ICON builds a 3D house in under 24 hours


A Texas-based company is using 3D printing technology to find a solution to the growing problem of affordable housing around the world. "I think if we were printing in plastic we would encounter some issues", explains co-founder of ICON, Jason Ballard. The company says it will be able to lower that to a mere $4,000.

The Texas-based builders will collaborate with housing solutions nonprofit company New Story to actualize their vision of making sustainable and quality homes, which everyone can access due to its affordable pricing.

While the company's main objective is to help reverse the global housing crisis, it also plans to build community-wide buy-in through the creation of manufacturing jobs that utilize local labor in those impoverished areas.

ICON unveiled how it could build a 650-square-foot house with cement in a single day at SXSW, an innovation and film festival.

Recently some Americans also have chosen to downsize into smaller homes but these also cost almost $40,000 and are only between 200 and 400-square-feet in size. ICON plans to use the technology to build a 100-home community in El Salvador next year.

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Food, water, and shelter are basic human needs, but 1.2 billion people in the world live without adequate housing facilities. New Story's goal for this project is to print the first community of homes for underserved families in El Salvador in the coming 18 months, and then through partnerships, scale up production to serve additional communities over the next few years.

Could 3D printing be the answer to homelessness around the world?

As we've seen in cases both inside and outside of the construction sector, 3D printing offers many benefits other than just being very quick. The company hopes to bring its housing to move countries in the future.

Many industry experts say 3D printing is already revolutionizing the way products are created and will only continue to do so in the future. Although 3-D printing has been used in building fabrication before, printing on-site using a universally available building material is a new step. In homes, at the moment small 3D printers can be used to create toys for children. In the medical space, 3D printers are believed to be a panacea for creating cheaper prosthetics.

The properties, which are now at the concept stage, will soon be used to provide safe shelter for people in El Salvador and could one day be expanded worldwide to house billions.