Americans printed a boat on the world's largest 3D printer and set three Guinness World Records at once


Composites engineers from the University of Maine have taken 3D printing technology to new heights. Using a 3D printer, they produced the largest 3D printed boat, the 3Dirigo.

It took the team three days to get it all done.

They used the state motto in the boat's name, which in Latin means «I Guide!»

The 25-foot (7.6-meter) 3Dirigo weighs over two tons and is made of a mixture of thermoplastic polymer and cellulose fibers.

» It looks like any «normal boat and sails just as well. Such conclusion was drawn on the basis of tests conducted in a special pool - there, at the university.

No less important event for the university was getting into the list of record-breakers.

A representative of the Guinness Book recorded three records at once.

Firstly, 3Dirigio is the largest boat created by digital printing. Second, it was created using a 3D printer of previously unseen dimensions. Finally, the boat turned out to be the largest one-piece 3D-printed object in principle.

Applause, diplomas, and camera flashes are just the tip of the iceberg. To bring the idea to life, they had to put a lot of effort and spend a lot of money. For example, the printer itself cost $2.5 million. However, the rest of the expenses were covered by the U.S. Army, and in particular, by the Corps of Engineers.

Habib Dagher (Habib Dagher), professor and part-time director of the composites center at the University of Maine, said that work is underway with local shipbuilders potentially ready to put such cutting-edge technology on stream.

Experience with 3Dirigo could come in handy when working on molds.

Owning the world's largest 3D printer is a huge win for state authorities. First of all, pulp as a source of raw materials for polymeric materials is a derivative of wood, and wood in the Northeastern United States in abundance (it's not for nothing that Maine is nicknamed «Pine State»). Secondly, the presence within the walls of the University of such an innovative machine, which is a 3D printer, should serve as a magnet for the best scientists and engineers from across America, as well as play a factor in choosing the University of Maine as their future alma mater.

The use of 3D technology in shipbuilding began not today and not yesterday. For example, previously a kayak andpropeller were printed on a 3D printer, anda 6.5-meter boat was printed for participation in Mini-Transat 2019.

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