3D-printed houses are getting insanely cheap

An Austin-based robotics construction startup unveiled the first permitted 3D-printed home at SXSW, and it costs less than $4k.

According to a report by the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, there are 1.2B people in the world who live in less than adequate housing.

3D-printed houses are getting insanely cheap

But on Tuesday at South By Southwest, the Austin-based robotics construction startup ICON presented a possible solution: a 3D-printed home built on their mobile printer, the Vulcan, which can lay down a 1-story house faster than you can Amazon Prime a TV for the living room.

The sweet deets

The model presented at SXSW was merely a prototype, despite the fact it came equipped with a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and curved porch, but the company believes with a little fine tuning, the Vulcan will be able to do so much more.

It can reportedly take 8 months or longer to build a community of 100 homes at $6k a pop with the more traditional methods. According to ICON, the Vulcan is capable of printing one 650-square-foot, single-story home out of cement in 12 to 24 hours, for less than $4k.

Taking the show on the road

Last year, ICON partnered with New Story, a nonprofit charity that works to fix slums into functional, sustainable communities, and together they plan to address housing shortages around the world.

Currently, ICON can print an entire home for $10k, but once their process is fully ironed out, the company is certain they can hit their mark of $4k. 

Their goal is to finish testing, and have 100 homes built in El Salvador by 2019.

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