With a shortage of housing and wildly inflated real estate prices across North America, it’s no surprise that tiny homes are becoming more and more popular. However, one startup took the tiny home trend to the next level by creating 3D printed homes that are extremely cost-effective and quick to build.
ICON has partnered with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a non-profit, to build the first community of 3D printed homes in Austin, Texas with the aim of providing housing for Austin’s growing homeless population. The company’s goal is to deliver “dignified, affordable housing at the country’s only master planned development designed specifically for the chronically homeless.
With their innovative 3D printing technology, ICON printed a nearly 500-square-foot welcome center in less than 27 hours. “We couldn’t be happier with how the welcome center turned out,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “I think anyone who sees it will feel like this is a future they can get behind. People can get cynical about issues like homelessness and whether or not it can be solved. I think projects like this give us reasons to be hopeful.”
The entire property of this Austin community spans 51 acres, and when complete, will house around 480 formerly homeless individuals making up about 40% of Austin’s homeless population. To learn more about ICON’s design and building process
Since beginning work on this project, ICON has expanded with many other community-centric designs, as well as many plans for the future. With the way things are going, I truly think tiny home communities are the way of the future and fulfill a drastic need for more and affordable housing.