These 3D-printed homes can be built for less than $4,000 in just 24 hours
Printable 3D homes represent the latest wave in construction, but they're not always cheap to build.
Earlier this year, architectural startup Branch Technology developed a prototype of a 1,000-square-foot 3D home that would cost around $300,000 - a price that's too high to be considered a solution to the global housing crisis.
That's all about to change thanks to a collaboration between New Story, a San Francisco-based housing nonprofit, and ICON, a construction technology company that designs 3D printers. In March, the companies unveiled the first permitted, 3D printed home in America: a 350-square-foot structure that costs around $10,000 and took just 48 hours to build.
At the time, the printer - known as the Vulcan - was only running at 25% speed. This gives the companies confidence that they can build a 600- to 800-square-foot home in just 24 hours for a price tag of $4,000 or less. Prior to using 3D technology, it took New Story eight months to build 100 homes, which each cost around $6,000.
While the initial test run took place in Austin, Texas, the companies plan to produce their first string of homes in El Salvador, a country whose rough terrain and frequent floods have made housing construction incredibly difficult. From there, they hope to provide safe homes to some of the 1.3 billion global citizens who currently reside in slums.
Take a look at their housing model below.
The Vulcan can produce a home seamlessly on-site, without having to piece together individual units.
The printer is designed to be mobile and weighs around 2,000 pounds.
It's also made to withstand rural weather conditions, meaning it can operate during a power shortage or without access to potable water.
The prototype features a living room, single bedroom and bath, and small office space.
ICON's staff has tested the home's durability by using it as an office space.
El Salvador families are expected to move into the homes by 2019, following seismic and safety tests.
The next stop? 3D printing in space.
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