A new type of 3D printer has been unveiled is able to build houses using concrete in 24 hours at a cost of just 4000 dollars.
The development is targeted at the Third World where speed and low cost are essential.
The project is a collaboration between a U.S. housing non-profit New Story and construction technology firm Icon. It aims to use 3D printing technology to house the homeless.
New Story and Icon debuted an initial proof-of-concept model, pictured, at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, yesterday.
It was created with a mobile 3D-printer developed by Icon named the Vulcan. The Vulcan functions much like other 3D printers used in construction and extrudes mortar out of a nozzle in a pre-programmed pattern, slowly building up layers until a basic house structure is formed. This is then finished by humans who add windows, a roof, and the like.
The proof-of-concept model cost US$10,000 to produce and took 48 hours to make, including the finishing touches.
The first target is El Salvador where the developers hope to produce low-cost 3D-printed homes by late 2019.
New Story and Icon expect to reduce total printing time to 24 hours and lower costs to $4,000.
Further into the future, the team aims to raise funding and build its 3D-printed homes in El Salvador in the next 18 months. All being well, it is hoped that people will actually be living in the 3D-printed homes by late 2019. T
The 3D-printed house was presented during the technology festival South By Southwest in Texas. According to the creators, ICON, it is the solution for the 1 billion people worldwide who live without a roof over their heads. The first step is taken in El Salvador, where 100 of such houses will be printed next year.
The house from the cement printer is more than 60 square meters and has a living room, bedroom and a veranda. Printing takes between 12 and 24 hours.
Due to the speed and cheap material, the house costs only $ 4,000.
New Story is one of the few nonprofits that has gone through the San Francisco based Y Combinator (YC), viewed by many as the world’s most powerful start-up incubator.