Lifestyle

Two Companies are Saving the World One 3D-Printed House at a Time

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Since the beginning of the 21st century, we’ve made amazing advances in technology. Once upon a time, the only phone most folks had was attached to the wall, and dial-up internet was the only way to access the World Wide Web. Today, our planners, email accounts, and phones are packaged in a single device that conveniently travels anywhere we can go and usually fits in our pocket.

However, all these advancements are not strictly tied to smartphones. Now, big changes are being made with the help of 3D-printers, and like the invention of the mobile phone, these modifications have the ability to change the world as we know it.

First_Permitted_3DPrintedHome_US_sideview

Photo: iconbuild.com

Last month ICON, a company based out of Austin, and New Story, a non-profit organization seeking to provide homes for people living in “survival mode” across the world, unveiled the first 3D-printed home. The 350 square foot prototype was made from concrete and completed in less than 24 hours. Hyperallergic.com reported the cost of the abode as $10,000, but both companies hope to see that cost drop to $4,000 in the future.

According to ICON’s website, the production version of the 3D-printed home will be approximately 600-800 square feet and will be created with virtually zero waste produced during its construction. Even more notable is the fact these unique homes could potentially provide much-needed employment opportunities in areas where jobs are often scarce.

After moving the printer to a developing country, manpower will be needed to operate it, as well as to assemble the structure post-printing, and install windows, doors, and other basic necessities. This will result in the creation of new advanced manufacturing jobs.

ICON_3D-Printer_Render_1 Saving the World One 3D Printed Home at a Time
Photo: iconbuild.com

Both ICON and New Story estimate they will be using their Vulcan 3D-printer to create entire communities in El Salvador by 2019. In an interview with The Verge, co-founder of New Story, Alexandria Lafci said, “(ICON) believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing.”

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