Building a house by hand can be both time-consuming and costly, so some home builders are now automating part of the construction process.
The homebuilding start up ICON uses a 3D-printing robot that can make parts for houses. The machine can print the walls, roof, and floor of a 650-square-foot model in as little as 12 hours. The windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems are then added by a human worker.
ICON debuted a prototype of the house at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Partnering with the international non-profit New Story, the company plan to build dozens more for low-income communities in El Salvador by the end of 2019.
Check out the home below:
The single-story house features a wrap-around patio.
Inside, it has a living room …
… a small office space …
… a bedroom …
… and a bathroom.
To build the house, the printer (Called the Vulcan) lays down layers of concrete one-by-one.
A human worker then installs the finishes, plumbing, and electrical systems. The whole process takes between 12 and 24 hours.
The Vulcan printer can construct a home that measures up to 800 square feet.
New Story and ICON aren’t the first to 3D print a house.
The Ukrainian housing start up PassivDom has created a 3D printer that can construct a 410-square-foot, solar-powered home within eight hours.
New Story and ICON designed this house specifically for the developing world, since the 3D-printing process costs much less, is quicker, and produces less waste than traditional construction.
They see it as one solution that could help alleviate the global affordable housing crisis, Alexandria Lafci, co-founder of New Story goes on to explain.
Though the model below costs $10,000 in materials, the creators hope to reduce that figure to $4,000.
By 2019, they will create 100 houses in El Salvador if all goes according to plan. Where eventually, New Story and ICON may also sell their homes in the United States.
If you’re interested in this type of home, or the technology required to make it, then watch this short YouTube clip for more information.
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