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Longtime Stateline manufacturer breaks largest 3D printer record

(WIFR)
Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 7:59 PM CDT
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Ingersoll Machine Tools has a long history in Rockford, first getting started in the late 1800's. Now the company has a permanent place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Chip Storie, CEO of Ingersoll Machine Tools says the company's longevity helps set the bar to get clients and partnerships to make these things happen. Because of that, the University of Maine is home to the newly unveiled largest 3D printer in the world.

Storie says, "Ingersoll machine tools has a long history of being on the forefront of technology. The University of Maine came to us and they have a composites lab and decided that Ingersoll Machine Tools right here in Rockford, Illinois was the company that they wanted to partner with. So we worked with them to design and build the world's largest 3D printer."

The University recently unveiled the printer, where it created a full-scale boat in less than 72 hours. The boat weighs 5000 pounds or 2.5 tons, sailing past world records, a celebration for Ingersoll employees involved in the project like Nate Haug, a Mechanical Engineer for the manufacturing company.

Haug says, "Once Ingersoll decided to go towards additive manufacturing, it was just a matter of time before we got that world record. Everything we do here is on the world record scale."

All products start as plastic pellets, then go through long process of melting and are made into products in any 3D printer. In the case of this printer, its products are used across the aerospace industry.

Haug says, "A lot of times, buildings are built specifically for one of our machines. The parts and the machines will keep getting bigger."

These machines, the size of a warehouse or single building take up to a year to build, test, and ship right from The Forest City. Storie says, "The community ties here for Ingersoll Machine Tools go very very deep. We continue to evolve the technology, continue to come up with new applications."

The record-breaking machine has a smaller brother here in Rockford at Ingersoll's headquarters off of Fulton Avenue.