Oct 1, 2018

How Much Does a 3D Printed House Cost in 2018?

In the past few years, a number of construction companies have turned to 3D printing to reduce the cost of building houses. Here we look at some of the most interesting examples in order to get an idea of how much exactly it costs.

The Rise of 3D Printed Houses

A model showing how easily houses can be 3D printed. Source: Fortune

Every new innovation comes to the market with a particular price tag. Large concrete 3D printers, for example, had a rather high price tag when they first launched. 

But, just as with most technologies, the prices are dropping as new, better and more affordable products are being developed. Also helping prices to lower are new, innovative concrete mixes.

As there are a number of projects dabbling in 3D printed buildings around the globe, it’s impossible to give an exact price for 3D printed houses. Instead, we’ll check out a few of the most recent and most promising projects and their reported prices.

In general, however, you’ll see that a 3D printed house can cost as low as $10,000, or sometimes even lower. Let’s take a look!

Example #1: Apis Cor's 3D Printed House

The house even stands up to the snow. Source: Apis Cor

One rather promising project comes from Russia. Apis Cor is a Russian company that specializes in developing a mobile construction 3D printer, which is capable of printing whole buildings completely on site.

To demonstrate the potential and the abilities of their mobile construction 3D printer, Apis Cor built a 410-square-foot house. The 3D printed house cost the company approximately $10,150, an incredibly low amount for constructing a home.

Here’s a more detailed list of costs, according to the company’s website:

  • Foundation: $277
  • Walls: $1624
  • Floor and roof: $2434
  • Wiring: $242
  • Windows and doors: $3548
  • Exterior finishing: $831
  • Interior finishing (including suspended ceiling): $1178

The company even decorated the house, both inside and outside. The exterior’s been painted, and inside the house is equipped with a fridge, a bigscreen TV, and a sofa, along with other pieces of furniture. The cost of furniture is obviously not included in the above. Apis Cor simply wanted to demonstrate what the finished house could look like.

Example #2: ICON – A 3D Printed House for as Low as $4000?

Who said a 3D printed house can't be stylish? Source: The Verge

Take a look at the picture above. The house you’re looking was 3D printed by a company called ICON in Texas.

ICON specializes in developing low-cost construction solutions, hence why their highlight project is this 3D printed house.

In collaboration with non-profit organization New Story, ICON plans to build a whole neighborhood of these low-cost 3D printed houses in El Salvador. The goal is to provide homes for people who, unfortunately, don’t yet have appropriate living conditions.

The prototype for the 3D printed house cost around $10,000, but the company claims that it can bring that down to only $4000, which is great news. The approximate build time for ICON’s 3D printed house is roughly 24h.

Example #3: Winsun – 10 Houses in One Day

Winsun's 3D Printed Houses Source: China Photo Press

A Shanghai-based company called Winsun was a hit back in 2014 thanks to their achievement of 3D printing 10 houses in one day.

Winsun used large concrete 3D printers, 10 meters wide and 6.6 meters tall. And the company claimed that each 3D printed house cost $4,800, which is surprisingly low for 2014!

Although Winsun’s 3D printed houses aren’t that refined, they attracted a lot of public interest. The project definitely contributed to the rising number of 3D printed houses and the development of the machines that make them.

Winsun is also known for producing one of the most advanced 3D printed buildings to date, which is coming up in the next section…

Example #4: DUBAI's 3D Printed Office Building

Winsun's masterpiece. Source: Dubai Future Foundation

To finish off the article, we present what’s claimed to be the most advanced 3D printed building in the world.

What is it? A beautiful and futuristic office building in Dubai.

The entire process took Winsun only 17 days to print. Up to this point, we’ve only been describing rather cheap 3D printed houses, but this building was a little more expensive, at around $140,000. Still, compared to how much it would have cost if it hadn’t been 3D printed, the final price tag is impressively low.

If you’d like to find out more about Dubai’s 3D printed office building, click right here.

Conclusion

A few 3D printed walls. Source: totalkustom.com

As we mentioned above, it’s hard to give an exact price of a 3D printed building in 2018, as the price depends on the structure’s size and complexity.

The simple answer would be that in this day and age it’s possible to 3D print a house for as low as $4,000. That price covers the structure of the house (base, walls, roof) and in some cases, wiring.

As you’ve probably noticed, the price for the Dubai’s office building is quite high in comparison with cheaper and smaller 3D printed houses. For high-end projects with 3D printing concrete, expect the construction price to be around $100,000, which is actually rather low if compared to the cost of building the same building using traditional building techniques.

As time progresses, more and more companies will adopt 3D printed buildings. This, combined with developing technologies will bring prices down and quality up. And that’s great news if it means more access to safe, affordable shelter for those in need.

License: The text of "How Much Does a 3D Printed House Cost in 2018?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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