The £3000 houses that can be downloaded and printed in 24 hours


Now that the proof of concept has been finished, ICON and New Story will be moving into phase two by taking the idea to El Salvador and printing its first homes there.

The spotlight on this breakthrough falls on ICON's proprietary 3D printer "Vulcan" that uses a unique mix of concrete that hardens as it is printed.

New Story previously worked to build low-priced houses in Haiti, where other construction efforts failed after the 2010 natural disaster.

According to New Story, the construction process produces no waste and the homes themselves are able to withstand harsh climates and other constraints such as limited water, power and labour. Their 100% model ensures that every penny of each donation goes to build homes while organization overhead and R&D is covered by private donors such as Y Combinator, prominent venture capitalists, and other leading executives. They've found a way to 3D-print 600 to 800-square-foot houses for $4,000 in under one day - and they recently unveiled "the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America".

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The presentation at SXSW comes after a report from the World Resources Institute estimated that 1.2 billion people live in cities without affordable or secure housing. Within the office, the construction tech company plans to install air quality monitors and keep an eye on how the 3D printed structure looks and smells.

"(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. "3D printing had been our on radar but it wasn't until we got connected to ICON that we felt it would be a feasible possibility". The strength of the printed walls are said to be stronger than cinderblocks after a few days of hardening, but the house is entirely habitable after it's been set up. One of them is Apis Cor in Russian Federation.

Ballard told The Verge that both ICON and New Story hope to use these homes when human civilization leaves Earth. 3D printing is already revolutionizing the way products are created and will continue to do so in the future, according to experts. Although 3-D printing has been used in building fabrication before, printing on-site using a universally available building material is a new step. It is hoped that in terms of housing, the cheap construction could start a trend for affordable housing.