Iowa State University announced it will be using its giant 3D printer to manufacture affordable homes for a rural town.
The university said the College of Design’s 3D Affordable Innovative Technologies Housing Project, funded in part by a $1.4 million Strategic Infrastructure Program grant, will build an entire neighborhood in Hamburg, Iowa, a rural town that was severely damaged by flooding in 2019.
The school said its giant 3D printer, which features an overhead gantry system with a computer nozzle that dispenses concrete, can build an entire home in a matter of days.
Pete Evans, an assistant professor of design at ISU, said the project is aimed at creating affordable housing for rural Iowa.
“Since about 2008, there has been a shortage in the residential housing market,” Evans said in an ISU news release. “That’s part of why, for the past couple of years, we have seen a massive surge in pricing and demand for housing.”
ISU said the Hamburg neighborhood project will help the team “understand design, affordability, zoning and building codes, community engagement and training” for when the project expands to other locations.
“This will accelerate the construction of affordable housing so that we can automate some of that function, and also build more house more rapidly at a lower cost,” Evans said.