‘Skilled Tradesmen Are A Dying Breed’: Companies Team Up To Build 100 3D Printed Homes Amid Supply Chain Shortages

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John Fleming Contributor
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A major home building company is teaming up with a start-up based in Texas to create 100 3D printed homes in Austin, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

Lennar Corporation and tech firm Icon plan to start building the homes in 2022. Icon has experience in building 3D printed houses but not at such a large scale, according to the WSJ.

“We’re sort of graduating from singles and dozens of homes to hundreds of homes,” Icons CEO Jason Ballard told the WSJ.

If 3D printing succeeds, it could offer a solution to the shortage of homes for sale in the United States in an affordable price range. Mortgage Company Freddie Mac estimated that there was a deficit of 3.8 million homes in 2020, the WSJ reported.

The Printers weigh almost 2 tonnes and cost around $500,000-$700,000. They include sophisticated computer programs, developing a three-dimensional object layer, through computer design, the Seattle Times reported.

The houses have been printed in Nacajuca, Mexico, to offer a new solution to affordable housing, the New York Times reported.

“Skilled tradesmen are a dying breed. So there have to be alternative building solutions to help with this labor deficit,” Eric Feder president of LenX, Lennar’s venture-capital and innovation unit told the WSJ. (RELATED: Construction Industry Experiences Slowdown As Labor, Supply Shortages Wreak Havoc: REPORT)

Icons 3D printed houses use concrete framing, rather than framed in wood used on traditional family homes. Lennar Corporation has yet to determine the sale price for the houses, the WSJ reported.