Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

World's largest 3D printer: Can build a house in less than 80 hours

The new 3D printer, developed by the University of Maine in the USA and called “Factory of the Future 1.0” (FoF 1.0), was introduced as the world's largest polymer 3D printer. This printer can print objects up to 29 meters long, 9.75 meters wide and 5.48 meters high. With a printing capacity of 227 kilograms per hour, the printer offers an extremely fast production process.

Fast and environmentally friendly production opportunities

The printer has the ability to dynamically switch between different printing techniques, making it an ideal option for complex jobs. This system, which can switch between large-scale additive manufacturing, cutter production, continuous belt laying and robotic arm operations, offers unique solutions especially for the housing, infrastructure and military vehicle development sectors.

Director of the Center for Advanced Structures and Composites at the University of Maine, Dr. According to Habib Dagher, the printer uses completely recyclable materials. These materials are among the environmentally friendly alternatives, especially biobased materials and wood scraps from Maine sawmills. In this way, any structure or object produced can be easily reprocessed.

This technology offered by the printer has great potential, especially in terms of fast and affordable housing production. MaineHousing Development Director Mark Wiesendanger states that Maine needs 80,000 additional homes by 2030, and this printer will play an important role in the production of quality, affordable housing.

However, the main motivation for the development of this technology is not only to provide housing. This project, financed by institutions such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Energy, also aims to produce strategically important products such as light and fast deployable marine vehicles. Senator Susan Collins emphasizes that the printer is “invaluable” to national security.

The printer can work with another 3D printer located on the same campus, which holds the previous world record. Both models have the ability to work on different aspects of different projects simultaneously.

Ground will soon be broken on the Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future, a new research laboratory that will host both printers. Dr. Dagher states that this new facility is designed to facilitate and scale more sustainable production practices. It is also expected that larger printers will be included here in the future.

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Danish Kapoor