3D-Printing Full Houses: Texas-Based Startup Icon Provides Homeless with Real Comfy Homes

In this article, the readers who strictly follow the latest innovations in civil engineering will get acquainted with a pretty useful project that has all the chances to fully modify the edifice constructing sphere in the future. In particular, you will discover the following:

· Community First! Village introduces several houses constructed with 3D- printing solution;

· The role of Vulcan II printer while building those houses;

· The advantages that 3D-printing gives engineers during the construction procedure.

So, if you do feel intrigued regarding this marvelous village with 3D-printed homes, keep reading this article up to the end! In case you desire to understand to what extent it is a complicated procedure to build edifices with technologies like that, read about design of airfield pavements . This article will give you the idea of how difficult it is to create something grandiose.

Constructing the Village: How that Began

This marvelous idea became true thanks to Community First! Village, the nonprofit organization.

The community was founded in 2015. It was created by real estate developer Alan Graham, who had spent the last twenty years as a volunteer. He did that on the streets of Austin with his solution called Mobile Loaves and Fishes (to get more on its activities, visit the official website ). Graham desired to deliver a true sense of community rather than just putting the roof over the heads of the homeless.

So, in 2019, Community First invested eighteen million US dollars to design a small home village in Austin, Texas. They wanted to achieve quite a noble goal as of supporting the constantly homeless to get off the street. The site, called Community First! Village provided around one hundred eighty homeless with two-hundred-square-foot-houses. Moreover, the village gave job opportunities for people on-site so that homeless could pay approximately three hundred US dollars in rent.

Later, Texas-based startup Icon (known for their 3D-printer Vulcan II) decided to bring its 3D-printing solution into the village. The target was to optimize the speed of the process as well as make it much cheaper. So, it is time to witness their success!

Houses Printed with Vulcan II

Icon bets that 3D printing is the key to overcoming the problem of the US homelessness and the absence of affordable housing. They implement the identical technology used in Mexico in 2019 where the startup designed several five-hundred-square-foot edifices with only twenty US dollars to pay the rent.

Regarding the village in Austin, the 3D-printed houses will be of four hundred square feet in size. Each house will have a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. To find the engineering team that can design the project of the same complexity level, companies, as a rule, find construction contractors here .

The houses were fully constructed using the Vulcan II printer. This device prints out Lavacrete layers. The last is Icon’s patented concrete. Among its bonuses, they include a cheaper price than traditional building materials and higher resilience in disasters like hurricanes than a usual stick-built construction.

A 3D-printed edifice may be printed in approximately twenty-seven (!) hours! It’s a truly great result, right? They may design a printing structure as huge as about two thousand square feet. Being operated via a tablet remotely, this printer works due to electric flows. To print a house, they need a maximum of six people. In case you want to find an engineering team for your 3D-printing-based project like this one, go to global engineering services at Engre .

Well, when the startup claims that they build a full house via this method, most probably they mean ninety-seven percent. The reason is the rest of the house is constructed traditionally. The crew arranges the site and lays a foundation. Then, as soon as the walls are printed, the team designs windows, doors, the roof, and prepares plumbing/electrical supply.

The Vulcan II printer substitutes the usual ways of designing the edifice, sheathing, moisture barrier, insulation, and decoration.

What are the Advantages?

According to Jason Ballard, Icon’s cofounder and CEO, the printer allows replacing up to thirty humans on the site on an automated solution that is easily operated with a maximum of three workers.

The engineering team may easily implement a specific app to make slight changes to the agenda on-site; however, the printing procedure is completely autonomous. To make the construction process faster, it is possible to 3D-print a few houses simultaneously.

Ballard also adds that when it comes to constructing houses for homeless people via traditional methods, they usually have a tiny budget which results in implementing the cheapest materials. Such homes experience system failures and other cases very early. 3D-printing technology reduces those risks to zero!

A 70-year-old Shea, a homeless whose arthritis and loss of work pushed him into homelessness has recently moved to the village and shared his opinion regarding the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood he lives in. He pointed out the following advantages of such homes:

· The absence of air seeping in;

· Though being small, the layout feels truly more spacious;

· High walls and huge windows for more space and light.

The village looks like a small paradise for those who earlier just slept on the streets. It has tiny but beautiful houses and recreational vehicles (RVs). Alan Graham got the inspiration while he traveled in RV parks. He loved to observe neighbors gathering outside and spending time well.

The village provides ex-homeless with a garden, a dog park, a community market, outdoor kitchens, and other spots for people to meet and chat.

All the homeless agree that they may find all activities to bring you outside in the village and that is the way all the people should live.