Startups Target Affordable Housing Woes with 3-D Printing

Posted by Amrock

Affordable housing is in short supply in the U.S. and elsewhere, leading some startup firms to consider three-dimensional (3-D) printing as a solution, according to CNBC. New Story, a nonprofit organization focusing on global affordable homebuilding, told the news outlet its new $10,000 3-D printed home could help solve housing woes.

A single-family home built for $10,000

A 600-square-foot model debuted at last month’s South by Southwest Festival. The home was reportedly printed in less than 24 hours using a Vulcan printer made by Icon, a 3-D printing construction company. The article reports the proof-of-concept model cost about $10,000 to develop, but New Story and Icon hope to eventually trim the cost down to only $4,000 per home. New Story has said its current cost for building affordable housing using conventional methods falls in between the two figures, at around $6,500.

New technology to cut costs, speed construction

The article details how New Story has built more than 850 affordable homes in Bolivia, Mexico, Haiti, El Salvador and elsewhere over the last three years using conventional construction methods. Still, the organization has said the new 3-D printing technology would help it cut cost and speed housing completions.

“A traditional style New Story community of about 100 homes will take close to a year to complete,” said Brett Hagler, CEO of New Story. “With the 3-D home printer, if we just had one, it would take about three months to complete the community.”

“3-D printing opens almost unlimited design possibilities,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder of Icon, the 3-D printing construction firm. “It uses very resilient materials, produces almost zero waste, and it can be done much more affordably than conventional building methods.”

The article notes that a recent report found an estimated 1.2 billion people are living in cities around the world without adequate housing.


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