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Is 3D printing the future of affordable housing?

A property developer in Austin plans to 3D print houses using a new printer that takes only days to complete a home.

The Vulcan II printer puts down layers of concrete that gradually build up the walls of the home, needing only a small team of people to remotely operate the machine via tablet.

Is 3D printing the future of affordable housing?
Vulcan II Printer. Via Icon

According to its creator, tech startup Icon, it can produce a 2,000 sq ft home in less than a week – although any non-concrete parts of the house will still need to be added manually – reducing both cost and waste.

In 2018, Icon was the first company in the US to secure a building permit for a 3D printed home and its permanent Austin prototype cost just $10,000 to print. It’s now passing its technology onto property developers. The Austin-based Cielo Property Group will use the Vulcan II printers to create affordable housing, and non-profit New Story also reportedly plans to use them to print homes in Latin America.

Icon's first 3D printed US home in Austin. Courtesy ICON
Icon’s first 3D printed US home in Austin. Courtesy ICON
Icon’s first 3D printed US home in Austin. Courtesy ICON

[Via Wall Street Journal]

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