The rise of 3D-printed houses will change the way we approach real estate and architecture. Here’s what you need to know about 3D-printed houses as the concept hits the mainstream housing market.
No longer a far-off or theoretical concept, 3D-printed houses are set to cause a shift in the 21st century real estate market. With several 3D-printed-house manufacturers already operating around the world, these new residential structures will not only help bring more creative architectural designs to life, but also the technology and rapid rate of reproduction have been touted as lower-cost solutions to affordable housing and subsidized living.
So where can you purchase a 3D-printed house of your own, right here in the United States? Here’s what you need to know about 3D-printed houses and what to expect as the concept hits the mainstream real estate market.
WHEN WILL 3D-PRINTED HOUSES BE AVAILABLE?
There are already a handful of 3D-printing companies offering 3D-printed homes across the United States and Mexico, but current waiting lists, strict parameters, and zoning issues mean that not just anyone can opt for a 3D-printed house over a traditional build.
The first people to live in a 3D-printed house moved into their 400-square-foot homes at the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas, in the summer of 2020, and dozens more homes and offices are set to be built in the coming months and years.
For those who are interested in exploring 3D printing over traditional builds, experts believe that 3D-printed housing will become mainstream and much more accessible within the next decade as 3D printers become more affordable, and the 3D-printed housing concept proves to be an effective and efficient construction alternative.
WHERE CAN I BUY A 3D-PRINTED HOUSE?
There are a very small number of companies and architectural firms offering 3D-printed houses, but it is possible to currently purchase and move into a 3D-printed house in the United States.
Texas-based construction company Icon is one of the largest 3D-printing companies in the United States. Icon is currently offering a limited number of proof-of-concept tiny homes for sale—their first houses hit the market in Austin in 2021. The project was completed in collaboration with developer 3Strands and used Icon’s Vulcan 3D printers to create four multilevel residences in a new neighborhood complex called East 17th Street, just three miles from downtown Austin.
To date, Icon homes boast the largest number of residents currently living in 3D-printed houses around the world—with more than 290 formerly unhoused families residing in its 51-acre Community First! Village in Austin.
HOW MUCH DOES A 3D-PRINTED HOUSE COST?
With 3D-printed houses and residential units designed to be energy-efficient and faster to construct than traditional builds—most 3D-printed homes can be constructed within a matter of weeks—the future of 3D-printed housing is set to be much more affordable than traditional real estate. However, due to current limited availability and strict zoning and construction laws, the cost of purchasing a 3D-printed home is currently approximately the same as a traditional build.
Purchasing a new house in the East 17th Street neighborhood just outside of downtown Austin, for example, starts at $750,000 for a two-bedroom house, whereas the median listing price in the greater Austin area is $659,000 as of June 2022.