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An entire community of 3D-printed homes

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by Startacus Admin

The initiative that's aiming to use 3D printing to create a global solution to homelessness, with an entire community of 3D-printed homes.

newstory charityWe may be a long way from doing a Jean Luc Picard and asking our wall for an Earl Grey (hot), but 3D printing is a rapidly evolving technology that has a lot more potential than just printing out a little plastic Infinity Gauntlet, and yes we have gone off on a tangent thinking about all the things we’d print if we had a 3D printer, but don’t worry about that.

3D printing has come a long way already since the 1980s: prosthetic limbs and tailor-made masks and casts, and even 3D-printed ovaries (for a mouse, but still…); guns, unfortunately; musical instruments; machinery parts, car parts, product prototyping; and yes, even edible prints.

We’re only just starting to understand just what kind of materials can be used to 3D print, and just how viable a technology it is for far more than entertainment and art.

One of the most interesting and important uses of the technology came when a 400 sq ft house was built in Moscow by startup Apis Cor in under 24 hours.

An entire two-storey house was 3D-printed from concrete in Beijing in just 45 days, and German researchers have even worked out how to 3D print glass. Such a quick built time as the Russian build means these houses could be erected for those affected by natural disasters, but Apis Cor says that the houses will last about 175 years, so these aren’t just short-term solutions.

And that is where Swiss designer Yves Béhar and San Francisco–based social impact organization New Story come in.

3D Printed housesOn a trip to Haiti, New Story CEO Brett Hagler saw that even years after the 2010 earthquake, people were living in tents with no apparent housing solution in sight. So New Story teamed up with ICON, a construction technologies company specialising in 3D printing. With Yves Béhar as creative director, this team is aiming to set in motion a global solution to homelessness.

This summer, the team will be completing an entire community of 3D-printed homes in Latin America.

The homes are designed carefully, even doing away with corners where possible to lower the chances of nesting insects and mould growing; additional storeys can be added to the houses without the need for a 3D printer, so that families can expand without too much strain. New Story wants others all around the world to be able to do the same, but they are setting guidelines to ensure that it is done right, with the input of those who will be living in the homes to cater to their needs.

We have written a number of articles that point out ways homelessness is being combatted, and that highlight just how widespread the issue is, so it goes without saying that we are fully behind a project that can put together inexpensive, quick housing for those in need, and to do so with care...

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Published on: 26th May 2019

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