A New, Cheap 3D Printed Home Could Be A Start For One Billion Homeless
A human being needs only 3 things to be able to live: food, water and shelter. This sounds like a problem a highly advanced civilization can accommodate, but sadly, according to World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 1.2 billion people live without housing that is considered adequate. Recently at SXSW, however, an Austin-based startup company unveiled it’s plan to fight this problem by using cheap 3D printing.
ICON, the company behind the ambitious plan, has created a method to 3D print a single-story 650-square-foot home out of cement in under a day. If their plan is successful, they hope to have printed 100 homes for residents in El Salvador in 2019. They will be teaming with New Story, a nonprofit that is vested in international housing solutions.
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The first model was shown at SXSW this year. Jason Ballard, one of the three founders of ICON, says he will try out the first model as an office space to test out its practicality.
“We are going to install air quality monitors. How does it look, and how does it smell?” Ballard explains his method of testing the model.
Using the Vulcan 3D print, ICON says they can print an entire home fro around $10,000. If that sounds too good to be true, just know that they’re hoping to get that number down to a very affordable $4,000.
“It’s much cheaper than the typical American home,” Ballard says. It’s capable of printing a home that’s 800 square feet, a significantly bigger structure than properties pushed by the tiny home movement, which top out at about 400 square feet. In contrast, the average New York apartment is about 866 square feet.”
Is this 3D printed home just one giant room? Nope, it comes with a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a curved porch.
“There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures,” Ballard explains. “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.” .
The use of cement as the base of the structure is to put ease on the customer over how strong the house can be.
“I think if we were printing in plastic we would encounter some issues.” Ballard jokes.
If these types of houses can spread on a global scale, there’s no telling what impact it would have on the 1.2 billion people who live in such terrible conditions. $4,000 for a 650-square-foot home? That’s a bargain.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR, ScreenRant, and by just looking up his name.