If you’re shopping for a 3D printer, a key consideration is bed size; what’s the largest object you’d realistically need to print? For the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, size limitations aren’t so much of an issue. That’s because they’ve got a gantry-style 3D printer that can spit out pieces that are 22×100. For their troubles, UMaine won three Guinness World Records: World’s Largest Prototype Polymer 3D Printer; Largest Solid 3D-Printed Object; and Largest 3D-Printed Boat. However, they didn’t create the boat purely to gain awards–nor even to work purely with polymers. While the boat is a project in its own right, and will be tested with a wind machine and wave basin at an offshore facility, the real story here is about, believe it or not, wood. Specifically, wood as it can be integrated into large-scale 3D printing and serve as a possible replacement for metal. To explain, the University of Maine and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory* are trying to develop large-scale additive manufacturing using biobased materials. The goal is to be able to rapid-prototype large-scale objects f...