A California-based charity organization called New Story has partnered with construction technology company, ICON, to develop a 3-D printer capable of constructing affordable houses in developing countries around the world.
The company has already shown success in the U.S. with a 350 square-foot house in Austin, Texas, the first 3-D printed home in the country built to local code.
The houses give a glimpse into the future of home building. New Story and ICON's printer can create an entire 600-800 square-foot home in less than 24 hours.
New Story is going to start printing homes in El Salvador within the next 18 months that will meet International Building Code standards. It will be the first community of 3-D printed homes.
"There are over 100 million people living in slum conditions in what we call survival mode," said Alexandria Lafci, New Story's co-founder and COO, "How can we make a big dent in this instead of just solving incrementally?"
The company says it can build one home per day at a cost of $4,000 a piece using the 3-D printer, and units will be sold at $6,000 each.
Other companies have been experimenting with 3-D printing houses over the past few years too. In 2013 a Chinese construction company printed 10 homes in a day and later a six-story apartment, an office building and an 11,000-square-foot mansion.
"It will [still] take many years before 3-D-printed homes are printing the types of homes that you and I would live in, but the tech is ready now to print very high-quality, safe homes in the places we're building," Lafci said.