Have you ever seen a house constructed using a 3D printer?
The 3D printing machine is known as the “Vulcan II,” It looks like a soccer goal post and was designed by the revolutionary homebuilding company ICON. The mobile contraption allows a home to be produced in just 24 hours, cutting the usual costs of labor and materials in half. Cement flows out of pipes at the temperature needed to harden one layer after another to form a sturdy structure.
The homes were designed to have a living room, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms, meeting all of the needs of the families moving into them.
While 3D printers gained the most attention initially for engineering applications and the creation of small, everyday objects, the technology’s potential for other uses is enormous.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness reported that 567,715 people were experiencing homelessness in America in 2019, and 37.2% of them were unsheltered. And the numbers are growing.
With the help of the 3D technology, it may be easier to flatten this curve. Money that goes towards helping the homeless—whether it’s from government sources, nonprofit organizations, or private donations—could have double the impact considering that 3D printed construction would cost about half as much.
The efficient development method could also enable the efficient rebuilding of neighborhoods ruined in natural disasters. As the printer technology advances, families might even get to design their new house to fit their needs and preferences. Residents affected could then quickly get back on their feet instead of having to relocate.
With no assembly necessary, the Vulcan II can be transported in a trailer from state to state, city to city, helping displaced citizens one cement wall at a time.
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