We Can Now Download and 3D-Print a House in 24 Hours Close How to Cultivate Mid-Century Modern Style in Your Own Home Editors’ Recommendations What Wrangler Is Doing to Make Denim More Sustainable 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States Professional Nomads Show Off How They Renovated an Airstream Glimpse the Future of Camper Vans in the Stunning Hymer VisionVenture While it was invented in the 1980s, 3D printing did not become mainstream until 2009 when the major patent expired. Since then, there has been a mad rush to see what can be 3D printed and just how big these objects can be. It seemed the only limit was the size of the printer, so surely things like cars and houses couldn’t possibly be options … could they?As proof that we are living in a futuristic world, ICON has created the first 3D-printed, fully permitted house in the U.S. Built — ahem — printed in Austin, Texas, the home plans were downloaded to a massive printer that was able to complete construction in just 24 hours.ICONWith several goals in mind, including affordability and sustainability, ICON partnered with nonprofit charity New Story to develop a mobile printer. Capable of printing a one-story home of up to 800 square feet, the homes generate almost no waste and cost a staggeringly low $4,000 to print.The collaboration between the two companies came about from New Story’s desire to develop an entire community of 100 affordable homes in El Salvador. The goal is to replace slum housing in the poorest communities in the world with safe, sustainable housing. New Story also wanted the people who will be living in the homes to have a say in the design. By using 3D printing technology, home layouts can easily be changed to suit individual family’s needs before the plans are sent to the printer.ICONThe printer, nicknamed Vulcan, uses a proprietary concrete blend that hardens as it prints. After a few days, the concrete becomes harder than cinder blocks. The home printed in Austin was designed to be up to all building codes, meaning it is move-in ready as soon as the finishing touches are installed. ICON plans to use local workers to install things like windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical, providing an economic boost to these poor communities.While the prototype in Austin is the only one printed so far, crowdfunding efforts are underway and New Story is hoping to have the first village completed in 2019. With a lofty goal of housing the 1 billion people in the world without permanent homes, New Story knows they have their work cut out for them, but ICON’s 3D printer is going a long way to helping them achieve this dream.
IF THERE’S A sign that the future of Ireland is in good hands, it could be the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, which is running at Dublin’s RDS until Saturday.When TheJournal.ie ventured in to see what was on offer at the 550 stands, we met teens with great ideas, big plans, and who were brimming with confidence.Over the next three days we will bring you some of the secondary school students we met at the RDS, but there are even more down there whose work is on display until Saturday.Yes, the event will have winners in a number of categories, but it was clear from this year’s participants that the joy in the exhibition is the process rather than the competition.Students have worked on projects about farming, mould, food, road safety maths problems, and even what to feed hens. Some were working on solutions to everyday problems; other students were grappling with concepts that many adults would find it hard to grasp.The exhibition is now in its 50th year, and on Saturday the astronaut Chris Hadfield will pay the teens a visit. Perhaps one of those he meets will become an Irish astronaut; just like their predecessors over the past five decades, many of the students are destined to go on to great things.Here’s the first of our looks at what goes on at the event:(Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube)Read: Fifty years of innovation: BT Young Scientist launches today>