ORONO, Maine — The world's largest 3D-printed boat will serve as a logistics vessel for the U.S. Department of Defense.
The boat was created by a 3D printer at the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The university said it is one of two 3D-printed prototypes made for the defense department and simulates ship-to-shore movement of 20-foot containers that represent equipment and supplies.
The smaller of the two vessels can transport a Marine rifle squad, and three days of supplies, UMaine officials said.
Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, joined members of the UMaine System and the defense department on Friday to celebrate the production of the vessel. The university said the composites center 3D printed and assembled one of the vessels in a month when using traditional materials could have taken more than a year.
The senators and university said in a statement that the vessel is "a significant milestone towards demonstrating advanced manufacturing techniques to rapidly constitute critical DOD assets closer to the point of need."
UMaine representatives said the Composites Center produced the vessel in collaboration with the Marine Corps Systems Command's Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell. UMaine is home to the world's largest 3D printer.