Now that the proof of concept has been finished, ICON and New Story will be moving into phase two by taking the idea to El Salvador and printing its first homes there. "I think if we were printing in plastic we would encounter some issues", explains co-founder of ICON, Jason Ballard.
The house was printed by Icon's proprietary Vulcan printer at a cost of US$10,000 (RM39,000) in a day, but the goal of the Y-Combinator-backed charity and the company is to drive the price down to US$4,000 and the printing time to six hours, reported Quartz.
Around 1.2bn people in cities across the world do not have access to affordable or secure housing, according to a report from the World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.
Austin, Texas can now claim the United States' first permitted 3D-printed house.
These homes aren't part of the "tiny house" movement and you won't see suburbs of these 3D houses popping up across America.
Icon, in partnership with San Francisco housing charity New Story, has developed a large-scale Vulcan printer, capable of printing an entire 800 square foot house in between 12 and 24 hours. ICON plans to use the technology to build a 100-home community in El Salvador next year.
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ICON has partnered with a nonprofit housing foundation New Story to take its technology to the developing world.
The printer uses a special concrete mix that hardens as it is printed, said the publication.
Icon aims to develop robots to install the windows after the houses are printed and drones to spray-paint the exterior walls.
The printer itself can be transported from location to location using a truck, and is estimated to have the capacity to print up to 1,000 houses. The company is planning to explore the possibility of printing roofs as well.
The company hopes to commercialize its house-printing technology in the U.S. in the long run, where housing shortages are reaching alarming levels in some larger cities. The companies are targeting the end of 2018 for the first homes to be printed and expect to have the first 3D printed community completed by 2019. In medicine, 3D printers can be used to create cheaper prosthetics.
Even though the machinery used in 3D-printing is quite costly, however, the materials can be low-cost.