To build the house, ICON developed a mobile 3D printer called the Vulcan, which is created to operate in conditions where power isn't reliable and potable water isn't readily available - like rural El Salvador or Haiti.
These homes aren't part of the "tiny house" movement and you won't see suburbs of these 3D houses popping up across America. At the annual film and innovation festival known as SXSW, the company showed off a 3D-printed house which features a living room, bedroom, bathroom, and curved porch.
However, before these homes are built, ICON is planning to trial the model by 3D printing an office in Austin. ICON is focused on creating homes in parts of the world that don't have the economic wherewithal to house the poverty-stricken.
ICON has partnered with a nonprofit housing foundation New Story to take its technology to the developing world.
While the company's main objective is to help reverse the global housing crisis, it also plans to build community-wide buy-in through the creation of manufacturing jobs that utilize local labor in those impoverished areas.
The current plan is to build 100 homes in El Salvador next year.
"(ICON) believes, as do I, that 3D printing is going to be a method for all kinds of housing", New Story co-founder Alexandria Lafci said.
"There are a few other companies that have printed homes and structures".
Even though the machinery used in 3D-printing is quite costly, however, the materials can be low-priced. "3D printing had been our on radar but it wasn't until we got connected to ICON that we felt it would be a feasible possibility". "It's much cheaper than the typical American home", ICON co-founder Jason Ballard told The Verge. "It's one of the more promising potential habitat technologies". For this venture to succeed, they have to be the best houses...