According to Sen. Susan Collins, “I was delighted to join UMaine’s celebration unveiling the world’s largest 3D printer and largest 3D-printed object. The future of the [UMaine] Composites Center is bright, thanks to the excellent working relationship between UMaine, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and many other federal agencies, which will support next-generation, large-scale additive manufacturing with biobased thermoplastics. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I helped secure $20 million for this exciting collaboration, and an additional $20 million is included in the committee-approved energy funding bill. By working together, UMaine and Oak Ridge will strengthen environmentally responsible advanced manufacturing throughout America, as well as the forest-products industry in Maine.”
According to Sen. Angus King, “Maine is the most forested state in the nation, and now we have a 3D printer big enough to make use of this bountiful resource. Today marks the latest innovative investment in Maine’s forest economy, which will serve to increase sustainability, advance the future of biobased manufacturing and diversify our forest products industry. This is a huge opportunity for the state of Maine, and I’m grateful to everyone — especially the the University of Maine and the FOR/Maine initiative — for their work to make this day a reality.”
According to U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, “As we saw today, the University of Maine Composites Center does award-winning, cutting-edge research that makes Maine proud and will bring jobs to our state. Their work, like the boat and 3D printer we’re here to see, has impressive potential to change how we make things out of all sorts of materials — including Maine wood fiber. Today is about three Guinness World Records, but it’s also about celebrating the innovation that will help protect and create good-paying Maine jobs in forest products and manufacturing.”
According to Moe Khaleel, associate laboratory director for Energy and Environmental Sciences at ORNL, “This is an exciting achievement in our partnership with the University of Maine. This new equipment will accelerate application and integration of our fundamental materials science, plant genomics and manufacturing research to the development of new sustainable bioderived composites, creating economic opportunity for Maine’s forest products industry and the nation.”
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