UMaine unveils world’s first bio-based 3D printed house

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 6:23 PM EST
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Folks on the University of Maine campus in Orono may have noticed a dark cloud of mystery behind the Advanced Structures and Composites Center.

Monday, that mystery was revealed as the world’s first bio-based 3D printed house was unveiled.

The 600-square-foot prototype has been a project at the center for years.

The home is constructed from recycled materials such as tiles and repurposed wood waste.

The University says 20,000 low-income homes are needed in Maine.

ASCC Executive Director, Habib Dagher, says this is a step forward in addressing the affordable housing crisis facing Maine and other areas of the country.

Dagher said: “It’s a lot of people working together towards a goal and a dream to provide housing to people that need it. There’s an incredible housing crisis, not only in Maine, but throughout the US, cut the cost too much, and we don’t have people to build them. So the other way to get there is to automate the process, that’s what we’re trying to do, and instead of using very expensive materials were using word residuals from the forest.”

The governor as well as Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, were on hand to offer their thoughts on the reveal.

Governor Janet Mills said, “This pops us into the future, pops us into an era of new, exciting innovation.”

This project is in partnership with the Maine Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy and a program between the University of Maine and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

It’s also provided a unique learning opportunity for students.

Dagher added: “All the students that are learning these skills, because these skills don’t exist anywhere, anywhere else in the world. So they’re here right now learning how to do this, and they’ll be the workforce of the future.”