UMaine center and Navatek getting $5 million Navy contract
The U.S. Navy is investing in the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center and Navatek to research 3D printed vessels for them.
ORONO, Maine (WABI) - UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and Navatek have been given a $5 million contract for the job.
Last fall the center won Guinness World Records for the largest 3D printed boat. They constructed it from the largest prototype polymer 3D printer.
Now the center’s director tells us they’ll be working to find the best materials for the job. They want the vessels to be able to hold up in the ocean and for 50 to 100 years.
“The ultimate goal here is to be able to print autonomous systems that the Navy could use,” says Habib Dagher, UMaine ASCC Director. He says, “We’re embarking in a new direction. The Navy has not taken that approach yet for these for these kinds of systems. So, it’s good that this is happening in Maine first.”
Dagher says they’ve worked with the Navy for more than 20 years on different projects. The ability to print a 25-foot vessel in three days like they did last year made a lot of people take notice. He says in about three years they hope to have the ability to print a 50 to 60 foot vessel.
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