World gets 1st 3D printed community

World gets 1st 3D printed community

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The world is set to get its first 3D printed community in an as-yet-unnamed Latin America. Silicon Valley-based non-profit New Story has partnered with 3D printer maker Icon to create the housing for 400 low-income individuals, with families involved in the home and community design process prior to the start of construction.

The project is using the Vulcan II, Icon’s first commercially available construction printer. It has been designed to produce resilient single-story buildings quickly, more affordably, and with more design freedom. It has a printing capability of around 2,000 square feet.

Vulcan II is able print wall structures up to 8.5 feet in height and foundations up to 28 feet wide, with print length effectively infinite. The company uses Lavacrete, a proprietary Portland Cement-based mix which it says can withstand extreme weather conditions to minimise the impact of natural disasters. The kit can finish a house in under a day.

“Vulcan II is the first printer of its kind in that it has the capability of printing homes in which people actually want to live,” says Icon. “It can be operated by anyone with basic training thanks to the improvements in automation, mechatronics and a suite of specialized software.”

New Story looks to provide more shelter to people around the world and currently works in Mexico, Haiti, El Salvador, and Bolivia. In three years, it has funded more than 1,400 homes for families in need.

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