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3D printed homes for the well-to-do

East 17th St., Austin, TX. All these homes were 3D printed in just 5 days. Image credit: ICON

I discussed home 3D printing is a number of posts in the past, in the last one (that I remember) I mentioned the shift towards use of 3D home printing for up-scale homes. Whilst the 3D home printing in the past was targeting low scale homes, to replace shack and shelters,  the progress in technology and in particular the possibility to create customised shapes and use different materials is making possible to print nicer looking homes (the problem with the first 3D home printing technology is that the “printer” had to be mounted on rails and could only move in a much constrained space).

Now I intercepted the news of the 3D home printing for an entire settlement, on East 17th St. in Austin, TX, where ICON managed to build a set of 4 homes sharing the same “stylish” architecture although each one different from the others to create a personalised feeling. The size of the homes ranges from 900 sq.f. to 2,000 sq.f. in 2 to 4 bedrooms configurations. This was possible thanks to the advances of 3D printing technology in this application area.

The raw construction took just 5 days (foundation, walls and roof) the trimming took a few more weeks. In just three months the whole complex was ready.

They don’t come cheap: price starts at 450,000$, so it is clear they are targeting the well-to-do families. Clearly the price of a home is only partly depending on the cost of building the structure. The finishing touches make a big difference in the cost, then there is the cost of the land that can vary enormously. In the end the cost is just a factor in the final price that will depend on demand.

For sure, 3D home printing accelerate the construction bringing the time comparable to the one of using pre-fabricated homes, with the added advantage of on site customisation, a factor that is very important in building upscale homes.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.