If you thought 3D printing an entire jet engine was a ambitious task, you aren’t thinking big enough… at least as far as size is concerned.

3D printed houses have been attempted in various ways, but we’ve been keeping our eye on what non-profit organization New Story and for-profit construction firm ICON is doing.

They recently unveiled the first permitted, 3D printed house in the U.S., deep in the heart of Texas–Austin, Texas, y’all. Using their custom, portable, gantry-style, proprietary cementitious spittin’ 3D printer (patent pending), the structure of the house was constructed at a size of ~800 square feet with a (25% speed) print time of ~48 hours, from start to finish (foundation, plumbing, electrical, roofing, insulation, interior finish, trim work, and painting is another topic altogether). The goal is to get the print time down under 24 hours. Here’s the inspirational video:

Big goals. Worthy cause. Both companies are setting out on this venture to solve housing problems around the world with an estimated one billion people lacking adequate/comfortable living quarters.

Why do they think it will work? Well, they want to start by slashing cost for housing for the millions living in slums of Latin America and New Story is already building houses in those countries; already making houses happen. Here’s how New Story does what they do:

Each 3D printed structure costs $4,000 (approximately half the cost for a structure the same size in the U.S.). Costs will need to controlled, but the technology is still new, and local sourced material could bring that down. Plus, you can get in on the action too. Should you decide to subsidize housing for a family, you’ll be able to donate (100% goes to the field), then meet the home’s eventual inhabitants through a digital family profile page and see them in a move-in video upon build completion–Think Compassion International, but you’re putting a family in a house.

3D Printed House by Icon + New Story

New Story and ICON plan to start printing homes in the U.S. by 2019 with the printer destine for El Salvador over the next 18 months. You can help fund a 3D printed home or help fund the 3D printer R&D to help scale their printing technology, both of which can be done through New Story’s website.

Author

Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.