes.

The 3D model as created using CAD software and will prove beneficial for adults or children interested in the Clyde Arc 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 Clyde Arc Bridge was made using CAD modelling software and is provided in neutral formats for printing.


Difficulties faced

When designing a 3D model one of the first things to establish is the relationship between the maximum dimensions of the bridge and the printer area. Those will be the limits for the drawings which will become the 3D CAD model.

When designing the CAD model of the Clyde Arc Bridge we faced a number of difficulties. The most challenging aspect of the bridge to include in the 3D design were the guy wires which take much of the strain of the bridge but in model form are very thin.

The lateral beam was another aspect that had to be carefully considered in the design of the CAD model. A laterally supported (or braced) beam is one which is reinforced with lateral supports for added strength.

The lateral beam is not clear when viewing the bridge but is an integral part of the design given the slanted angle of the bridge over the River Clyde. The bases of the bridge and the main beams were much simpler to copy.

Features covered in model

The model features the iconic arc and the inclined hangers which give the Clyde Arc Bridge its unique look. Also obvious are the angled design and the supports along with some detail of the layout of the road itself.

Rendered Images

  • Clyde Arc Bridge Rendering Chrome Arc and Black Road Area

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 Clyde ARC Bridge

The Clyde Arc Bridge has a main span of 96m and two end spans of 36.5m giving a total span of 169m. The design includes a steel bowstring arch with a single arch rib straddling the deck and inclined hangers connected to outriggers on the edge of the deck. The structure is unique and has become a landmark of the city.

Famous for its unique curved design and the way it crosses the river at an angle, it was opened on 18th September 2006. It also includes a unique diamond-shaped arch rib which provides visual interest as it constantly changes depending on the reflection of the sun and from the projection of architectural lighting.

It is known locally as the ‘Squinty Bridge’ and was called the ‘Finnieston Bridge’ during the planning and construction stages as it connects Finnieston Street on the north bank of the river with Govan Road on the south side and takes 4 lanes of traffic – 2 reserved for public transport and 2 for private and commercial vehicles.

It also includes pedestrian and cycle lanes and was designed to be able to cope with a light railway scheme or a tram system as part of the redevelopment of the city. It was the first city centre traffic crossing in Glasgow since 1970 and provided much-improved access to the Pacific Quay area of the city. It has been a major factor in the regeneration of the area.

History and Construction

The bridge was commissioned in 2003 as part of plans to regenerate the city. The authorities opened a competition for architects to submit plans and the winning design came engineers Halcrow and landscape design consultants Gillespies. Work began in 2005 and was completed a year later in 2006 at the cost of £20.3 million.

Constructors faced difficulties due to the double-curved nature of the side plates so a 3D CAD model was created to help engineers design an assembly jig. The accurate, pre-cut individual plates were then fitted into the jig and the components were tack welded together.

The arch sections were then lifted from the assembly jig with specially designed carrying and turning frames which allowed each section to be rotated into position. The construction of the bridge was a great example of how CAD modelling plays such a crucial role in modern design and construction projects.

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