Homelessness and lack of affordable housing are becoming a real problem around the world, but also in the U.S. Lucky, Icon an Austin-based startup created a 3D printer that can "print" small homes! They are currently printing the world's first 3D-printed neighbourhood called Community First! Village. The company believes that 3D printing can help with affordable housing as it bring the cost of housing significantly down.
“When we were first trying to imagine how we could use technology to tackle the global housing crisis, we couldn’t find anything else that had all of these promising advantages,” says Jason Ballard, Icon’s cofounder and CEO.
Also, since the printer can work autonomously and continuously, it’s really faster way to build houses. Take a look at the pictures below, the results are very impressive!
In Austin, Texas the 3D printer is working on three houses simultaneously and since it's using a digital blueprint, it can work on different design at the same time.
The printer squirts out layers of low-cost building material to create walls that are 8.5 feet high and 28 feet wide. For a small single home, the printer can build the whole house in just over 24 hours.
It is very impressive to see! The printer is controlled by a tablet and only needs a crew of four to six people to build a house!
Once that printer is done, the rest of the house is built more traditionally. There is physical workers that have to lay the foundation, add the roof, windows, door, plumbing and electrical systems. However, ICON is working on a new system that could add plumbing and electrical systems into the 3D print.
The interior is quite lovely! As most people that will leave in these houses are currently living in RVs, they will certainly enjoy all this space.
There is big windows that allow a lot of natural light.
The tiny home is mostly open-concept with a separate space for the bedroom.
There is even space for a small garden on the outside!
We really hope that will help people without homes and with low-income to have a place of their own.
What do you think of these houses? Do you think 3D printing is the future of construction?