A robot can build this $13,000 house within 12 hours — take a look inside

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New Story and ICON’s 3D-printed house. New Story/ICON/YouTube

Building a house by hand can be both time-consuming and costly – so some homebuilders are now automating part of the construction process.

The homebuilding startup ICON uses a 3D-printing robot that can make parts for houses. The machine can print the walls, roof, and floor of a 650-square-foot model in as little as 12 hours. A worker then adds the windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems.

As The Verge notes, ICON debuted a prototype of the house at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Partnering with the international nonprofit New Story, the company plans to build dozens more for low-income communities in El Salvador by the end of 2019.

Check out the home below.


The single-story house features a wraparound patio.

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Inside, it has a living room …

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… a small office space …

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… a bedroom …

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… and a bathroom.

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To build the house, the printer — called the Vulcan — lays down layers of concrete one by one.

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A worker then installs the finishes, plumbing, and electrical systems. The whole process takes 12 hours to one day.

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Source: The Verge


The Vulcan printer can construct a home that measures up to 800 square feet.

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New Story and ICON aren’t the first to 3D print a house. As Business Insider reported last year, the Ukrainian housing startup PassivDom has created a 3D printer that can construct a 410-square-foot solar-powered home within eight hours.


New Story and ICON designed this house for people in the developing world. They say the 3D-printing process costs much less, is quicker, and produces less waste than traditional construction.

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They see it as one way to help alleviate the global affordable-housing crisis, Alexandria Lafci, a founder of New Story, told The Verge.


Though the model below costs $US10,000 in materials, the creators hope to reduce that figure to $US4,000. They plan to create 100 houses in El Salvador by next year.

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Eventually, New Story and ICON may also sell the homes in the United States.


Watch the video for a full tour: