The Revolution Blog

World’s largest 3D printer can print a house in 80 hours

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The next time a paper jam ruins your life, remember that Maine’s printing game is on a whole other level.

Last month, the University of Maine shattered its own world record by unveiling the “World’s largest polymer 3D printer,” dubbed the Factory of the Future. Located at UMaine’s Advanced Structures & Composite Center, this colossal printer can slash construction time and labor for objects as large as boats and houses. In fact, what would typically take months to construct a single-story bungalow, as seen in this video, can now be accomplished in less than four days.

Factory of the Future is four times larger than its predecessor from 2019. It can print objects measuring up to 96 feet long by 32 feet wide and 18 feet high, consuming up to 500 pounds of material per hour. With such speed and efficiency, the FoF can print a house in just 80 hours. But it’s capabilities don’t stop there. Equipped with robotics operations, sensors, high-performance computing and artificial intelligence, it can be used across a wide range of applications, including for national security. And it’s not just a printer: it can seamlessly switch between additive and subtractive manufacturing and robotic arm operations.

Image courtesy of the University of Maine.

What Maine is most excited about, however, is the printer’s carbon footprint. By using bio-based materials, the printer aims to revolutionize housing for all, as Maine is currently facing a serious shortage of affordable housing and skilled workers. By showcasing how homes can be constructed in earth-friendly ways, the university is paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Now if we could all just print money for ourselves…

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