Community of 3D-Printed Homes Under Construction in Mexico

3D-printed homes would have seemed like science fiction a decade ago. Now that tech is building homes for impoverished families.

Courtesy of Icon

In March of 2018 New Story, a housing nonprofit based in San Francisco, teamed up with Icon, a construction technology company, to produce a permitted, permanent 3D-printed tiny home. Now that same partnership is back in action, this time with a slightly more ambitious goal: to build an entire community of 3D-printed homes for impoverished families in a remote location in Mexico.

Two of the planned 50 3D-printed homes have already been fully built. Each took about 24 hours of total print time to construct, with the process spanning several days. Construction was finished by another of New Story’s nonprofit partners, ÉCHALE.

The homes are being constructed for some of the lowest-income families in Mexico, who have been preselected based on need. New Story says that the median average income per month in the community is $76.50 (or less than $3 a day), and the majority of the families are part of an indigenous population that has been largely unserviced by government programs.

The homes were designed with feedback from those families and include two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. The project took 18 months to plan and uses a first-of-its-kind printer called the Vulcan II to print the homes. The Vulcan II is made specifically to work in this remote, rural location.

New Story has built more than 2,700 homes for over 15,000 people in locations that range from Haiti to Bolivia. Those homes, however, were built using traditional construction methods. The nonprofit views 3D printing as a way to build homes better and faster, which will help them combat global poverty and homelessness at a more efficient pace and a larger scale.

Eventually, the plan is for this 3D-printed neighborhood, which New Story says is the first of its kind, to become part of a larger community complete with parks, basic utilities, and other community amenities.

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