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ICON Develops Cheap Rapid 3D Printed Houses

The Verge reported from last month’s SXSW.  ICON, an Austin-based startup unveiled “its approach to combat adequate housing deficiency in the world by using low-cost 3D printing as a potential solution.”

ICON “developed a method for printing a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours, a fraction of the time it takes for new construction.  If all goes according to plan, a community made up of about one-hundred homes will be constructed for residents in El Salvador next year.”

The first model home was debuted in Austin last month.  It was printed from cement.  “Using the Vulcan 3D printer, ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house.”

As Jason Ballard, Co-Founder of ICON elaborates: “it’s much cheaper than the typical American home.  The model has a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a curved porch.  There are a few other companies printing homes and structures, but they are printed in a warehouse or they look like Yoda huts.  For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses.”

“Once ICON completes material testing and tweaking of the design, the company will move the Vulcan printer to El Salvador to begin construction. ICON says its 3D-printed houses will create minimal waste and labor costs are significantly reduced. The company also intends to build homes in the US eventually.”

Beyond this?  Why, space of course!  Ballard dreams: “one of the big challenges is how we are going to create habitats in space.  You’re not going to open a two-by-four and open screws.  3D printing is one of the more promising potential habitat technologies.”

Image and Video Courtesy of ICON

Quotes Courtesy of ICON and The Verge

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