15/03/2018 07:43 SAST | Updated 15/03/2018 09:07 SAST

R118K 3D-Printed Home Could Herald Cheaper Housing For Millions

PLUS: Each one takes just 24 hours to build.

As proof that the 3D printer is so much more than a gadget that some of us have in our sheds, a company has demonstrated how 3D printing could provide cheap, quick housing for millions.

This home, designed by construction company ICON, costs just $10,000 (~R118,000) to make, and took less than 24 hours to print and then finish.


Why does it cost so little? Well, because almost all of it has been 3D-printed by a robot. Using the Vulcan industrial 3D printer, the team was able to digitally send the building plans to the printer, and then sit back as it printed the single-storey 60-square-metre home out of concrete.


Once the concrete was set, all the team had to do with fit the roof, windows and door, along with interior electrical cabling.

The home is a partnership between ICON and nonprofit organisation New Story, with the ultimate goal being to create a cheap, safe home that could be built with limited expertise.


While the demonstration home cost less than R120,000 to build, the team believe they can easily get that cost down even further, to around $4,000 (less than R50,000) per home.

These aren't just for show, either – New Story and ICON have already confirmed that the first community of 3D-printed homes will be built in El Salvador this year.