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UMaine’s BioHome3D Fares Well in Year of Volatile Weather

By Cameron Kerkau Associate Editor, SME Media

BioHome3D, the world’s “first 100% bio-based 3D-printed home,” is now a year old, with a year’s worth of outdoor exposure data to show for it.

Printed at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC), BioHome3D is a 600-square-foot home designed to meet Maine State Affordable Housing requirements. It was created entirely with wood residuals, bio-resins and wood fiber insulation, making the home fully recyclable, the ASCC says.

During its inaugural year, BioHome3D endured one of Maine’s most volatile weather years, ASCC says.

In 2023, BioHome3D endured temperatures ranging from 1°F to 105°F, extreme windstorms and snowstorms. The center reports the home performed “very well” under rain, snow, temperature cycling and hail.

“The data collected over a year of outdoor exposure in Maine has proved that the technology is sound. Now, our focus is to scale up the production process. With the Factory of the Future, our goal is to be able to produce one of these 600-square-foot homes every 48 hours,” says ASCC Executive Director Habib Dagher. “We’ve created a house. Now it’s time to create neighborhoods.”

The ASCC next plans to break ground on its Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future in August 2024. Slated to be completed in 2026, the GEM factory will feature Industry 4.0, AI-enabled, large-scale additive, subtractive and digital hybrid manufacturing technologies developed by UMaine and its federal, national laboratory and industry partners over the past 10 years, the center says.

With the development of this new manufacturing facility, ASCC says it is finalizing plans to print the world’s first bio-based 3D-printed neighborhood. It will feature nine “BioHome2.0” homes near Bangor, Maine and will provide housing for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the organization says.

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