3D printer breaks Guinness World Record

Surpassing its record for the largest polymer 3D printer, the University of Maine (UMaine) has unveiled a next-generation printer at its Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) that is four times larger than its predecessor.

The thermos-plastic polymer printer, dubbed ‘Factory of the Future 1.0’, is designed to print objects as large as 30 metres long, 10 metres wide and 5.5 metres high, and can print up to 227 kg per hour.

It offers new opportunities for eco-friendly and cost-effective manufacturing for numerous industries, including national security, affordable housing, bridge construction, ocean and wind energy technologies and maritime vessel fabrication.

The design and fabrication of the printer and hybrid manufacturing system were made possible with support from the US Office of the Secretary of Defence through the Army Corps of Engineers.

FoF 1.0 isn’t merely a large-scale printer, it dynamically switches between various processes such as large-scale additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, continuous tape lay-up and robotic arm operations.

Access to it and MasterPrint, the ASCC’s first world-record-breaking 3D printer, will streamline manufacturing innovation research at the centre and the two large printers can collaborate.

FoF 1.0 opens new research frontiers to integrate these collaborative robotics operations at a very large scale with new sensors, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence to create born-certified systems that meet high-quality standards.

Wood residuals

The one-of-a-kind printer will advance various initiatives, including the development of bio-based feedstocks from wood residuals abundant in Maine.

It will advance commercialisation efforts, such as BioHome3D and the creation of sustainable, affordable housing, while also propelling crucial technological advancements for national security, particularly in lightweight rapidly deployable structures and vessel technologies.

The FoF 1.0 unveiling comes ahead of this summer’s planned ground-breaking of a new 47,000-square-foot research laboratory called the Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future scheduled for August.

Its primary aim is to facilitate and scale up more sustainable manufacturing practices by introducing next-generation solutions and biomaterials, addressing challenges such as a diminishing work force and strained supply chains with local solutions.

Maine needs an estimated 80,000 additional homes by 2030, many specifically for households with incomes at or below the area median income. This new technology allows UMaine-ASCC to scale up its

research and production of its biobased 3D printed home technology. (



Comment here