A Virginia Family Gets Keys to Their 3D Printed Home In Time for Christmas

It comes with a 3D printer for the owners to reprint any broken parts of the house.
Christopher McFadden

One Virginian family gets the best Christmas present they could hope for with the keys to their new home. It is an exciting event at the best of times, but this house was 3D printed

Developed by a company called Habitat for Humanity, this house represents the first of these kinds of homes for the United States. According to an interview with CNN, Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, the house was achieved thanks to their partnership with the specialist 3D printing company Alquist.

Alquist began printing the house in situ earlier in the year and managed to complete it in time for Christmas. 

The house is 1,200 square feet (111.5 m2) in area, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and is completely built from concrete. While this particular house was something of a test run, the technology behind it should enable future houses to be built in around 12 hours.

A fraction of the time it takes to build a traditional construction house - roughly 4 weeks, give or take. 

The new owner of the home, April Springfield, bought the house through the Habitat Homebuyer Program. Thanks to the efficiency of the building technique, Ms. Springfield and her 13-year-son can now move in just before the holidays. 

"My son and I are so thankful," she said in a live feed streamed on Habitat's Facebook page. "I always wanted to be a homeowner. It's like a dream come true."

The lucky family had to work hard to get their new home

Ms. Springfield had to work very hard to purchase the home Green told CNN. In fact, she racked up over 300 "sweat equity" or "volunteer hours" to get her new home. This is one of the main requirements of the program for potential homebuyers. 

According to a news release by Habitat for Homes, "some [of these hours] were spent actually helping the crew on the construction site and others were recorded at the Habitat ReStore in Williamsburg. April, employed full-time for five years at a nearby hotel, will pay the no-interest mortgage back to the local Habitat affiliate — funds earmarked to go toward building future homes for qualified families".

"Every Habitat affiliate in the nation and worldwide sells home to partner families who have low to moderate incomes," Green told CNN. "They must have and maintain good credit and be willing to partner with us."

"I'm excited to make new memories in Williamsburg and especially in a house, a home," Stringfield told CBS affiliate WTKR. "Someplace I can call home and give my son that backyard that he can play in and also for my puppy to run around the yard."

Concrete is a good choice for Ms. Springfield and her son's new home. It has many benefits like the ability to retain heat, and its inherent strength to be able to withstand all but the harshest natural disasters.

This area of the U.S., being particularly tornado and hurricane-prone, means this new house should be more than enough to remain standing. 

A complementary 3-D printer?

But that's not all. The new house has one more surprise present for the family for Christmas — their own personal 3D printer. This printer, according to Green, will allow Ms. Springfield to reprint anything she needs for the house including "everything from the electrical outlet to trim to cabinet knobs."

For Habitat for Humanity, this new house is not a one-trick pony. They intend it to be the first of many for the United States. Green told CNN it hopes to continue partnering and developing the technology used with the printing.

"We would love to build more with this technology, especially because it's got those long-term savings for the homeowners," Green added.

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