A place to call home: 3D printed housing to help end homelessness

New village is creating community to combat loneliness

If we were to ask you the most iconic place in America, perhaps you might say LA for its beaches, Las Vegas for its nightlife, or Washington D.C. for its politics.

Though Austin is fast-becoming the most-talked about US city today.

The reason being that the capital of Texas is leading the way to end homelessness, and the team involved are doing this with pioneering 3D printed housing.

[Credit: First! Village]

Their masterplan comes in the guise of First! Village, a 51-acre community that provides affordable, permanent housing and support for people coming out of chronic homelessness.

The progressive approach will not only help local rough sleepers but pave the way for future construction as 3D printed homes take dramatically less time to build than typical housing.

In addition to this, there is a significant environmental impact without the need for expensive materials, the transportation of materials, and a reduced number of workers on each project.

So, while 3D printing is the belle of the ball in the design and tech world, what does it mean?

[Credit: First! Village]

In simple terms, the three-dimensional printing is a process that creates a physical object from a digital file. It works by laying down materials as liquid, powder, metal or cement then fusing the layers together. It also requires less material than traditional manufacturing.

Upon discovering that the single greatest cause of homelessness tends to be the loss of family, the village founders were determined to create a place where connections can flourish.

This means, as well as creating up to 500 homes, the village will boast a cinema, art house, community inn, gardens, and onsite catering too.

[Credit: Tom Claes / Unsplash]

The brainchild of social outreach ministry Mobile Loaves & Fishes, they have been fighting homelessness and empowering communities for more than two decades.

Every night, seven days a week and 365 days a year, their food trucks hit the streets of Austin to provide food, clothing and other life-sustaining items to homeless people.

Now, they hope their homes can go one step further to show how technology has the power to shape our future and create real change for humanity.

The techniques of 3D printers are so supreme that researchers are even trialling them to create human organs, with a bladder successfully made and transplanted in 2018.


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