Penquis, a Maine nonprofit that provides assistance to individuals struggling with poverty, has received $3.3 million to develop the BioHome3D concept, designed at the University of Maine (UM), into a neighborhood of affordable residences. Touted as “the first 3D-printed house made entirely with bio-based materials”, BioHome3D was unveiled by UM’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) in November, 2022.
In the latest development signaling American policymakers’ growing interest in additive construction (AC), Maine’s junior US senator, Angus King (I), toured the ASCC last week while presenting Penquis with the grant. Of the $3.3 million, $3 million is Congressionally Directed Spending, with the remaining funds coming from a nonprofit organization, KeyBank Foundation.
The grants will allow UM’s planned “Factory of the Future” to print nine BioHome3D units — made from locally sourced wood fiber feedstock, combined with a wood-fiber PLA composite produced by NatureWorks — over the next four years. Penquis will collaborate on the project with ASCC and MaineHousing (Maine’s state housing authority). According to Jason Bird, the director of housing development for Penquis, there is an estimated shortage of 20,000-25,000 affordable rental housing units in Maine, among the ten least populated US states.
Maine’s other senator, Susan Collins (R), was present at last November’s unveiling of the first BioHome3D, and the state’s governor, Janet Mills (D), was also involved in the state-level budgeting for both projects. Thus, the BioHome3D has bipartisan support, joint federal/state funding, and represents a successful working relationship between academia, multiple levels of government, and the private sector (via NatureWorks).
That is precisely the sort of multifaceted backing indicative of likely success for a burgeoning technology. Indeed, it is exactly the path that all other 3D printing processes have followed on the way to what appears to be their imminent scale-up.
Along those lines, since the economy of housing grants is already set up to facilitate and leverage those types of multidimensional interrelationships, AC could be in as favorable a position to grow over the next several years as any other 3D printing market segment. Its conditions for growth are especially favorable, considering that it addresses two intractable social problems: housing and sustainability. Private companies may be attracting most of the construction printing attention thus far in 2023, but the technology’s greatest long-term asset is its compatibility with the agendas for big government spending.
Images courtesy of Penquis
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, March 15, 2023: Software, Carbon Fiber Bikes, & More
In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, Velo3D has released the latest version of its Flow software, and Horizon is opening up more micro additive manufacturing applications with a coating that...
Oilfield Services Giant Baker Hughes Taps Oqton to Increase 3D Printing Adoption in Energy
Oqton, a Belgian software company specializing in solutions for the additive manufacturing (AM) sector, announced that the company has entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize software for Baker...
3D Printing News Briefs, March 11, 2023: AMUG Scholarships, 3D Printable Bacteria Ink, & More
We’re starting with AMUG news today in 3D Printing News Briefs, as the organization has awarded two scholarships. On to medical news, MIT engineers are 3D printing robotic heart replicas...
3D Printing News Briefs, March 9, 2023: Pay Per Use Pricing, Material Development, & More
We’ll take care of business first in 3D Printing News Briefs, as IperionX appoints a former Ford executive as an AM advisor. AMFG and Imperial College London won a government-funded...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.