Could 3D printed homes be the answer to our lack of affordable housing options?
A San Francisco charity called New Story seems to think so, and to that end its just showed off a new 3D printer it built in partnership with construction technology firm ICON that it wants to use to build affordable homes in developing nations.
New Story and ICON recently “printed” a 350-square foot home in Austin, Texas, which they say is the first such property of its kind in the U.S. that have been built according to local building codes. The home is a prototype of what New Story wants to bring to developing nations. It says its new 3D home printer can create an 80 square foot home that meets building regulations in under 24 hours.
“We feel it’s our responsibility to challenge traditional methods and work toward ending homelessness,” Brett Hagler, CEO and co-founder of New Story, told hypepotamus.com. “Linear methods will never reach the billion-plus people who need safe homes.”
New Story has more than just a prototype however. The charity said that it’s soon to begin work on a project in El Salvador, where it will build its first community of 3D printer homes.
“There are over 100 million people living in slum conditions in what we call survival mode,” said Alexandria Lafci, New Story’s co-founder and COO. “How can we make a big dent in this instead of just solving incrementally?”
The charity said it takes around 8 months to construct a 100-home community using its 3D printer. Each home costs just $6,000 to create.
New Story isn’t the only organization that sees the potential of 3D printing for home building. Back in 2013, a Chinese construction firm called WinSun 3D printed 10 homes in a single day, and later constructed a six story apartment building, an office building and an 11,000 square-foot mansion using the same method.
“It will [still] take many years before 3-D-printed homes are printing the types of homes that you and I would live in, but the tech is ready now to print very high-quality, safe homes in the places we’re building,” Lafci said.