Hoping to help address the issue of affordable housing worldwide, an Austin, Texas-based startup is preparing to mass produce small homes using 3D printing technology.
To demonstrate the process, which can take just 12 to 24 hours, ICON constructed a 650-square-foot cement house using an enormous 3D printer at the annual SXSW festival (a film and innovation festival).
Currently, ICON’s single story home can be built for just $10,000 (though they expect the price tag to eventually drop to $4,000) using the 3D Vulcan printer that produces a custom blend of concrete that hardens as it prints. Laid out in 100 strands that measure one inch thick and that maintain their shape as they harden, ICON believes that the concrete printed walls are stronger than cinderblocks.
Partnering with housing solutions nonprofit New Story, ICON plans to construct a community of 100 affordable 3D-printed homes in El Salvador next year.