Can 3D-printed homes help solve homelessness?

Non-profit organization New Story has technology to print a home in a day for around US$4000
3D-printed homes 3D printers are already capable of so much ... can huge ones solve the problems of inadequate housing? (Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com)


Homelessness is a major issue worldwide. Many tend to think of this problem as something that affects relatively few people—people here and there on a street corner or bus stop asking for change. But the truth is that homeless people just tend to be hidden from view.

People who work for charities and shelters know the truth. Together, Canada and United States have around 650,000 homeless people on any given night. Meanwhile, in parts of Africa, South America, and southeast Asia, the levels of homelessness are astronomical. And even many of those that have some kind of shelter live in poor conditions that leave residents exposed to infection and disease. Worldwide, over 1 billion people live in slums and/or inadequate housing.

3d-printed homes

Can charities like New Story bring improved housing all over the world? (Devendra Chauhan | Dreamstime.com)

Now a non-profit organization called New Story is looking to address the problem with a modern technology: 3D printing.

Print a home

How will they do this, exactly? New Story is proposing 3D-printed homes. Yes, you read that correctly. An entire 800-square-foot home for a family, printed in under 24 hours. The machine used is called 'The Vulcan', and it has been specially designed for this project. It pours out concrete and is able to work pretty much anywhere—even in places with poor electricity or water access.

Take a look!

A stable start

By North American standards, 800 square feet (that's 74 square metres) is a very modest home—about the size of a two-bedroom urban condo or apartment. But the stability that these New Story 3D-printed homes bring to a family in need is invaluable.

They can withstand extreme weather. The concrete floors are far better than dirt ones at keeping away disease. And most importantly, they give a family something to build on—literally and metaphorically. After all, if you're constantly wondering where you're going to sleep, how can you expect to focus on something like a career?

New Story is currently taking donations to help bring 3D-printed homes to slums in places like El Salvador and Haiti.


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