UMaine Launches World’s Largest 3D Printed Boat

Maine is known for its boat builders. But the most recent boat launched in Maine takes boatbuilding to a whole new level. On Thursday, October 10, the University of Maine unveiled the largest boat ever produced by a 3D thermoplastics printer. The 25-foot, 5,000-pound composite vessel not only is the largest 3D printed object in the world; it also was produced by the world’s largest 3D thermoplastic printer in little more than 70 hours.

And just in case anyone might challenge those assertions, a Guinness World Records representative was on hand Thursday to present three world records to the composites center at the unveiling: for the world’s largest polymer 3D printer, the largest 3D-printed boat (the previous record was held by a 40-pound rowboat) and the largest solid 3D-printed item (the previous record-holder weighed 1,600 pounds).

“This has never been done in the world,” said Habib Dagher, executive director of the composites center. “The purpose of this is to see what’s possible.”

The 3D printing project puts Maine at the forefront of a rapidly evolving technology and has the potential to make a ground-breaking difference not only for boat-builders, but also for other manufacturing sectors. The new printer, manufactured by Ingersoll Machine Tools, has the capacity to print objects 100 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall, which makes it six times bigger than the second largest 3D printer in use.