Nov 15, 2016 | By Tess

Across the United States and abroad, affordable housing has become increasingly urgent as swathes of people are left struggling below the poverty line, unable to find suitable accommodation because of high rent and property prices. At the forefront of the affordable housing battle are a number of 3D printing projects, whose organizers are seeking to use the growing technology to create up-to-par buildings in an affordable and timely manner. One such initiative is being led by small housing company Sunconomy, which has teamed up with 3D printing construction company Apis-Cor in Austin, Texas.

The goal of the partnership is to create affordable and compact homes that can be 3D printed in a single day for those who really need them. According to the companies, even within the urban context of Austin, nearly 1/4 of all children live in poverty and 1/4 of all renters spend more than half their income on rent. In an effort to help solve these issues, Sunconomy has launched an IndieGogo campaign, through which it is raising funds for the construction of two "Proof of Concept Houses." These two houses, which will actually be given to a disabled veteran and to Restore Texas Ministries to be used as a base for job training programs, will help to test the viability of 3D printing more homes.

21 Acre Eco Village plans

Sunconomy’s goal, after the completion of the two initial 3D printed houses, is to build a 21-acre “High Tech Eco Village” in Montgomery, Texas. Ultimately, the company hopes to help people all over the world with their affordable housing technique, but first they must prove the method’s viability and attract more interest from investors and the public.

The houses themselves will be built using Apis-Cor’s large-scale circular concrete 3D printer, which can be transported directly to build sites and which can print out concrete layer by layer. The 3D printing construction system, developed by Nikita Chen-iun-tai, utilizes a robotic crane arm which is mounted on a rotating base. This means that the 3D printer essentially builds up the houses from the inside out, directly on-site. The machine itself measures a rather compact 5.5 x 1 x 1.5 meters, which allows it to be easily transported in a truck bed.

With Apis-Cor’s innovative 3D printer, and by using advanced materials and insulation, Sunconomy wants to prove that it can build an entire liveable house in just a day. If you’re thinking that a home built that quickly is unlikely to last through harsh conditions, the 3D printed housing units can reportedly withstand an EF5 tornado and are extremely durable. Additionally, Sunconomy claims that the 3D printed houses are almost entirely sustainable, capable of generating their own power and potable water.

Through the IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign, the collaborative project is hoping to raise a total of $563,198, which will go towards building the two first 3D printed houses. As mentioned, the first house will be donated to a disabled U.S. army veteran and his family, and the second will be used as a site for job training programs, which will seek to give disadvantaged people the means to obtain living wages. Pledges to the crowdfunding campaign are tax deductible.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Mark wrote at 9/18/2017 2:47:12 AM:

why is it 561,000 is that to buy the machine and the costs to build the first 2 homes ? How many of these machines are avail and whats the process to get involved.? i love the idea of an eco village with rapidly built open concept homes which are affodable to a large audience what environmental concepts have been incorporated ? thx for any and all information. This is a real game changer thx Mark

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