University of Maine just unveiled the world’s largest polymer 3D printer. The new printer, called the Factory of the Future 1.0 (FoF 1.0), can print objects up to 96 feet long, 32 feet wide, and 18 feet tall. It’s also pretty fast, relatively speaking, as it can print up to 500 pounds per hour. That’s like three people every hour.

It can dynamically switch between printing techniques to suit different aspects of complex jobs. The printer can switch between large-scale additive manufacturing, subtractive manufacturing, continuous tape placement and robot arm operations. These technologies make the printer uniquely suited to a range of industries, including residential construction, infrastructure and military vehicle development.

Most of the things it makes are recyclable, so “you can deconstruct them, grind them down if you want” and “make it again,” according to Dr. Habib Dager, director of the Center for Advanced Structures and Composites at University of Maine. To this end, the printer prioritizes bio-based materials such as wood residues.

This technology seems like a great way to quickly build a ton of affordable housing, and that’s exactly what some proponents have in mind. “Maine needs approximately 80,000 additional housing units by 2030, very specifically for households with incomes at or below the area median income,” said MaineHousing Director of Development Mark Wissendanger. “This effort creates another means of producing quality affordable housing while further reducing costs and utilizing abundant wood scrap from Maine’s sawmills.” AP the printer suggests “could one day create entire neighborhoods.” Specs show it should be able to make a modest one-story home in about 80 hours.

This is America after all, so it’s not like people built this thing just to help the homeless. The UMaine researchers received funding from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. These government institutions will want a return on their investment, so the printer will likely also be used to produce light, rapidly deployable craft such as submarines and other naval vehicles. Senator Susan Collins called the printer “invaluable to our national security.”

FoF 1.0 has a sister printer on the UMaine campus, which was the previous record holder for the world’s largest 3D printer. It has already been used to produce a 600-square-foot single-family home made from wood fiber and bioresin materials. However, the new printer is four times larger. Fortunately, both models are co-located and can work on different aspects of the same projects at the same time.

The University of Maine will soon break ground on a new research lab called the Green Engineering and Materials (GEM) Factory of the Future. This will be the new home of both printers, with the main goal of “facilitating and expanding more sustainable manufacturing practices.” It will probably have even bigger printers in the future. “We learn from this to design the next,” Dr Dagger said ABC News.