The rise of 3D printed homes: A homebuilder and a construction startup create the largest 3D printed community in the U.S.

Published November 4, 2021
Last updated November 15, 2021

Sherrill Song struggled to find an apartment when she first moved to Toronto a couple of years ago. Not just because of availability, but because of safety.

A Texas startup and a major home builder are teaming up to create 100 3D printed homes in Austin, which has seen a significant rise in demand for housing over the last couple of years. The project will be the largest 3D printed housing development in America.

The idea of 3D printed homes has been gaining momentum in recent years. This partnership will kick off construction for an entire community and could be a major milestone for what Americans know about 3D printing technology for real estate so far!

Homebuilder Lennar and construction tech firm Icon are set to start building next year at a site in Austin. While plenty of other home builders have experience using 3D printing technology for individual projects, this effort will test the technology’s ability to be utilized on a much larger scale and with more options for homebuyers as they seek out their new dream house.

Lennar Corp and Icon see 3-D printing as a potential solution for America’s housing crisis, by providing more people with the chance to own their home. Both companies perceive the acute shortage in affordable single family homes as mostly unaddressed by standard methods such as building more houses or renting out existing ones.

A recent study from mortgage company Freddie Mac estimated there were around 3 million fewer homes available than what the U.S. market needs right now—and this number might increase with time if nothing changes. With 3d printers becoming increasingly accurate at producing any type of structure imaginable, it seems inevitable they will soon become more popular in larger scale home development projects.

3D printed houses are becoming a popular alternative to traditional construction. These structures use concrete as their framework, and they’re producing homes at an unprecedented speed. The 15-foot tall machines can build the interior and exterior walls of one story homes in just 7 days. 

The 3D printer has taken construction to a whole new level. It can print out concrete in layers, like toothpaste from the tube. The machine also creates curved walls which allows for more creative designs and cheaper price tags compared with typical newly built houses. Less people are needed on site, and less waste material is created due to its ability to produce custom shapes without having an exact blueprint or model that needs replication by hand.

The recent development of 3D printing technology is changing how we think about building materials forever. Other firms are also rushing to print out homes. Mighty Buildings, a construction-technology company in Oakland said they plan on starting 3D printed construction for California’s Coachella Valley next year with 15 lots. The project has shown great demand so far and the developer Mighty Building is working with has already announced more lots.

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