Posted on: June 17, 2020 at 7:50 pm
Last updated: September 13, 2020 at 8:38 pm

There is no denying it: we are in a global housing crisis, and traditional home-building methods are not going to solve it. The poor and homeless of course are the most affected by this lack of affordable housing. There have been several solutions involving tiny homes and community projects, however, one is proving that it might just be the answer we’ve all been looking for: 3D printed homes.

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Read: Young People are Choosing to Live in “Pods” Instead of Apartments

Affordable 3D Printed Homes by ICON to End Homelessness

With a combination of design creativity and technological innovation, ICON is changing the game in the world of affordable housing for all. They have created robot technology that allows them to build 3D printed homes in a cost-efficient way. Partnered with the non-profit organization Mobile Loaves & Fishes, they are looking to build the first Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. (1, 4)

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ICON is pushing the envelope and is technologically laying out a new way of looking at how we build homes,” says Mobile Loaves & Fishes CEO Alan Graham. (1)

The goal is to build an entire neighborhood capable of housing at least 40% of Austin’s homeless population using ICON’s technology. (1)

The First Building

The welcome center itself is a gorgeous little building. Standing at 500 square feet, it was designed by Logan Architecture over several days and then constructed in just 27 hours. It features black, white, and natural wood. The interior design was done by designer Claire Zinnecker and home goods company Industry West. The idea is to not just make affordable homes for people, but ones that are actually enjoyable to live in and can help people make positive changes in their lives. (1, 4)

Keep Reading: This Company is 3D Printing Homes from Hemp

Not Just in Texas

ICON isn’t just working on building a village in Austin. As we said, homelessness is a global issue and ICON wants to use their 3D printing technology to help people all over the world. Currently, they are working with non-profit New Story to build a 50 home village in Tabasco, Mexico. (2, 4)

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3D House Printing Technology

All of this is possible using a combination of robotics, digital software, and advanced materials, with the star of the show being ICON’s 3D printing technology, named the Vulcan I. This special machine (3, 4):

  • Is mobile
  • Prints continuously on-site
  • Weighs 2000 pounds
  • Can print walls up to 8.5 feet tall and foundations up to 28 feet wide at a speed of 5 to 7 inches per second
  • Is waste-free
  • Is weather resistant
  • Requires a crew of just 4 to 6 people to operate
  • Comes with an integrated tablet-based operating system

All buildings built by the Vulcan I are done so with Lavacrete, ICON’s Portland-based cement mix that is easy to source, incredibly strong, resilient to extreme weather conditions, and allows buildings to be built quickly and affordably. (4)

ICON could very well be the future of affordable housing in countries around the world. If you want to know more about the company and their upcoming projects, go to their website.

Keep Reading: World’s First Community of 3D Printed Homes is Set to House Mexico’s Poorest Families

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Julie Hambleton
Nutrition and Fitness Enthusiast
Julie Hambleton is a fitness and nutrition expert and co-founder of The Taste Archives along with her twin sister Brittany Hambleton.

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