A company based in Texas is going to use 3D printing technology as a solution to the increasing problem of non-availability of affordable housing all over the globe.
Startup company ICON, located in Austin, has recently revealed a new technique of building small homes. The method will rely on an enormous 3D printer for a process that takes 12 to 24 hours.
ICON unveiled how it could build a 650-square-foot house with cement in a single day at SXSW, an innovation and film festival.
The Texas-based builders will collaborate with housing solutions nonprofit company New Story to actualize their vision of making sustainable and quality homes, which everyone can access due to its affordable pricing.
3D Printed Houses
ICON said it can currently construct a single story house with a Vulcan printer. The industrial-sized printer can create houses for $10,000 but is aiming to decrease that price to just $4,000. The cost will make the 3D printed houses a lot cheaper than the typical American house, according to Jason Ballard, who is the co-founder of ICON.
The model house that was unveiled had a curved porch, bathroom, bedroom, and living room. "There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures," Ballard added. "But they are printed in a warehouse, or they look like Yoda huts. For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses."
Alexandra Lafci, co-founder of New Story, said that both the companies believe that 3D printing is going to become a technique for all types of housing.
Affordable Housing In Developing Countries
Around 1.2 billion people on the planet live without adequate housing as per a World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities Report. ICON wants to address the housing deficiency with the help of the low-cost 3D printing technique.
ICON and New Story also want to partner to construct a 3D printed community, comprising of 100 homes, in El Salvador next year. New Story has already built homes for communities in Bolivia and Haiti.
Once ICON completes the process of design tweaking and material testing, it will transport the Vulcan printer to El Salvador to start with the actual building process. The company also added that its 3D printed homes will significantly reduce labor costs and will also create minimal waste.
Eventually, ICON also wants to construct homes in the United States. That's not all, the company is also already looking past El Salvador and the United States into space. Ballard has noted that creating habitats in space is a huge challenge, but one-day communities will live off-Earth.
3D printed houses, according to him, is one of the more promising technologies for creating habitats in the future.