Forget about dealing with flaky contractors or shopping for a home, only to realize that it’ll take you a decade to save up for a down payment. There may be a new alternative on the horizon to becoming a homeowner, and get this — it includes 3D printers.
3D printers have been all the rage among tech geeks for several years now, with people printing out everything from artificial hearts to working firearms. A 3D-printed house that can last for decades and be comfortably lived in is a serious game-changer, though.
Apis Cor, a San Francisco-based startup made the 3D-printed home a reality when it cranked out a home in a Russian village in just 24 hours (it takes an average of seven months to build a single-family home the old fashioned way). The company’s mobile 3D printing unit did the work of a construction crew, printing out the home’s concrete walls, partitions, and building the envelope. The only thing that humans actually had to do to transform the structure into a proper house was the painting, roofing, and installation of electrical wiring and insulation. The home’s completed interior includes a hall, a bathroom, a living room, and a compact functional kitchen with the modern Samsung appliances company.
Now at just 400 square feet, the house is anything but a mansion, and actually closer to the size of a regular hotel room. It might not be for everybody, but could be revolutionary in helping those who are homeless or simply want to jump on the trend of downsizing to live in tiny houses. If making a livable home in just one day wasn’t impressive enough, Apis Cor was able to get the job done for a mere $10,000. For comparison, most tiny houses cost around $40k to construct. If the company chooses to roll out the plan for consumers to purchase, customers will have a variety of house floor plans to choose from.
Living in a home that’s just 400 square feet might not be ideal for the average family, but it’s all about the bigger picture. This technology has the potential advancement to one day construct larger and more complex homes, and help many realize the dream of becoming homeowners.
One of the hottest topics of the recent U.S. election was the shrinking middle class. It was a talking point from both candidates, and many experts agree that it has significantly decreased over the past several decades, and continues to do so. A primary factor for this has been the rise of income inequality, as Rakesh Kochhar, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center, told CNBC. It’s dashing the dreams for many of the millennial generation to buy a home. Bloomberg estimated that for the majority of this generation, being able to save enough for a down payment on a home in a metro area was a decade-long process, if not longer.
A 3D house might still be a little too snug for some, but the possibility of owning a home at an affordable price and in a fraction of the time it normally takes is a comforting thought. Now, if you happen to be a construction worker, you could find yourself out of a job — or at the very least, have a very new kind of coworker.