The presentation at SXSW comes after a report from the World Resources Institute estimated that 1.2 billion people live in cities without affordable or secure housing. But to start, the early-stage company is building a prototype for affordable, 3-D printed housing for the developing world.Icon partnered with the nonprofit New Story, which provides housing to families in need in El Salvador, Haiti and soon Mexico.
Austin startup ICON unveiled a new method of mass producing small homes with a massive 3D printer in a process that the company says takes just 12 to 24 hours. New Story said "as long or longer than standard Concrete Masonry Unit built homes".
It was teamed up with worldwide housing solutions nonprofit New Story for this project. One of its founders, Jason Ballard, will be testing out the home by living in it.
However, before these homes are built, ICON is planning to trial the model by 3D printing an office in Austin.
Together, ICON and New Story are 3D printing homes using a cement mixture. Within the office, the construction tech company plans to install air quality monitors and keep an eye on how the 3D printed structure looks and smells. ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house, whereas, some American homes, 200 to 400-square-feet in size cost almost $40,000. However, by working alongside ICON, they now have access to the impressive Vulcan 3D printer. The technology also tends to reduce waste and manual labor costs.
3D-printing has become more accessible all around the globe, however, the of adoption of any large-scale utilization of 3D-printing technology is still a challenge.
Despite the fact that the hardware utilized as a part of 3D-printing is very exorbitant, notwithstanding, the materials can be cheap.