Low supply and high demand will continue to frustrate and price out aspiring homeowners. To try to close the existing gap in supply and demand, companies that use 3-D printing technology have recently sprung up.
The idea that robot arms could deposit layers of concrete to create a home and replace stick-framed walls seemed far-fetched only a few years ago. No more. Contractors like Alquist 3D have taken to social media and posted videos of this very process, racking up millions of views on TikTok alone.
Alquist 3D's mission is to create exceptional design while lowering the cost of housing and infrastructure in economically distressed and under-served communities. While 3-D printed homes can be more affordable than stick-built homes, the industry is still in its infancy and faces challenges. The biggest hurdle currently facing the industry is scale.
"At the moment, there's less than 10 companies using this technology in America. To really make a dent in the affordable housing crisis, we'd need more like 50.", said Zachary Mannheimer, founder and CEO of Alquist 3D, to Time Magazine.
The weather is another obstacle that can halt a project if conditions aren't favorable. Additionally, many builders don't have the training needed on 3-D printed concrete, which prevents more construction sites from using it.
Though the future seems bright for 3-D printed homes, it remains to be seen whether the new technology can become mainstream and outstrip demand for traditional wood-framed homes.
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