ORNL and UMaine to work on $20M biobased 3D printing project


In Tennessee, a new research collaboration between the University of Maine and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will advance efforts to 3D print with wood products, creating a new market for Maine’s forest products industry.

The ORNL and UMaine research team will work with the forest products industry to produce new bio-based materials that will be conducive to 3D printing a variety of products, such as boat hull molds, shelters, building components, tooling for composites and wind blades.  They will also position the industry to print large, structurally demanding systems, such as boats.

“This exciting initiative is a win-win that will bolster the cutting-edge research performed at the University of Maine as well as support job creation in our state,” said Sen. Collins.  “The development of sustainable, inexpensive wood-based materials for large-scale 3D printing has the potential to invigorate Maine’s forest products industry.  This project is an outstanding example of our national labs working cooperatively with universities to drive American innovation and strengthen our economy.”

The $20 million effort, funded by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, aims to strengthen regional manufacturing by connecting university–industry clusters with DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at ORNL.