A San Francisco startup is 3D-printing entire houses in just one day

Printing out a house.
Printing out a house.
Image: Apis Cor
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If you’re looking to move but can’t find the house of your dreams, you may be able to just print out what you’re after in the near future.

A San Francisco-based 3D-printing startup, Apis Cor, has come up with an exceedingly affordable solution for building new houses. It can 3D-print concrete walls for a small house in under 24 hours.

Apis Cor recently used its massive 3D-printer to lay down concrete walls on a test home at a site in Russia, where it has a business partner, printing out a cozy but livable 400-square-foot house. The machine, which looks more like a small crane than a conventional 3D printer, spits out layer upon layer of a concrete mixture that the company says can last for 175 years. After printing out the walls, the printer is removed, and a group of contractors install insulation, windows, appliances, and a roof. (It’s not entirely clear whether the whole house was finished and furnished in 24 hours, or just whether the walls were printed in that time.)

The company says that it can build and furnish these small houses for a cost of about $10,000, and according to the company’s blog on the project, the windows and doors were by far the most expensive component.

These houses could be used to help quickly re-house those affected by natural disasters, the company said. They might also be of use in its home town, where an influx of technology workers in recent years has created housing shortage crisis for the city.