University Acquires World’s Largest 3D Printer and Builds Record Polymer Boat

Source: The | Release | October 14, 2019

Ingersoll Machine built the additive manufacturing system used to build the world-record boat. It can print objects 100 by 22 ft. Credit: UMaine

According to a report posted to the University of Maine website, the school’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center set three Guinness world records on October 10: 1) Operating the largest prototype polymer 3D printer; 2) Building the largest solid 3D-printed object; 3) Printing the largest 3D-printed boat.

The 25-ft., 5,000-pound vessel, named 3Dirigo, took 72 hours to print.

Ingersoll Machine Tools built the 3D printer, designed to print objects up to 100 ft. long by 22 ft. wide by 10 ft. high. The one-of-a-kind additive manufacturing system prints 500 pounds of material per hour.

The new 3D printer will be used to support several initiatives, including the development of biobased feedstocks using cellulose derived from wood resources and rapid prototyping of civilian, defense, and infrastructure applications. The printer and initiatives are an outgrowth of a $20 million joint research project involving UMaine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

At a ceremony unveiling the printer and boat, Maine Sen. Susan Collins said: “I was delighted to join UMaine’s celebration unveiling the world’s largest 3D printer and largest 3D-printed object. The future of the [UMaine] Composites Center is bright, thanks to the excellent working relationship between UMaine, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and many other federal agencies, which will support next-generation, large-scale additive manufacturing with biobased thermoplastics. … By working together, UMaine and Oak Ridge will strengthen environmentally responsible advanced manufacturing throughout America, as well as the forest-products industry in Maine.”