Watch the world’s biggest 3D printer make a 25-foot boat

University of Maine 3D printer
(Image credit: University of Maine)

The biggest 3D printer in the world has just printed a 25-foot, 5,000-pound boat, which is the largest object that has ever been printed.

The feat achieved by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center snagged no less than three Guinness World Records for the world’s largest prototype polymer 3D printer, as well as the largest solid 3D-printed object, and the largest boat which has ever been produced by a 3D printer.

Check out the printing process in the video below – it’s a really quite remarkable achievement by the folks over at UMaine.

The 3D printer is capable of printing objects which are as long as 100 feet, 22 feet wide, and 10 feet high. And forget pages per minute, this thing can print up to 500 pounds of solid object per hour.

The boat, however, took 72 hours to produce.

Bountiful boat-building

The broad idea is to commercialize this sort of large-scale 3D printing for the benefit boat-builders in main, using 3D printing plastics with 50% wood for a competitive advantage.

Senator Angus King commented: “Maine is the most forested state in the nation, and now we have a 3D printer big enough to make use of this bountiful resource. Today marks the latest innovative investment in Maine’s forest economy, which will serve to increase sustainability, advance the future of biobased manufacturing and diversify our forest products industry.”

Furthermore, UMaine is partnering with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a $20 million research collaboration to push forward with producing new bio-based materials suitable for the 3D printing of large objects.

Via Maine Public

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).