The American construction technologies company ICON just unveiled the first permitted, 3D printed home in the city of Austin, Texas. ICON produced this cozy little home in less than 24 hours with their revolutionary 3D printer, which is loaded with a blend of concrete designed for safety, comfort, resiliency, and minimization of waste.

Technology With Purpose

The last time the United Nations Economic and Social Council conducted a global survey on homelessness, they determined that approximately 100 million people are without a place to live, and over one billion more lack adequate housing. Homelessness and inadequate housing rates tend to grow with the population, which is steadily on the rise.

ICON expects the production version of their printer to have the ability to print a single-story, 55 to 75 square meter home in under 24 hours for less than $4,000. With ICON’s focus on sustainable construction processes, they intend to ensure that waste production is as close to zero as possible.

Bringing Homes to Communities

ICON is partnering with New Story, a non-profit organization dedicated to building entire communities of homes across the world, to reduce the costs of constructing homes for those with inadequate housing, or no housing at all. After their successful test run in Austin, the next goal is to bring this technology to El Salvador, where it will be used to create a new community of homes for those in need. Their goal is to show that sustainable 3D printing can be used to build safe, affordable homes quickly, serving more families in less time and at a lower cost.

Future Applications

When your students grow up, they will be thrust into a world where they will have to solve engineering problems and humanitarian crises with 3D printing technology. Prepare them for the future. Give them the skills and interest they will need to pursue these concepts now. Like ICON and New Story, your students could go on to help bring an end to homelessness.