ICON, a construction company from Texas that specializing in 3D printing, and New Story, a nonprofit startup centered around fundraising for urban planning, have partnered up to create sustainable 3D printed houses for the less-fortunate. This collaboration comes in an effort to aide people lacking safe, long-term housing in the countries of Bolivia, El Salvador and Haiti. Last month, the first full-scale model of these 3D printed homes was unveiled, featuring an bedroom, living room and office.

The homes are created using an industrial-sized 3D printer from Vulcan – a system similar to BigRep’s 3D printers – and a cement mix, building the home layer-by-layer from the ground up. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the homes is that the build process only takes about 48 hours to complete the entire structure. In addition to this, the homes have very little impact on the environment, something many advocates of 3D printing technology will quickly point to.

“With 3D printing, you have speed, a much broader design palette, next-level resiliency, and the possibility of a quantum leap in affordability,” said ICON cofounder Jason Ballard to SingularityHub. “This isn’t 10 percent better, it’s 10 times better.”


The 3D printed homes cost a mere $10,000 to build, a figure lower than that of the average rent for a single bedroom home within most major U.S. cities. In terms of strength, the homes are actually stronger than homes made with concrete masonry.

The most impressive thing, however, is not the benefits of these 3D printed homes, but who they will benefit. ICON and New Story will be producing these homes to create entire 3D printed home communities to aide people living in tough conditions who lack adequate housing. The first of these will be constructed in El Salvador, quickly followed by developments in Bolivia and Haiti. New Story is currently campaigning to raise $1 million dollars in donations to invest in building these 3D printed homes, with half the money raised being dedicated to safely transporting their 3D printer and reducing build time from 2 days to 1.

These goals may seem daunting, but in reality are very obtainable. New Story has experience in reaching goals similar to these, having already built over 100 homes in 100 days in Leveque, Haiti.

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Original Sources: http://blog.ycombinator.com/3d-home-printing-for-the-developing-world-alexandria-lafci-and-brett-hagler-of-new-story-charity/ & http://www.guilfordian.com/worldnation/2018/03/30/3d-printing-to-help-developing-nations/