The world’s first 3D-printed neighbourhood in Mexico

Source: The New Story Charity

Source: The New Story Charity

Families living on $3 a day in New Mexico have been given a home, thanks to a giant 3D printer. The neighbourhood aims to include 50 homes, all to be completed by the end of 2020. These houses are there to replace the structures that families have built out of wood, metal, and whatever other materials they were able to find.


The families currently live in a “seismic zone that’s prone to flooding in the state of Tabasco, Mexico,”[1]. These houses are beneficial as they provide a more secure and stable structure, that will withstand earthquakes and keep the families safe and dry during heavy rains. Factors, such as earthquakes and flooding, were vital when designing the neighbourhood. Brett Hagler, CEO and co-founder of New Story, the non-profit-building community, told CNN, “They’re living in literally a pieced-together shack that during the rainy season, will flood from the rain. Some of the women even said that the water will go up to their knees when it rains, sometimes for months.”


New Story is a non-profit organisation, with the aim of providing and helping families in need of shelter. For their first 3D home building project, they paired up with ICON, a construction technology company that developed the 3D printing being used in this project. All the homes were designed to help the poorer in Mexico, understanding that families will eventually live in them.


The printer, named Vulcan II, was made by ICON and was made over a period of 3 years . This printer pipes out a concrete mix that hardens once it has dried, as it builds walls one layer at a time. It takes 24 hours over several days to complete the construction of two houses at the same time, which is about two times faster than it usually takes New Story to build a home with regular construction. According to New Story, the concrete mix is sturdier than traditional concrete, in order to withstand seismic activity.


Currently, there is no price tag on the homes. New Story have said that they are working with the families to have them pay at least 20% to 30% of their income, as they want the people to have a sense of ownership in the community.