A start-up based in Austin, Texas will be mass producing small homes using 3D printing technology to find a solution to the problem of affordable housing around the world. "How does it look and how does it smell?" founder Jason Ballard told The Verge. To build the house, ICON developed a mobile 3D printer called the Vulcan, which is created to operate in conditions where power isn't reliable and potable water isn't readily available - like rural El Salvador or Haiti. The production version of the printer will be able to print this single-story 650 square foot house in under 24 hours for less than $4,000.
In the longer term, ICON has partnered with housing nonprofit New Story to take its technology to the developing world. While it's early days yet, they hope to produce low-priced 3D-printed homes in El Salvador by late 2019.
Further into the future, the team aims to raise funding and build its 3D-printed homes in El Salvador in the next 18 months.
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Food, water, and shelter are basic human needs, but 1.2 billion people in the world live without adequate housing facilities.
"(ICON) believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing", New Story co-founder Alexandria Lafci said. The printer gives out a custom blend of concrete that hardens as it's printed.
Despite the fact that the hardware utilized as a part of 3D-printing is very exorbitant, notwithstanding, the materials can be cheap. The printer, called the Vulcan, is created to work under the constraints that are common in places like Haiti and rural El Salvador where power can be unpredictable, potable water is not a guarantee and technical assistance is sparse.
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Once testing of the design has been completed, Icon will move the Vulcan printer to El Salvador to start building work on its new planned community. A few Pakistani new companies and business visionaries have led the pack on presenting 3D-printed innovation in different scenes at the nation over.
The company hopes to commercialize its house-printing technology in the USA in the long run, where housing shortages are reaching alarming levels in some larger cities. Although 3-D printing has been used in building fabrication before, printing on-site using a universally available building material is a new step.
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