Defense Department to Launch the World’s Largest 3D-printed Boat

The U.S. military’s newest logistics vessel marks a stark departure from decades of naval shipbuilding: it’s also the world’s largest 3D-printed boat. Officials from the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Defense held a ceremony Feb. 25 to unveil two vessels built using the world’s largest 3D printer, which is housed at the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The composites center and the Marine Corps Systems Command’s Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell developed and produced boats known as expendable polymeric composite ship-to-shore vessels, printed out of multi-material composites with engineering polymer and fiber reinforcement. The longer vessel simulates the movement of 20-foot containers, which represent equipment and supplies, while the shorter one can carry a Marine rifle squad with equipment and three days of supplies. They can also be connected to each other.

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