Affordable 3D-printed housing model debuts at SXSW

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A trial run: The first home constructed using ICON's technology is being unveiled at SXSW in Austin, Texas, today.

ICON has built up a technique for 3D-printing of a solitary story 650-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours.

It was teamed up with global housing solutions nonprofit New Story for this project.

The cost: Right now, a house built using the firm's Vulcan 3-D printer costs $10,000. One of its founders, Jason Ballard, will be testing out the home by living in it. In comparison, some Americans have chosen to downsize into "tiny homes" which can cost almost $40,000 and are only between 200 and 400-square-feet in size. On the outside, the 3D-printed house looks like common buildings there're a unique covered patio and spacious windows.

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Food, water, and shelter are basic human needs, but 1.2 billion people in the world live without adequate housing facilities.

The partners are hoping to build a community of 100 3D-printed homes in El Salvador next year.

"ICON believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing", New Story co-founder Alexandria Lafci added. "3D printing had been our on radar but it wasn't until we got connected to ICON that we felt it would be a feasible possibility". However, the technology for suspending concrete as it prints is not feasible yet. However, by working alongside ICON, they now have access to the impressive Vulcan 3D printer. The company hopes to bring its housing to move countries in the future.

With 3D printing emerging throughout the construction industry, the technology is becoming a groundbreaking production tool for affordable and sustainable housing. In homes, at the moment small 3D printers can be used to create toys for children.

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