Printable homes represent the latest wave in construction, but they’re not always cheap to build. Earlier this year, Branch Technology, an architectural startup, developed a prototype of a 1,000-square-foot 3D-printed home that would cost about $300,000 — a price too high to be considered a solution to the global housing crisis . In March, New Story, a housing nonprofit based in San Francisco, and ICON, a construction-technology company that designs 3D printers, unveiled what they said was "the first permitted, 3D-printed home in America": a 350-square-foot structure that cost about $10,000 and took just 48 hours to build. At the time, the printer — known as the Vulcan — was running at only 25% speed . That gave the companies confidence that they could build a 600- to 800-square-foot home in just 24 hours for $4,000 or less. Before using 3D-printing technology, it took New Story eight months to build 100 homes, each costing about $6,000. While the test run took place in Austin, Texas, the companies plan to produce their first string of homes next year in El Salvador, a country whose rough terrain and frequent floods have made housing construction difficult. From there, they hope to provide […]

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