Every new invention or technological product that goes to market does so with an often high price tag; however, as the demand for that innovation grows, the production costs and subsequently the item’s cost goes down. Huge 3D house printers will be no exception to this rule, and printing concrete will soon be one of the quickest and most sustainable forms of construction in the UK. (Well at least that’s our prediction.)
Prices are decreasing, as new, better, and more affordable goods are being produced, as with most innovations. Fresh, creative concrete mixes are further helping prices to drop.
It is difficult to give an exact price for 3D printed houses since there are a small number of companies dabbling in 3D printed buildings around the globe. We’re going to check out a couple of the most recent and exciting projects and their published prices instead.
That said, you’ll see that it can cost as little as £10k for a 3D printed house, and they could be even less even less. Let’s take a peek at some of the best 3D printer companies and learn more about them.
3D Printed Houses By Apis Cor
Apis Cor is a Russian company based in Boston in the United States of America. They are based on the development of a 3D mobile construction printer that can print whole buildings entirely on-site and in the future it’s hoped they will have developed an autonomous AI 3D printed house on other planets in space.
In less than one day, Apis Cor printed a 410-square-foot house to show the ability and expertise of their mobile construction 3D printer. The cost is around $10,150 for this 3D printed house, an extremely low amount for building a home.
Approx Costs Based On Info From Website
- Foundation: $277
- Walls: $1,624
- Floor and roof: $2,434
- Wiring: $242
- Windows and doors: $3,548
- Exterior finishing: $831
- Interior finishing (including suspended ceiling): $1,178
To show what the finished house would look like, the company also painted both the interior and exterior. The outside has been decorated, and there is a fridge, a TV, a sofa, chairs and other pieces of furniture on the inside. (Naturally, the furniture cost is not included in the price we have listed.)
ICON 3D Printed House
The house pictured above was 3D printed by the company Icon, located in Austin, Texas. Icon specializes in designing low-cost building solutions, which is why this 3D printed house is their highlight project.
Icon created an entire neighbourhood of these low-cost 3D printed houses in Tabasco, Mexico, in partnership with the non-profit organization New Story. The aim was to provide people in need of housing.
The prototype cost around $10,000 for their 3D printed home, but the company says that it’s working to get it down to just $4,000, which is fantastic news. The estimated construction time for the 3D printed ICON house is approximately 24 hours.
Icon also plays a major role in a 51-acre master plan in Austin, Texas, apart from the neighbourhood in Mexico, whose purpose is to house the chronically homeless. A number of 3D printed homes will be printed by Icon for the Group First! Village, which will offer a chance for a new start to people experiencing homelessness. It’s an excellent example of how 3D printing will make the world transform for the better.
Winsun 3D Printer
Thanks to their amazing success of 3D printing ten houses in a single day, Winsun, a Shanghai-based business, is one of the front runners in printing 3d houses.
Winsun used massive concrete 3D printers, 10 meters wide and 6.6 meters tall, to accomplish this. The firm estimated that it cost $4,800 for each 3D printed home, which is remarkably low seeing as this was done in 2014 and not 2020 or 2021! In 2020, they were printing 3d self isolation pods for those who needed to quarantine during the pandemic.
Although the 3D printed houses from Winsun are not that refined, they have attracted a lot of public interest. The project undoubtedly led to the increasing number of 3D printed houses and the development of the machines that create them.
Winsun is also renowned for making one of the most innovative buildings printed in 3D to date, which we will look at next.
Some of The Coolest 3D Printed Houses & Projects In The World
3D Printed Dubai Offices
Let us present to you what is said to be the world’s most sophisticated 3D printed building. What’s that? A stunning and modern building for offices in Dubai.
The whole process took just 17 days for Winsun to print. We’ve only been describing very low-cost 3D printed houses up to this point. This construction, at about $140,000, was considerably more costly. Yet, the overall price tag is impressively low compared to how much it would have cost if it hadn’t been 3D printed.
What you’re looking at is not a 3D printed home, but a play space printed in 3D.
This play space concept came from a “Cubby House Competition” in 2017 from the Australian charity Kids Under Cover. With their “Kooky Cubby”, FMSA Architecture won, and it was 3D printed by the Architectural Robotics Lab of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
The project was seen at the International Flower and Garden Show in Melbourne in 2017, where it received an award and was later sold. The Kooky Cubby’s starting offer was set at $6,000, but later it sold for $20,000, which was amazing for the charity in terms of raising funds.
The play space frame is made of PLA, and the floors are made of plywood. Other, non-3D printed items also fill the room that helps make it look fun and cosy.
We have included this 3D printed play area, despite the fact that it is not a 3D printed home, to contextualize the expense of larger 3D printed structures.
WASP (World Advanced Saving Project) is an Italian company designing solutions for the construction of low-cost, sustainable housing. The main focus of the business is the production of 3D construction printers, and they have 3D printed a real house called Gaia as an example of what their machines can accomplish.
The house was printed on WASP’s 12-meter high delta construction 3D printer over the course of 10 days. In-floor space, the result measured an incredible 9 square meters. Notice that the walls are the only part of the house that is 3D printed; the roof is made of wood and is protected by a wood frame that is also visible inside the house itself.
What distinguishes the Gaia house from other similar ventures is the complex geometry of its walls and the materials.
The philosophy behind the geometry of the wall is to provide natural ventilation through channels situated in the layers of the walls. In terms of insulation, rice husks were poured into the inner layers of the walls so that in both summer and winter, the temperature inside is moderate.
While the Gaia house was produced using the 3D construction technology of WASP, instead of the classic concrete mix, the walls were made of locally sourced natural materials. The company reports that the wall materials have passed some construction standardization tests in terms of performance and safety and have been considered successful.
The unusual blend of locally sourced materials helped reduce the cost of materials to create the house’s main structure to just about $900. While we do not know the exact price tag of the completed Gaia home, given the basic materials used, it shouldn’t be too high.
Naturally, this modern, creative natural-material mix may not create the next house in your neighbourhood, but new ventures like this are expanding the limits of what is feasible.
3D Printing For Multi Planetary Construction
3D printing could be the key to building homes and constructing bases on other planets such as the Moon and Mars. The European Space Agency has been testing the effectiveness of 3D printing buildings with the printing machines themselves using the raw materials readily available on those planets. Though much more research needs to be done, one of the companies mentioned above (ICON) has been awarded a government contract and has received funding from NASA for research and development of a system that would be viable to use in space.
We can’t imagine what these large scale 3D printed moon bases will look like – but hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see.
It is difficult to offer an exact price of a 3D printed building in 2020, as we described above, as it depends on the size and complexity of the structure. The easy response would be that 3D printing of a house for as low as £4k is possible in this day and age. The structure of the house (base, walls, roof) and, in some cases, wiring are covered by that price.
The price for the Dubai office building, as you’ve probably found, is very high compared to cheaper and smaller 3D printed houses. You could expect the construction price to be about $100,000 for high-end projects with 3D printing concrete, which is actually very low compared to the cost of constructing the same building using conventional building techniques.
We expect that more and more businesses will shift towards the construction of 3D printed buildings and the 3D printed house movement as time progresses. This should push prices down and quality up, combined with the ever-advancing technologies. Who doesn’t want to see a world with more access to secure, affordable shelter for those in need?
We hope you liked this post about 3d printing houses and the machines that print them. We think these are the construction companies and the construction companies of the future. If you’d like us to write more about 3d printers or want us to write a blog about how to 3d print your own house and don’t want to hire a team of architects to design a new build house for you but fancy using 3d design then be sure to check out our future posts. You never know, yours might be the first house built in your area that is 3d printed.