When most people think of a 3D printer, they picture a desktop model that’s used for making small figurines and parts. Although home hobbyists make up a large percentage of the market for 3D printers, the technology has many other uses as well. For instance, companies can construct massive 3D printers to manufacture everything from rocket parts to homes.
Yes, really. The idea of 3D printing a house might seem futuristic, but it is now a reality. For the first time ever, a 3D-printed home is for sale in the U.S., 3D Printing Media Network reports.
It is located in Riverhead, New York, and costs about 50 percent less than similar homes in the area. The 3D-printed home is a perfect example of how the technology can be useful in the years to come.
Anyone who lives in New York knows that buying a home is not a cheap process. In fact, it is anything but. Although some locations across the country are cheaper than others, buying a home is something that many people simply cannot afford.
That’s where 3D printing comes in. Using the technology to “print” a house is a far cheaper alternative to building it with traditional methods. It’s also autonomous, decreasing the costs of labor and the time it takes to build.
The footings, foundations, and interior and exterior walls of the home are all made of 3D-printed concrete. SQ4D, the company behind the project, claims that its construction is sturdier and more durable than a conventional wood frame despite being a fraction of the cost.
The house in Riverhead features three bedrooms and two bathrooms and is a little over 1,400 square feet. It is listed at $299,999. While this certainly isn’t cheap, it is a bargain in New York.
Zillow agent Stephen King told 3D Printing Media Network, “At $299,999, this home is priced 50 percent below the cost of comparable newly-constructed homes in Riverhead, NY and represents a major step towards addressing the affordable housing crisis plaguing Long Island.”
According to data from Statista, nearly 44 million Americans were “burdened by the cost of housing” as of 2016. Since then, the number has only grown as people struggle to save for a down payment and find a home in a livable area.
It’s clear that there is an affordable housing crisis in the U.S. that shows no signs of disappearing—at least not without innovative solutions.
3D-printed homes could help address the problem. Should companies like SQ4D find ways to quickly scale their technology, 3D-printed homes could become more than trendy buildings. They could one day be a safe, affordable way to build new houses.
Moving forward, SQ4D has plans to build more 3D-printed homes in other areas of New York as well as in California. This will be an interesting development to monitor as it could indicate whether the world is ready to accept the reality of 3D-printed homes.