Home Research & Education Giant 3D printer at the University of Maine for sustainable large-scale components

Giant 3D printer at the University of Maine for sustainable large-scale components

The University of Maine has unveiled the “Factory of the Future 1.0” (FoF 1.0), a new record holder for the largest 3D printer at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). The device beats the university’s previous world record from 2019 by a factor of four. With a build volume of 96 x 32 x 18 feet (approx. 29 x 10 x 5 meters) and a printing speed of up to 500 pounds (227 kg) per hour, the FoF 1.0 is intended to drive sustainable large-scale production in various industries.

In addition to pure 3D printing, the hybrid printer combines additive with subtractive manufacturing processes and tape-laminate deposition. In collaboration with the ASCC’s existing record-breaking MasterPrint 3D printer, components can be produced more efficiently.

Thanks to its immense size, there are a wide range of possible applications for cost-effective and environmentally friendly production. From affordable housing construction and bridge structures to components for ship, wind and marine technology. One focus is on bio-based raw materials from the abundant wood residues of the forestry-oriented state of Maine.

Construction of a 4,366 square meter laboratory called the “Green Engineering and Materials Factory of the Future” is due to begin in the summer. The new research facility aims to further develop sustainable manufacturing processes using recycled and bio-based materials.

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