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These 6 3D printed homes could be built for less than $100,000 each — take a look

These 6 3D printed homes could be built for less than $100,000 each — take a look
  • Icon asked students and architecture pros to design 3D printed homes that could be built for $99,000 or less.

  • The six winning concepts are now featured in Icon's digital catalog of 3D printed home designs.

  • Developers would be able to "order" the catalog's homes.

Using a robot 3D printer to construct a home doesn't have to be as unattainable as it might sound.

Quite the opposite: According to construction-tech startup Icon, the cost to build a 3D printed home could be less than the price of a luxury car.

In 2023, the Austin-based startup launched its Initiative 99 competition, inviting students and professional architects to design homes that could be built for $99,000 or less "without sacrificing beauty, dignity, comfort, sustainability, or resiliency."

The prize? Money — and the opportunity to have their concept featured in Icon's Codex, a digital catalog of printed home designs that real estate developers could peruse and ask Icon to build.

Many existing and upcoming printed homes are far from affordable.

Icon and Lennar's 3D printed walls
When complete, Icon and Lennar's 100-unit community will be the world's largest neighborhood of 3D-printed homes.Icon

Icon and construction giant Lennar are building a 100-printed home neighborhood just north of Austin. The first six houses were listed between $476,000 and $566,000.

A few hours' drive west, units in the startup's Marfa, Texas, development "start in the upper $900,000s," according to its website.

One of the newest contenders in the printed market is a two-bedroom in Detroit.

exterior of Citizen Robotics' 3d printed home
Detroit-based nonprofit Citizen Robotics spearheaded the 988-square-foot home.Citizen Robotics

Great news: The Detroit home is capped at $224,500.

The not-so-great news: The price is still more than double the city's median sales price for a single-family home.

But not every 3D printed home has to come with a substantial investment, according to Icon’s Initiative 99.

rendering of people next to 3d printed homes
Entrants were suggested to use a $250-per-square-foot price — which would've included costs like equipment and the printing process — for their design, as shown in Beta Realities' rendering.Icon, Beta Realities

On Tuesday, the construction-tech startup announced the competition's six winners — three each from the student and "open" categories (the latter for professional architects and firms).

The top six designs range from 335 to 1,369 square feet, but all share one commonality: The ability to be built with a max $99,000 budget.

Take a look at the winning concepts.

This two-bedroom home concept was developed with single-parent families in mind.

render of 3d printed home backyard with people
The unique walls, shown in a rendering, have cavities that promote airflow and perforations bring in more natural light, Alex Dubor of IAAC said in a statement.Icon, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia's Casa Fami, which took first place in the student category, would be a 1,369-square-foot home with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Its most notable feature, the courtyards, would serve as private open-air children's "play areas."

The bathroom and two bedrooms would be adjacent, situated in one corner of the floorplan.

composite of rendering of 3d printed bedroom and kitchen
Casa Fami's "gross floor area," which doesn't include exterior spaces like the patio, would amount to 909 square-feet, as shown in a rendering.Icon, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

These slumber spaces would be separated from the traditionally busier parts of the home: the kitchen and living room.

Wai-Home, the open category's first-place winner, would be significantly smaller than Casa Fami.

rendering of a 3d printed home surrounded by floods
The roof shown in a rendering would have rainwater-collecting gutters, Sebastian Contreras, one of the home's designers, said in a video for Icon. A tank would be under the house. Icon, MTSpace Studio

But New Zealand-based MTspace Studio's tiny home concept would have a big edge.

The unit, designed for regions susceptible to flooding, would be elevated on pillars to mitigate water damage.

Wai-Home's designers said the roof would also have solar and rainwater harvesting capabilities.

rendering of a person inside a 3d printed home
The home's name references its flood-prevention capabilities: "Wai" means "water" in Māori. Pictured is a rendering.Icon, MTspace Studio

The 551-square-foot dwelling would have signature tiny home features like a loft and a joint living room and kitchen.

The bedroom and bathroom would be downstairs. The designers didn't designate a use for the loft.

Speaking of tiny homes, the student category’s second-place slot, Printing Hope, would only hit 516 square feet.

a row of 3d printed homes, rendering
The concept, pictured in a render of several units side-by-side, was inspired by families moving from rural to urban regions, according to its designer.Icon, Juan Felipe Molano Rodriguez

Despite its size, the design would address one of the 3D printing construction industry's biggest pain points: inefficiency.

It's difficult to print more than one home at a time.

Columbia's Juan Felipe Molano Rodriguez's concept would tackle this.

The concept envisions four Printing Hope units being printed at the same time.

composite of the interior of 3d printed home
The bedroom (shown in a rendering on the right) and bathroom would be located on opposite ends of the home.Icon, Juan Felipe Molano Rodriguez

The homes would have to share a wall or two, similar to a quadplex.

Inside, each unit would have an open living room and kitchen, as is typical with homes of this size.

Look closely: A bonus office space would be nestled by a curved wall.

At 335 square-feet, bi-level Housing Salinas is the smallest concept in this list.

rendering of two tall 3d printed homes and people
The design, shown in a rendering, was named after the coastal Puerto Rican town ravaged by Hurricane Fiona in 2022. The concept was developed for people who've faced natural disaster-induced displacement, Jorge Mendez-Caceres, one of the designers, said in a video for Icon.Icon, For Everyday Life

UK's For Everyday Life's design won second place in the open category with its vaulted ceilings and printed roof.

The concept seems to follow New York City's supposed motto: Build taller and thinner.

rendering of 3d printed home with occupants
The tall ceilings would be outfitted with large windows, brightening the small home, as shown in a render.Icon, For Everyday Life

The first floor would hold the bathroom and joint living room and kitchen.

Residents would then scale a ladder to access their upstairs bedroom.

Beyond Shelter would also have a loft — and significantly more space.

composite of 3d printed home interior renderings
Some of the downstairs beds, shown in a render, could be made private with furnishings like curtains.Icon, Victoria Roznowski

Germany's Victoria Roznowski conceived the third-place student category design as a dignified refugee housing option.

The 820-square-foot, four-person home would have an open living space with "adaptable sleeping areas" like a lofted bedroom and small beds scattered downstairs.

The home would also have a back patio.

rendering of person and dog outside 3d printed home
The home, shown in a rendering, has design elements reminiscent of eco-brutalism.Icon, Victoria Roznowski

Outside, plants would be integrated into the curving exterior walls.

The 356-square-foot Collective Parts design would take the most distinct approach to affordable housing.

composite of interior and exterior of 3d printed home renders
The modules would have floor-to-ceiling windows, according to a rendering.Icon, Beta Realities

The open category's third-place winner, created by Germany's Beta Realities, would be separated into four modules: bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom.

Like Lego blocks, these modules could be combined and reconfigured, allowing a future homeowner to adjust the size of their residence according to their needs.

For now, these concepts are just that: concepts. But potentially not for long.

rendering of a 3d print construction site
Icon has yet to announce these design's final prices and build timelines. Icon, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia

Icon says it plans to "further develop" these designs in the second phase of the competition. That's when the exact purchase price will be decided.

In this next step, Icon and Austin-based nonprofit Mobile Loaves and Fishes will also pick a final design to build for a local, affordable, tiny home community.

Read the original article on Business Insider