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Having a roof over your head is a basic human need, but there are 1.2 billion people in the world without adequate housing. This may change thanks to a revolutionary, low-cost use of 3D printers to construct houses. With 3D printing, materials are joined together or reinforced by using a computer-controlled device to create a three-dimensional object. Two companies have joined forces to try and ease homelessness around the world by building affordable homes using 3D printing. Tech company ICON has developed a method for printing a one-floor, 60-square-meter house out of cement in a day for just $10,000. This is a fraction of both the time and cost needed to build a similar construction using conventional methods.

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ICON has teamed up with the non-profit, international housing organization New Story. Together, they will start building homes in developing countries. Their joint venture will see 100 new homes constructed in El Salvador next year. New Story's co-founder Alexandria Lafci acknowledged that the 100 homes were just a drop in the ocean. She said: "There are over 100 million people living in slum conditions, in what we call survival mode." She also saw possibilities for 3D-printed houses to become common in richer countries in years to come. However, she said that for the moment: "The tech is ready now to print very high-quality, safe homes in the places we're building."



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