What if you could build a new home in just 24 hours by just printing it? It may seem like a fantasy, but it's a reality. You can print virtually anything on a 3D printer, and now houses can be printed. In fact, homes have already been built using this new technique. The first livable 4 bed 1,022 sq ft home was built for about $230,000 in France. The price tag was 20% cheaper than building a similar home with conventional materials and methods.
Also, the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands has had plans since 2013 to build an entire community of 3D printed single story bungalows and multi-level homes that will be available for rent starting in 2019.
America will certainly not be left behind in this new technology. 3D homes could really have a big impact for the better on the real estate industry. That's because one of the main attractions of 3D home printing is the amazing speed at which homes can be built. Does 24 hours sound too fast? It's been done already. A construction company in the US called Sunconomy partnered with a Russian 3D printer company in 2016 to build homes in just a day! And in Austin, Texas, a startup called ICON builds 800 sq ft homes in only 24 hours for only $4000! It takes 6 month to build a home with regular methods.
ICON’s crane-like printer is called the Vulcan and works in a similar fashion to regular 3D printers. But with this huge printer, it pours a concrete mix into a pattern governed by software. The home sort of grows from the ground up, one layer at a time. The printer is set on a track so that it con cover whatever area is needed, no matter how large.
This drives home the point of the speed and affordability of 3D printed homes. 3D printed homes have the obvious benefit of being more affordable to construct. Since these homes are built with concrete, they will be energy efficient and fire resistant. And as the technology becomes more popular, the cost of using 3D construction printers will continue to fall. When you compare 3D printing with the costs of material and labor for building a traditional home, the affordability becomes even more apparent.
The ability to print homes would not only address real estate issues here in America, but help people around the world who need affordable housing. ICON is already looking to partner with Fannie Mae and FEMA to print homes for low income families and to ease the housing crisis.
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