3D-printed homes turn sludge into shelter


In Texas, tucked behind a house for the wealthy, perhaps lies some hope for the significantly less so.
More than a billion people in the world go to sleep each night without reliable shelter.
But a pair of companies working on solving that believes their model of quickly 3D-printing a one-story house could not only provide merely a roof over the head, but a genuinely great place to live. It’s a proof-of-concept built by Icon, a construction firm, and New Story, a non-profit that sets up housing in the developing world. The 380-square feet (35 sq m) dwelling required about $10,000 (£7,000) of concrete, and took 48 hours.
Later this year, the project will head to El Salvador to build some test homes, with the view to begin work on a community of 100 houses in 2019. The robot follows blueprints created using typical computer-aided design (CAD) software. This means homeowners would have the ability to create their own designs on site, or pick one from a library of possible configurations.
Inside is a small but capable structure. Not a shack, but a building that looked like it would withstand extreme weather, and wear and tear. The home would be made complete, furnished and fitted with plumbing and electricity. This is a home that would appeal to those living in high-rent overpopulated cities all over the globe.
The focus for now is on those who need it most. The El Salvador project will see Icon and New Story aim to build 100 homes, financed by mostly Silicon Valley-based donors.


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