Inicio/An Austin startup can 3D-print tiny homes in 24 hours for a fraction of the cost of traditional homebuilding — here’s how Icon could revolutionize affordable housing
An Austin startup can 3D-print tiny homes in 24 hours for a fraction of the cost of traditional homebuilding — here’s how Icon could revolutionize affordable housing
The number of affordable homes in the US is dwindling, and there isn’t a lot of room to improve upon traditional home construction methods, especially when it comes to cutting costs, Loomis said.
So the team at Icon set out to reimagine how a home could be constructed from the ground up and developed a 3D printer capable of building a home up to 2,000 square feet in under three days. Smaller homes can be built in 24 hours.
According to Realtor, it costs an average of $289,415 to build a new home. And while Loomis said it’s difficult to give an exact estimate of how much it costs Icon to print a home, the company’s goal is to cut costs by 30% to 50%.
«We’re not quite there yet, but that future isn’t science fiction,» Loomis said.
In 2018, Icon built a 350-square-foot home in East Austin that cost $10,000 to print, with the overall project’s cost clocking in at $40,000. Icon claims that the home is the country’s first permitted 3D-printed home.
For the home to secure a building permit, civil engineers with the city of Austin had to declare the unit suitable for humans to live in, which Loomis said is «a pretty tough designation» to receive. It’s being used as an office currently.