Manufacturing and Value Chains

Watch this 3D printer make a boat in world record speed, at record size 

At the end of the event, the team tested the seaworthiness of its 25-foot-long, 5,000-pound ship, dubbed 3Dirigo. Image: University of Maine

Kristin Houser
Writer, Futurism
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3D Printing

Three for one

The University of Maine just set three world records in one fell swoop.

Using the world’s largest prototype polymer 3D printer, a UMaine team built the world’s largest 3D-printed boat, which also happened to be the world’s largest solid 3D-printed object — and a new time-lapse video lets you watch the vessel’s record-setting, three-day construction come together in half a minute.

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She floats

UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center unveiled the 3D-printed boat during a ceremony on Thursday, with officials from Guinness World Records on hand to confirm that the group had indeed set three new records.

At the end of the event, the team tested the seaworthiness of its 25-foot-long, 5,000-pound ship, dubbed 3Dirigo, in UMaine’s Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory, which features a multidirectional wave basin and a high-performance wind machine.

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Printing power

According to a UMaine press release, 3Dirigo isn’t even the biggest object the school’s 3D printer can construct — if pushed to its limits, it can print objects up to 100 feet long, 22 feet wide, and 10 feet high.

The school already has several applications for the printer lined up, too, including a partnership with the U.S. Army through which it’ll help develop shelter systems for soldiers that the military could quickly deploy.

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Manufacturing and Value ChainsEmerging Technologies
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