Largest 3D Printer In The World

Pumping out over 500 pounds of filament per hour is the world’s largest 3d printer capable of 3d printing boats

By: Noah Reedy, Journalist

The largest 3d printer in the world was built in the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono. It was valued at 2.5 million dollars and can create items as big as boats in just a couple of days. With a 100ft bed and a filament extruder that can pump out over 500 pounds of filament per hour. The University of Maine was awarded 3 Guinness world records for their efforts with this printer.  The records were: World’s Largest Prototype Polymer 3D Printer, Largest Solid 3D-Printed Object, and Largest 3D-Printed Boat. However, UMaine and ORNL are trying to discover if printable materials would be strong enough to use in place of metal.

New Developments in 3D printing Tech

UMaine is working on figuring out if it is possible to print bio-based materials to be able to replace metal. This would cut down the cost of metal since it is quite expensive. Using these bio-based materials such as wood would be a good alternative as these are renewable and less expensive. The way that someone would print wood is cellulose nanofibers. CNF can be produced from wood pulp. CNF contains, groupings of tiny fibers that when combined with thermoplastics, should add a seemingly disproportionate strength. It’s not exact, but if you imagine how the glass fibers in fiberglass or the fibers in carbon fiber add strength to their structures that is the main idea of it. The cluster brings together the skills of UMaine researchers and marine industry leaders to further develop 3D printing to benefit boatbuilders. By 3D printing plastics with 50% wood boat molds and parts can be made much faster and less pricy than today’s methods. With this new technology that is developing every day, there is no limit to the things that could be 3d printed in the near future.

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