The world’s biggest 3D printer can a make a house in under 80 hours

University of Maine just unveiled the world’s largest polymer 3D printer. The new printer, called the Factory of the Future 1.0 (FoF 1.0), can print objects 96 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 18 feet high. It’s also pretty fast, relatively speaking, as it can print up to 500 pounds per hour. That’s three people every hour.

It can dynamically switch between printing methods to adapt to different aspects of complex jobs. The printer can switch between large-scale additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, continuous ribbon layout and robotic arm operations. These technologies make the printer uniquely suited for a number of industries, including residential, infrastructure and military vehicle development.

Director of the Advanced Structures and Composites Center of the University Dr. According to Habib Dagher, most of the things he makes are recyclable, so “basically you can deconstruct it, grind it up if you want” and “remake it.” State of Maine. For this purpose, the printer prefers bio-based materials such as wood scraps.

This technology seems like a great way to build a ton of affordable housing quickly, and that’s what some proponents have in mind. “Maine needs approximately 80,000 additional homes by 2030, many especially for households with incomes at or below the area median income,” said MaineHousing Director of Development Mark Wiesendanger. “This effort creates another means of producing quality affordable housing by further lowering costs and using abundant wood residues from Maine sawmills.” AP suggests the printer “One day it could create whole neighborhoods.” Specifications indicate that he should be able to build a modest one-story house in about 80 hours.

However, this is America, so it’s not like people built this thing just to help the homeless. The UMaine researchers received funding from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. These government agencies will want a return on their investment, so the printer will also be used to make light, fast-launching vessels such as submarines and other naval vehicles. Senator Susan Collins called the printer “indispensable to our national security.”

FoF 1.0 has a sister printer on the UMaine campus that previously held the record for the world’s largest 3D printer. this already used for production 600 square meter single-family house made of wood fiber and bioresin materials. However, the new printer is four times larger. Fortunately, the two models are co-located and can work on different aspects of the same projects simultaneously.

The University of Maine will soon break ground on a new research lab called the Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future. It will be the new home of both printers, and its main goal is to “facilitate and expand more sustainable manufacturing practices.” It is likely that larger printers will also be accommodated in the future. “We’re learning to design what’s next,” Dr. Dagher he said ABC News.

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