Tunnel vision a new approach to tunnelling
A new approach to tunnelling has caught the imagination of some of the world’s leading civil engineers – despite the idea’s originators having no prior experience of tunnelling. David Taylor reports
When you think of tunnelling, you’re likely to conjure up images of giant tunnel-boring machines, metres in diameter and with names like Florence and Cecilia, slowly munching their way through the ground.
But visitors to the British Tunnelling Society’s conference and exhibition in London last autumn were presented with a very different vision of what tunnelling could look like in the future. Hypertunnel, a Basingstoke-based outfit launched in 2018, unveiled a radical new idea that proposes building tunnels using a combination of horizontal directional drilling, artificial intelligence and 3D printing.
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