ICON Wants 3D Printing to Become the Future of Home Construction

Humans tend to disagree on many things, but if there’s one thing we all have in common, it would be the need to have our own homes. No one wants to pay rent for the rest of their lives or to live out on the street.

With this mind, a company known as ICON has created an easy way to build homes, especially for those in developing nations. Just imagine being able to build a home for half the cost when compared to how construction is done today, wouldn’t that be awesome?

It is, and ICON is one of the few companies on the verge of making a huge change that, if done correctly, could make it possible for almost anyone to have their own place to lay sleep.

Made Possible by 3D Printing

Yes, we’re well aware that 3D printing is nothing new, but for the most part, the technology hasn’t been used to build anything on a large scale. With ICON’s technology, it’s now possible to build a single-story 650-square-foot house out of cement in a mere 24-hours.

A similar sized house built using current construction methods could take a single week complete, at least, from my personal experience. Now, if everything goes as according to plan, a small community of 100 located in El Salvador, could have new homes come 2019.

To make this a possibility, ICON has collaborated with a nonprofit organization known as New Story. We understand the first model of these homes was built in Austin, Texas, and the demonstration was a resounding success.

“The home was unveiled in March 2018 in Austin, TX and was built using a prototype of the mobile printer we are creating for New Story and the developing world,” according to ICON.

What Type of Printer is ICON Using?

The company says it’s using the Vulcan printer, a device that makes it possible to build a home today for $10,000. However, ICON is pushing to drop that number down to $4,000 per home, a feat some might view as impossible.

“The production version of the printer will have the ability to print a single story, 600-800 square foot home in under 24 hours for less than $4,000. As a part of this effort, ICON has developed cutting-edge materials tested to the most recognized standards of safety, comfort and resiliency and is designed to function with nearly zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages,” says ICON.

One might say these homes won’t have sufficient space, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. From what we can tell, each home will have a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and a curved porch.

If ICON is successful in its bid to build homes on the cheap by using the 3D printing technology, then we could be on the verge of replacing current construction practices for good. It would also mean fewer construction workers needed, and well, that’s another problem we’ll have to talk about in the future.

For now, let’s revel in what the future could deliver via 3D printing.