A Tech Company Is Using 3D Printed Houses To Combat Homelessness

Could 3D printing be the answer to homelessness around the world? A Silicon Valley-based charity organization is using the technology in hopes of solving the financial housing crisis that has left a billion people without shelter.

New Story teamed with Texas-based ICON Technologies, to build a 3D printer specifically for the purpose of constructing houses in developing countries. The printer, dubbed Vulcan, made its debut at SXSW on Monday (March 12).

“We need a quantum leap in affordability, speed and quality to reach families exponentially faster,” New Story wrote on its website.

The company recently printed a home for a community in El Salvador. It takes 12-24 hours to print each house, at a cost of around $4,000 a pop, which the company hopes to bring down from the current cost of $10,000.

New Story is seeking up to a million in funding: $400,000 in pre-funding the “first community of 100 printed homes,” and $600,000 to cover the next phase of construction.

“The big difference, between a developed world and developing world context is you have a much more limited set of materials to work with,” Jason Ballard, cofounder of ICON told FastCompany.com. “Number one, just because of access, you want to restrict your material mix to things that you could find very ubiquitously around the globe. And you also want to avoid expensive materials.”

New Story plans to print homes in El Salvador through 2019,  and hopes to “democratize the technology to other non-profits and governments to scale around the world.”

See the 3D printed home in the video above.

Tags: 3D printer