3D-print a home in 24 hours, a game changer for global homelessness

3D-print a home in 24 hours, a game changer for global homelessness

3D-printing is a revolution, and this new design of a home is changing the game for global poverty and architecture. the construction process is simple, the structure is sturdy and the home can be executed for a fraction of the going rate, in a fraction of the time. while many other 3D-printed homes exist, none includes such clear advantages as this one for social-work. printed with cement by a vulcan printer, the shelter can be printed for $10,000 in as little time as 12 hours, but it is projected to soon cost only $4,000. this has the potential to supercharge the production of affordable housing in areas of dire poverty that can’t produces shelters fast enough.

3D printed home
all photos courtesy of icon and new story



the project is a shared undertaking, combining the efforts of  icon — an innovative building solutions firm — and non-profit, new story — which specializes in global housing issues. the first official prototype has just been constructed in austin, texas on march 12th, 2018. jason ballard, one of the c0-founders of icon, will inhabit it temporarily to work out the kinks, gauging an impression before homes are printed in various outreach programs of new story. 

3D printed home
an in-process shot of the construction from the plan up



printing will start in el salvador, then hopefully follow in belize and haiti. not only is this a big win in the battle against homelessness and poverty, it is also a noteworthy step in the world of architecture. while not the first 3D-printed house design, it once again marks the progressive trend toward the future of construction — a future where 3D-printing and other non-human building methods are becoming more viable.     

3D print a home
the vulcan printer laying the cement wall

3D printed home
the finished prototype in austin texas

  • The concept & the process is valid & to be applauded. I do see many rocky paths ahead however… local admin, funding and of course the greed & avarice of those wishing to profiteer from these projects. Good luck all the same. I truly hope the venture gets off the ground and improves the lives of those in dire need..

  • Oh – and another very important point, this is the main thing: the raw material is ubiquitary and available in any dosage. You will have very little to no wasted material unlike with plywood. The humidity balance is much better, and the fire resistance! You will need only doors and windows (if at all…) to fix, with no intrados to be cut and fitted. You can easily insert steel rods for burglar safety instead of windows.

  • Most of you don’t see the point: this method is a) usable without much (wo)manpower to build, b) can be individually designed in very short time, c) can be done without restrictions of prefabricated materials, d) made of concrete is has a much longer live span than plywood-constructions in terms of humidity and insects. It is heavier and so much better in acustics. The thermal properties are better because of energy storage.
    The thermal insulation is done with the chamber design and little direct connections from in- to outside.
    I see also a great potential in homes for older people who don’t need and want to live in hospital-like dieing beds.

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