The World's First 3D Printed Boat

The World's First 3D Printed Boat

The future is here! The University of Maine Composites Center has created the world’s largest 3D object, a boat. The engineers also used the largest 3D printer to create it in only three days! The printer is now home to UMaine in hopes to revolutionize Maine’s forest product industry by finding new uses for wood-based products.

The first 3D printed boat in the world takes on Water on Thursday, October 10, 2019 with three quarters of Maine’s congressional delegation on it.

The center console boat measured 25 feet in length and weighs 5,000 pounds. If you were to take the “old school” way of building a boat that size it would take weeks or even months to build. This 3D printer did it in just 70 hours! The boat is named 3Dirigo. Named after a play on Maine’s motto, “Dirigo, which is Latin for “I lead.” It cost about $40,000 to produce.

Thursday, October 10th was a good day for the engineering team at UMaine. While they were unveiling the jet black center-console a team from Guinness World Records was there to certify that the boat was the largest 3D object ever printed. It also received two more World Records: for the world’s largest polymer 3D printer and the largest 3D printed boat.

How it Works

The printer was manufactured by Ingersoll Machine Tools and has the capacity to print objects 100 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet tall. The printer can be thought of as a giant hot glue gun anchored to a metal arm. A combination of carbon fibers and plastic is fed into the printer as the glue is fed into a glue gun. The arm that is mounted onto the printer can be programmed to move around to print any three-dimensional object.

Although the weight and the dollar amount for this vessel are high compared to your average fiberglass boat the technology will develop and maybe one-day boats will be able to be printed “on-site,” or regionally rather than built in a factory far away.

Watch “3Dirgio” get made in seconds!

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