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You can now 3D-print a house in under a day

Austin, Texas

In the near future, building a new home may be as easy as printing out an airline boarding pass.

At South By Southwest today, New Story, a Y Combinator-backed charity that works to build houses for people in developing nations, and Icon, a robotics construction company in Austin, Texas, unveiled what is believed to be the first 3D-printed house that is fully up to code and permitted for people to inhabit.

The two organizations came together to show that it’s feasibly possible to build an easy-to-replicate house in under 24 hours. They plan to take this proof-of-concept and start producing small houses for families in countries like Haiti and El Salvador. The 800-sq-ft house cost around $10,000 to build using Icon’s proprietary Vulcan printer, but the company plans to eventually bring that price down to around $4,000. Theoretically, it could soon print one of the houses in about six hours, a representative for New Story told Quartz. But the process is still being ironed out—the house in Austin is the only one built so far.

Icon VulanIcon’s house printer, the Vulcan. (Quartz/Mike Murphy)

The Vulcan printer was also on display, in the yard next to the lot where the house was printed. Massive, but still portable, the printer excretes a custom blend of concrete that hardens as it’s printed. The concrete is laid in 100 roughly one-inch-thick strands that hold their shape as they harden. Icon cofounder Evan Loomis told Quartz that the strength of the printed walls is stronger than cinderblocks after a few days of hardening, although the house is entirely habitable after it’s been set up.

Icon printed houseEach house features a living room, bathroom, a bedroom, and a study (which can be another bedroom). (Quartz/Mike Murphy)

After the walls are printed, New Story crew members come in and install windows, a wooden roof, basic plumbing, and electrical wiring which can be drilled right into the walls. The entire setup, including the finishing, takes under a day.

In the future, Icon would like to be able to develop robots that could automatically install the windows after the Vulcan finishing printing, and drones that could spray-paint the exterior walls. It’ll explore the possibility of printing roofs as well, but the technology for suspending concrete as it prints isn’t really feasible yet.

Icon printed houseThe house is made up of about 100 lines of concrete, and a wooden roof. (Quartz/Mike Murphy)

There are other groups working on printing houses, including Apis Cor in Russia, but the group in Austin believes its structure to be the first printed house that’s been deemed inhabitable by a local government. Icon hopes to eventually commercialize its house-printing technology in the US, where housing shortages are reaching severe levels in some larger cities. “Affordability is important,” Loomis said, “regardless of whether you’re in Austin or El Salvador.”

In theory, families could customize the design, arrange for a printer to come plop down on their land, and have a readymade house to move into a day later. Even the average Amazon delivery takes longer than that.

Dreams, Ideas, Inventions, 3D Printing, & Engineering All Under One Startup's Roof! A New …

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla., Feb. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — South Florida welcomes a new startup company that is all about delivering comprehensive product development services. The aptly named Prototype House aims to shake up companies, both established and startup, by utilizing the founders’ experience and providing customers with everything they need to create, launch, and maintain new products.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150220/176749LOGO

By being located in South Florida, Prototype House hopes to bring some of the technical expertise found in many other parts of the country to the Sunshine State. As an all-in-one product development firm, the company helps local businesses with their product ideas, all the way from inception to 3D CAD Engineering, 3D printing & prototyping, through to design validation and production. By allowing one company to handle all the stages of product development, companies can reduce costs and trust in the expertise of Prototype House.

As a startup itself, Prototype House believes in helping other startups get off the ground. The company can help inventors and entrepreneurs turn their ideas for the next big thing into reality, while also freeing up the limited number of workers in startups and taking care of complex legalities. For more established businesses, the company can help shake things up by providing businesses with product expertise, new ideas and alleviating temporary personnel shortages.

The company is the brainchild of Matthew Bordy and Francisco Molina. Bordy is a creative entrepreneur and product development professional who brings his wealth of experience working with national and international brands to the company. Matthew is a strong advocate of the power of teams, collaboration and startup culture. On the other hand, Molina’s background is in industrial design. He earned qualifications in Colombia and Florida, and used his talent to win design awards and is a rising leader in the field. Together they have created Prototype House particularly adapted to meet the needs of startups, which often have limited product development resources. Professionally they both have designed products for well-known big box companies, such as Home Depot, Office Depot, Walmart and Target.

Considering Bordy and Molina’s interests, it’s understandable that design is at the heart of the company’s ethos. With their staple quote “Through design, it is possible to transform ordinary objects into extraordinary experiences”- Prototype House. So when working with them, clients can trust that their product will not only perform well, it will look fantastic too.

With their combined knowledge and passion for product development, Bordy and Molina are optimistic about the company’s future success. Even though startups are currently being formed at an unprecedented rate, Prototype House is managing to make itself stand out from the competition by offering comprehensive services and the two founders’ years of experience.

For further information on Prototype House, visit their website www.prototypehouse.com or contact both Bordy & Molina via email or call (561) 922-9931.

See what their followers are saying!

Follow Prototype House! 4,827 followers and counting
http://instagram.com/prototypehouse  & https://www.facebook.com/PrototypeHouse

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SOURCE Prototype House

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