A Tech Company Is Using 3D Printed Houses To Combat Homeless

Ivan Schwartz
March 15, 2018

The 800 sq ft house - a collaboration between charity New Story, which builds homes for people in developing nations, and Icon, a robotics construction company in Texas - was showcased at the South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, and is believed to meet the requirements of local building codes. "It's much cheaper than the typical American home", ICON co-founder Jason Ballard said. ICON can print a whole home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house, though, some American homes, 200 to 400-square-feet in measure cost about $40,000.

With this proof-of-concept, both the companies now plan to build such small, inhabitable houses for the deprived families in El Salvador and Haiti.

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

The 3D Vulcan printer which was used in making the house is reported to be massive, but still portable.

New Story previously worked to build low-priced houses in Haiti, where other construction efforts failed after the 2010 natural disaster.

ICON has partnered with a nonprofit housing foundation New Story to take its technology to the developing world.

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The model unveiled at SXSW has a living room, bathroom, bedroom, and a curved porch.

ICON's main aim is not to just build homes fast, but make them extremely affordable as well. Vulcan's technology is a flawless match for ICON's vision as it was created to work in the worst of circumstances and places where things like potable water and technical assistance are lacking. ICON is focused on creating homes in parts of the world that don't have the economic wherewithal to house the poverty-stricken.

'For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses.

New Story says Vulcan cost just under £180,000 ($250,000) to research and develop.

Since these structures need to be sturdy and hospitable, the companies aren't taking any risks and will be refining the process right up until they take it over to El Salvador.

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. He explains: "One of the big challenges is how are we going to create habitats in space..."

Other reports by GizPress

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