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Salvador, Apr 9, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

3D printing: a Texas start-up to print houses in 24 hours in El Salvador

ICON, a newly-formed company based in Texas, has just unveiled a house made in less than 24 hours and entirely from 3D printing. The start-up is aiming to print around a hundred of them in El Salvador, and then in other developing countries.

After Apis Cor, the Californian start-up which caught the attention of the media by printing a 3D house in less than 24 hours, freshly-minted Austin, Texas company ICON has now built a home in the same period of time using the same procedure.

That house has been unveiled. It is a one-storey building made of cement which measures around 60 square metres (half the average size of a New York apartment), and it was indeed built in a day, according to website Numerama.

 

A 60 square-metre prototype made in one day

 

ICON presented its prototype at the SXSW Festival held in Austin in March of this year. The house was entirely printed in 3D using a Vulcan printer, at a total cost of 10,000 dollars which could eventually be reduced to 4,000 dollars per house – much cheaper than the average US abode according to the Texas-based company.  

The Icon house comprises a lounge, a bedroom, a bathroom and a porch, and will soon be fitted with air quality monitors, according to Jason Ballard, one of the three founders of the start-up to Theverge.com. In terms of materials, cement was preferred to plastic since it is more robust and judged more reassuring for the future occupiers.

 

100 3D houses coming to El Salvador

 

The ICON project is designed to find a solution to the significant housing problems encountered around the globe. According to figures from the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, the lack of adequate and secure housing affects almost 330 million urban homes – a figure that could rise to 440 million by 2025, most notably in developing countries.

Icon is looking to build around a hundred houses next year using its 3D technology to help the inhabitants of El Salvador. These homes are set to be built in partnership with New Story, a not-for-profit organisation which has already enabled accommodation to be built in El Salvador, Haiti and Bolivia.

The Texas-based start-up, which is currently carrying out a series of tests on its materials, will then go to El Salvador with its 3D Vulcan printer to begin printing the first houses on-site, before expanding its work to the USA at a later stage.

 

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