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The 3 basic human needs to survive on this planet we call home are, food, water and shelter, but according to a report by the World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, there are 1.2 billion people worldwide who do not have adequate housing.

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On March 12th at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin Texas, startup ICON revealed it’s approach to combat this housing deficiency, by using 3D printing as a potential solution which is really quite impressive.

The company has developed a way to print a single-story 650 square foot house made from cement in about 12-24 hours, less than a day to build an entire house – isn’t technology amazing sometimes? Just consider the time it would take to construct and build that house using conventional methods, all of the measuring, cutting, planning etc. ICON is planning on constructing a community of around 100 homes for residents of El Salvador next year.

Check It Out

ICON has partnered with New Story, a nonprofit organization with a focus on finding international housing solutions. According to co-founder Alexandria Lafci, “We have been building homes for communities in Haiti, El Salvador and Bolivia.”

How Does It Work?

Using the Vulcan printer, the company can print an entire home for $10,000 and aims to bring that cost down to $4,000 per house. A conventional house would be much more expensive than that. The affordability of theses houses make them much more accessible to those who live in impoverished places. The model shown at the conference had a living room, bedroom, bathroom and even a porch. According to one of the companies three founders, Jason Ballard, “There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures, but they are printed in a warehouse, or they look like Yoda huts. For this venture to succeed they have to be the best houses.”

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Once they are finished testing the prototype and materials, they will move the Vulcan printer to El Salvador and begin constructing the community. This printer creates very minimal waste and labor costs are significantly reduced, this printer might be a revolutionary piece of technology. It is an extremely compelling solution to the worlds housing shortages.

This technology is not only an amazing solution to those who are in dire need of shelter, but it can also assist those in the developed world, those who struggle to afford their rent every month or who would never even dream of being able to own a home of their own. It is no secret that in many parts of the world owning a home is nearly impossible, when compared to the average wages. 3-D printed homes could change the world.

To have a tour of the home, click here.

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