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Iowa Demolishes Its First 3D Printed Home

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In May 2023, the city of Muscatine, Iowa embarked on an ambitious plan to construct 3D printed homes. The weekend before Thanksgiving, the first such home was demolished.

This project, a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine (CFGM), Muscatine Community College, and Alquist 3D, received a $1.8 million award for the construction of 10 3D printed homes throughout the city. Envisioned as a solution to the pressing housing challenge in the community, the 10 planned 3D-printed homes will each bear a price tag of approximately $300,000 upon completion. Six of those homes were to be reserved for first time homebuyers with a preference for educators.

The printed home was designed to be 1,300 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a front porch and attached two-car garage. The home would utilize traditional wooden frames from the interior walls. The original plan was to for all ten homes to be constructed from May through the end of 2023. The CFGM originally estimated that the base of each home could be printed in about 12 days while the rest of the finishes would take 6-10 weeks.

Walls of Muscatine’s first 3D printed home being printed on site

It’s not clear what issues might have derailed this timeline—construction has only just started on the second homes.

3D home printing in Arbor Commons in Muscatine

Project participants concluded that it would be best to demolish what had been constructed and rebuild later. Alquist 3D, the subcontractor, will absorb the costs of this reconstruction, sparing future homeowners any impact on the listing price. The new concrete formula is meeting the required 5000 PSI threshold and construction on the second home will resume this spring. CFGM emphasized in a September statement that the intention is still to build ten homes.

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