America’s first 3D-printed neighborhood to be built in California
04/05/2021 // Franz Walker // Views

California's Coachella Valley will soon be home to the first American neighborhood comprised entirely of 3D-printed houses.

The $15 million project, a collaboration between real estate group Palari and construction technology company Mighty Buildings, will transform a five-acre parcel of land in Rancho Mirage into a planned community of 15 3D-printed, eco-friendly homes.

"This will be the first on-the-ground actualization of our vision for the future of housing," Alexey Dubov, Mighty Buildings' co-founder and chief operating officer, said.

3D-Printed houses are faster to build

As part of the project, Mighty Buildings will use its robotics and automation technology to construct the homes. The company uses massive 3D printers the size of small garages located in a large warehouse in Oakland.

According to Mighty Buildings, up to 80 percent of the construction can be automated with 95 percent fewer labor hours and 10 times less waste than conventional construction techniques. This is because the material the company uses hardens almost immediately, allowing a roof, layers of insulation, as well as exterior features such as an overhang, to be added in one go.

Mighty Buildings' co-founder and chief sustainability officer Sam Ruben claims that the company's printers have the capacity to make a 350-square foot home in less than 24 hours. The printers are often set to build a house overnight, while the employees are asleep.

"We are actually limited more by road transport of the buildings than the actual ability to print," Ruben said.


The homes will feature mid-century modern architecture and consist of a 1,450-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bath primary residence with a secondary 700-square-foot residence on the property that has two bedrooms and one bath. Each house will sit on a 10,000-square-foot lot with a swimming pool in the back yard. Buyers have the option to pay extra for amenities, such as hot tubs, cabanas, fire pits and outdoor showers. Prices start at $595,000 for a three-bedroom two-bath model and go up to $950,000 for a two-home configuration with upgrades.

Other 3D-printed housing projects in the works

The Rancho Mirage project is not the first place to see 3D-printed homes in recent years.

Austin, Texas-based construction technology company ICON is currently working with Kansas City-based developer 3Strands to build homes in East Austin using a combination of 3D-printing and traditional construction techniques. The four homes currently under construction are scheduled to be ready for move-in by June or July.

Prior to the East Austin project, ICON also worked with nonprofit New Story for the production of 3D-printed homes for low-income families in Mexico. The homes were built for families living in a flood-prone seismic zone in the Mexican state of Tabasco. (Related: Why 3D printing can DEFEAT tyranny and promote FREEDOM.)

New Story is a non-profit organization that helps families in need of shelter. Since its founding in 2014, it has already built more than 2,700 homes in South America and Mexico. But the project in Tabasco is their first homebuilding project done with 3D printing.

ICON chief executive officer and co-founder Jason Ballard touted 3D printing's capability to help provide quality homes at a lower price.

"We think part of what 3D printing allows us to do is to deliver a much higher-quality product to the housing market at a speed and price that's typically not available for people in [low-income housing]," said Ballard. "It is a house that anyone would be proud to live in."

Follow for more on how 3D printing is changing the way homes are built.

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