You’re gonna need a bigger boat? UMaine has printer for that


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  9 months ago  •  8 comments

You’re gonna need a bigger boat? UMaine has printer for that

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

You’re gonna need a bigger boat? UMaine has printer for that

by: DAVID SHARP, Associated Press, Updated:  Oct 10, 2019


In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 photo provided by the University of Maine, a 25-foot, 5,000-pound patrol boat, center, that was produced using a large polymer 3D printer, behind left, rests on a trailer on the school’s campus, in Orono, Maine. The boat was printed at the school’s Composites Center on the world’s largest polymer 3D printer. (Ron Lisnet/University of Maine via AP)

The world’s largest 3D printer has created the world’s largest 3D-printed boat. And the University of Maine demonstrated Thursday that it’s seaworthy.

The university unveiled the 25-foot, 5,000-pound boat that was printed at the university’s Advanced Structures & Composite Center. It’s one example of how the massive printer can create larger prototypes to assist companies in product development, said Habib Dagher, founding director of the composites center.

“This new printer is going to allow us to innovate so much faster by having prototypes made faster than in the past,” Dagher said.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins christened the boat by smashing a bottle of Champagne on its bow at the event in Orono. Later, she and U.S. Sen. Angus King climbed aboard for a demonstration in the university’s W2 Wave-Wind basin “ocean simulator,” which looks like a giant indoor swimming pool.

The boat is named 3Dirigo, a play on Maine’s motto, “Dirigo,” which is Latin for “I lead.”

The printer, also unveiled, is currently 70 feet long and will grow to 100 feet with an extension, Dagher said. The university and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee are collaborating on the printer project.

“This a big deal. This is probably the biggest day for this university since Stephen King matriculated in 1965,” King joked, referencing the best-selling author who graduated from the school.

The 3D printer, which can gobble up 500 pounds of plastic polymer pellets per hour, is already proving useful as demonstrated by the patrol boat.

But the university hopes to make it better.

A $20 million research collaboration with the Oak Ridge lab will focus on using bio-based thermoplastics reinforced by cellulose-based materials to create a 3D printable material that’s strong, durable and recyclable, Dagher said. If it works according to plan, the printer will be able to quickly produce items like molds for boats or concrete casks that could be recycled afterward, he said.

The composites center also received $500,000 from the Maine Technology Institute to help Maine boat builders explore how large-scale 3D printing can provide the industry with a competitive advantage.

The printer itself cost $2.5 million with additional funding going toward installation, commissioning, and material testing, with most of the funding provided by the U.S. Army.

Joining Collins, King and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden at the reveal event were more than 250 industry, military and government representatives.

In addition to the boat, the university used the printer to create a mold for a bridge girder and a communication shelter for the Army.

As for the boat, it was the first thing printed by the university, and it was created in one solid piece during a nonstop printing over 72 hours. It cost about $40,000 to produce.

Guinness World Records confirmed it’s the world’s largest 3D-printed boat, the largest 3D-printed object and largest prototype polymer 3D printer, the university said.


Sharp reported from Portland, Maine.


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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    9 months ago

Coming next: "Beam me up, Scotty."

2  MUVA    9 months ago

I see one problem it has a mercury motor.

3  Kavika     9 months ago

Pretty amazing stuff. I have to agree with dave though. I've had two Mercury outboard motors, both were crap. I'd go with the Yamaha outboard.

3.1  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3    9 months ago

A good choice.

3.1.1  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.1    9 months ago

My last Yahama was the 200HP 4/stroke....It was a great engine and was a perfect fit for the boat which was a 21 ft Hurricane. 

3.1.2  MUVA  replied to  Kavika @3.1.1    9 months ago

One of my favorite motors to work on I have a friend with a pair of 225's with over 2000 hours.

3.1.3  Kavika   replied to  MUVA @3.1.2    9 months ago

The Yamaha engines that I've had were bulletproof. If you did the required maintence there were virtually no problems. 

Buzz of the Orient
3.2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3    9 months ago

I had a 70 hp Evinrude on my 14.5 foot boat and it really moved it, and never gave me any trouble.


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