​Startup wants to solve housing problem with homes made in 3D printers in 24 hours

The housing crisis worldwide is worrying, with 1.2 billion people without adequate housing, according to the Ross Center for Sustainable Cities of the World Resources Institute. At the SXSW festival on Monday, ICON, a startup in Austin, Texas, presented a new way to combat this lack of housing using low cost 3D printing.

The method developed by ICON involves printing a 60 square meter house from cement in 24 hours. The company plans to build a small community with 100 such homes for people from El Salvador in 2019. ICON is working with a organization called New Story.


Co-founder of New Story, Alexandria Lafci told Verge that the company has already built homes in Haiti, El Salvador and Bolivia.

The model made in 3D printing has living room, bedroom, bathroom and a curved porch. The use of cement as a base material should help to normalize the process and ensure greater confidence in the face of possible doubts about the robustness of the project. Jason Ballard, one of the founders of ICON, says that initially the company will test the model as an office, to try out its practical use and answer questions concerning the internal air quality and safety of the house.


Ballard acknowledges that there are already other 3D home printing projects, but for him, one factor differentiates the ICON model from the others: “They (the other houses) are printed in a warehouse, or look like Yoda huts . For this venture to succeed, they need to be the best houses. I think if we were printing on plastic we would have some problems. ”

The printer used by ICON will be Vulcan, in which the printing of a house comes out for $ 10,000, but the company still plans to lower the cost by $ 4 thousand: “Much cheaper than the ordinary American house,” he says.

Ballard adds that his model comes with an extra: its 3D-printed houses have minimal waste and their labor costs are significantly reduced.

The Verge ]

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