Monday, 23 July, 2018

Low-priced 3D-Printed Home Will Help Overcome Housing Shortages

New Story New Story
Nellie Chapman | 14 March, 2018, 00:03

The team are looking for $600,000 for the next phase of research and development and also $400,000 of funding for 100 printed homes.

"New Story has been working to provide safe shelter for the last 3 years". To build the house, ICON developed a mobile 3D printer called the Vulcan, which is created to operate in conditions where power isn't reliable and potable water isn't readily available - like rural El Salvador or Haiti.

They could also offer a viable option for the construction of off-world colonies on planets like Mars in the near future, the firm says.

Around 1.2 billion people globally live without adequate housing, according to the World Resources Institute's Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

'And while recent decades have brought major advances in personal technology, construction practices remain relatively unchanged since the 1950s.

The company has partnered with housing solutions nonprofit New Story. To date, the company has built more than 1,500 low-priced, high-efficiency homes in developing countries like Bolivia, Haiti, and Mexico.

The company's Vulcan printer is used to create the properties, which can be built as large as 800 sq ft (75 sq ft) - around twice as large as the average "tiny house" and comparable to one-bedroom apartment sizes in cities like NY and London. The model house that was put up at SXSW had a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and even a curved porch. "3D printing had been our on radar but it wasn't until we got connected to ICON that we felt it would be a feasible possibility".

The high-powered innovators behind ICON and the first global initiative with New Story include a cross section of engineers, environmentalists, designers and entrepreneurs.

The process is created to minimise labour costs and waste materials.

ICON's main aim is not to just build homes fast, but make them extremely affordable as well.

More than just New Story using the technology to reach more families, the hope is that this catalytic R&D project that will influence the sector as a whole.

"Conventional construction methods have many baked-in drawbacks and problems that we've taken for granted for so long that we forgot how to imagine any alternative", says Jason Ballard, co-founder of ICON. For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses...

'I think if we were printing in plastic we would encounter some issues'.