The University of Maine has plans in the works to expand its Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono, with an eye toward advancing research into large-scale, bio-based additive manufacturing that uses artificial intelligence and arrays of huge 3D printers.

The university calls the new facility the “factory of the future.” On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted to fund $35 million this fiscal year for the expansion, representing about half its projected cost. The center’s new capabilities could drive new technology development in industries such as affordable housing, clean energy, construction, transportation, boatbuilding and furniture. Read more