In some of our past blog posts we explored how architects and technical minds are combining their talents to create 3D printed homes and buildings in record times. Instead of taking months, these new dwellings can be erected in days. 3D printing offers a new way of housing the people of the future.
3D printed homes have several benefits that traditional homes do not possess. Aside from incredibly speedy manufacture times, 3D printed homes also offer a more eco-friendly build, and one that allows for compact, complex designs.
3D printing has been utilised by several for-profit and smaller design projects since house-builders began exploring the technology. This month, a new collaboration has sought to use 3D printing to further a non-profit housing project. Construction company Icon, alongside charity organisation New Story, have announced an innovative solution to housing in poorer communities. They are working together to provide a 3D printer that can produce an 800 square foot house for under $10,000. The partnership unveiled their new plans at South by Southwest (SXSW), revealing that the printer should manufacture each home in under a day.
Working to Improve
New Story have previously worked on sustainable housing projects for communities in Mexico and Bolivia. In the past three years, the company has built 1,300 buildings for deprived communities. The company takes an innovative and self-analytical approach to their builds, striving for better designs every time they take on a new project.
Icon and New Story also hope to prove that their homes can be built in challenging conditions, common in areas of the world where people are struggling economically or environmentally. With this in mind, their process uses minimal electricity and a small building team. The builds are also set to be eco-friendly and low-waste, ideal for communities in difficult circumstances.
Superior Build Process
Digital Trends explores the high-tech building process that will be utilised by Icon in order to 3D print the homes:
“Using advanced robotics, cutting-edge materials and a proprietary software, Icon enables families to have options for different designs based on factors like terrain, climate, and family size. The actual “printer,” demonstrated at SXSW, is called the Vulcan and is built out of lightweight aluminum with a built-in backup generator. Another challenge was developing a proprietary building mix using concrete that could be managed by the Vulcan but also suit New Story’s requirements, which include no exotic materials that might have to be imported. The mortar, which must be sourced from local materials, had to be thin enough to flow through the 3D printer but thick enough to support the building structure.”