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Housing the World with 3D Printing 

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At the South By Southwest Festival last week, technology startup ICON unveiled an exciting new project that could literally house the world. Teaming up with housing non-profit New Story, ICON created a 3D printed concrete home in under 24 hours. The home is around 650 square feet, consisting of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, and porch.

What was truly exciting about this new project was that the home cost less then $10,000 and is planned to be marketed at about $4,000 to residents in developing countries, such as El Salvador Haiti, Mexico, and Bolivia.

The home was constructed using ICON’s 3D printer, Vulcan, which relied on software to dictate the patterns in which concrete would be poured and laid upon the foundation. This is not the first 3D printed house to be constructed. Similar startups have created 3D printed homes in Amsterdam, Dubai, and Russia. However, this is the first-ever permitted 3D printed home to ever be built in the United States.

The possibilities of this technology are exciting. Not only can it house billions of people affordably and comfortably, but it can also be applied to skyscrapers, commercial buildings, etc. to save the world trillions of dollars in construction and property costs. Financing a home for millenials, which have been slow to enter the mortgage market, can be much more profitable, whether it’s taking out a hard money loan for home purchase to pay off a home quickly or purchasing a home outright with no debt.

Per ICON’s co-founder Jason Ballard on Business Wire:

            With 3D printing, you not only have a continuous thermal envelope, high thermal mass,

and near zero-waste, but you also have speed, a much broader design palette,

next-level resiliency, and the possibility of a quantum leap in affordability. This isn’t 10 percent better, it’s 10 times better.

Both ICON and New Story hope to scale this model to provide affordable housing too much of the poorest residents of the world. This serves as a defining first step in increasing global prosperity and eliminating poverty for billions of people globally.

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