Young Aussies, rejoice! If you’ve been locked out of our nation’s housing market by its ridiculous prices, this could be the answer to your prayers.
A 2014 study found the average house takes around seven months to be built – a number that this startup is putting to shame with the ability to build an entire dwelling in just 24 hours.
ICON is a construction tech company based in Austin, Texas, that aims to revolutionise how we build houses by utilising the burgeoning field of 3D printing.
Unsurprisingly, with the ability to build an abode around 200 times faster than the average, the cost is much lower as well. And it’s the affordability aspect that ICON is really most excited about, with the company saying its vision is “to create new sustainable building practices that make beautiful, quality homes accessible to everyone”.
An estimated one billion people in the world do not have a safe, secure place to call home, and it’s this statistic which formed the starting point for ICON and their partners, New Story.
The first house was built on site in Austin using ICON and New Story’s custom-made 3D printer called the Vulcan.
Using concrete as the main material, the Vulcan printed nearly all the required parts of the home, with only “the roof, windows, doors and electrical/plumbing” fitted by a more ‘traditional’ building company.
The whole process for this house actually took 48 hours and cost around $10,000, but was merely proof of concept, with ICON saying that the Vulcan was only working at 25 per cent capacity during construction.
New Story now plans to take the Vulcan to El Salvador and 3D print an entire community of 600 to 800-square-foot homes. The aim is for each of these houses to be up within 24 hours at a cost of just $4000 apiece.
With the firm belief that “Someday we will all live in 3D-printed homes…it’s just a matter of time”, ICON plan to start selling their uber cheap, quick-to-build homes in the USA next year.
And with grand plans to move their operation to space – the company say they are “actively pursuing research on printing technologies for off-planet space habitats” – it’s probably not too far-fetched to imagine they could also help struggling young Aussies buy their own homes too.