U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representative Jared Golden joined officials from the Department of Energy, Oakridge National Labs (ORNL), and the U.S. Army to deliver remarks at the University of Maine’s (UMaine) unveiling ceremony of the world’s largest polymer 3D printer and largest 3D printed object.
The massive polymer 3D printer has manufacturing capabilities to enable rapid prototyping and can produce objects up to 100 feet long. To demonstrate the printer’s capabilities, a 25-foot, 5,000-pound patrol boat was printed at the UMaine Composites Center in 72 hours — the largest 3D printed object in the world. The 3D printed boat was placed in the University’s unique W2 Wave-Wind basin "Ocean simulator" during the press event, with officials boarding it. A Guinness World Records adjudicator was present to officially present three world records for the world's largest polymer 3D printer, largest 3D printed boat, and largest solid 3D printed item.
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and King joined leaders from the U.S. Department of Energy, UMaine, and Oak Ridge National Lab in Washington, D.C., to announce the launch of the $20 million large-scale bio-based additive manufacturing program that will use the 3D printer. The work of the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT), created by Senators Collins and King in 2016 to create strategies for job growth and economic development in Maine’s forest economy, led directly to the partnership between UMaine and ORNL.