Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

$4000 3D Printed Homes for Those Who Lack Shelter

$4000 3D Printed Homes for Those Who Lack Shelter

To combat this deficiency, an Austin-based startup has proposed a solution of developing a house by using low-priced 3D printing. One of its founders, Jason Ballard, will be testing out the home by living in it.

Using an industrial sized Vulcan printer, ICON says it can now build their single-story home for $10,000 but is working to drop that cost to just $4,000.

The partners are hoping to build a community of 100 3D-printed homes in El Salvador next year.

Incredible houses printed from cement could help to end the global housing crisis, according to the company behind their creation.

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The spotlight on this breakthrough falls on ICON's proprietary 3D printer "Vulcan" that uses a unique mix of concrete that hardens as it is printed. In housing, the cheap construction could be a boon for affordable housing. As a part of this effort, ICON has developed cutting-edge materials tested to the most recognized standards of safety, comfort and resiliency and is created to function with almost zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages.

ICON has banded together with a charitable lodging establishment New Story to take its innovation to the creating scene.

ICON's main aim is not to just build homes fast, but make them extremely affordable as well. Within the office, the construction tech company plans to install air quality monitors and keep an eye on how the 3D printed structure looks and smells.

After construction, the charity will follow up with the community, using what they call "impact data", which measures the impact of a home on education, well-being, income and community building. The company also added that its 3D printed homes will significantly reduce labor costs and will also create minimal waste.

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'For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses. That's not all, the company is also already looking past El Salvador and the United States into space.

But for those who don't want to live in what is essentially a kitchen with a bed, the printing method used by ICON is capable of producing a home that's up to 74sq m, about twice the size of houses typically pushed by the tiny house movement.

"One of the big challenges is how are we going to create habitats in space", Ballard said.

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