Icon has developed a 3D printer that can build an entire house in less than a day, and all for just $4000.
Getting onto the property ladder is harder now for first-time buyers than it ever has been before. We hear tales of how different it was when our parents and grandparents got to an age where they deemed it time to buy their own home. In the present day, you need a small fortune just to put down a deposit on a house.
A solution may have arrived though, and it has come in an unlikely form. 3D printing. The process is assumed by some to be one that is used for things like making toys and other recreational activities. However, that could not be further from the truth. As reported by Business Insider, 3D-printing company Icon has been using its tech to build houses and delivering tremendous results.
Last year, Icon built a 350-square foot house in just 48 hours using its 3D printer. It cost just $10,000. Icon revealed that its printer was only running at 25% capacity though, so was convinced that it could do a lot better. 12 months on and it has most definitely done that. Its new prototype, Vulcan II, can supposedly build bigger houses in half the time at less than half the cost.
You can take a look at one of the smaller homes Icon's printers are capable of building above. The Vulcan churns out slabs of cement up to eight and a half feet tall and 28 feet wide. Since it is powered by a tablet, the amount of people needed to work it, and hence build an entire house from scratch, is extremely low.
The tech obviously won't just be used for first-time buyers on the lookout for affordable housing. The printer will soon be used to build homes for people who desperately need them in El Salvador. Beyond that, Icon hopes to take its printer to slums around the world and really instigate some change. In terms of the distant future, the company's aim is for its technology to be used to build in space.