SQ4D has developed their own concrete 3D printer. As you can see from my first video below at one of their builds, their printer is a collapsible gantry system on rails. It is very unique because of its ability to mechanically collapse itself for ease of transport and disassembly. They do not publicly disclose whether or not this printer is for sale but they have boldly become the first company to publicly list a 3D printed house for sale. They were able to do so because the permits for the building have been granted by the local municipality. The biggest accomplishment will be an Occupancy Certificate that will be granted after all of the inspections have been passed during the construction process. There are a few companies actively pursing the first Occupancy Certificate for a 3D printed house so the race is on to see who is able to complete construction with a passing grade first.
Almost a year ago I was able to find the location of an experimental 3D printed house that was under construction by SQ4D. That 1,900 sqft home evidently only cost them $6000 in materials according to their website sq4d.com which seems incredibly affordable. It is very possible that they have gone back to the drawing board since that build to make improvements to the material which could potentially drive up the price by multiples. Overall 41% of the construction was done by the ARCS 3D Printer they developed which led to an overall savings of 30%. Generally speaking a new product should be at least 25% better than the incumbent solution so this 30% reduced cost prediction bodes very well for the future of the industry.
I’ve visited this project a few times as they made progress on the build. The concrete walls were done before I got there, it was the manual labor (Roof, Windows, Doors, Gutter, Siding) that took the longest. Last time I was inside I saw that some of the walls had been smoothed out with concrete to give the interior a flat finish. For many people, the ability to hide the fact that the home was printed makes it much more appealing although personally I appreciate the raw nature of the exposed concrete.
Their newest project to be constructed is a 1,500 sqft 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house. SQ4D is offering a 50 year limited warrantee on the build which is incredible considering that it is the first time a 3D printed house has ever been listed for sale. It is certainly understandable for a buyer to be wary of a new technology so this warrantee is a very important demonstration of SQ4D taking accountability for their work which helps the pioneering buyer be more confident in their decision. The home will also feature a 750 sqft 3D printed garage to match.
List price has been set to $299,000. According to zillow the average home in this neighborhood is worth $394,000 so it is very likely the house will sell over list price especially in the current housing market where the supply has been low and prices have been increasing.
It will be very interesting to follow along this project as SQ4D makes history. 0 to 1 is the hardest step in an emerging industry, it is a sure sign of some very exciting builds to come. It is very challenging for people to get out there and be the first in anything but after the first bushwhacking pioneers make it through the rough patches early adopters start to pour in. As exposure and footprint of this technology increases so will its capabilities. Economies of scale will make this already cost saving technique vastly more efficient as competition increases on all fronts, hardware, software and material. If you’d like to stay up to date on what I learn about this industry, subscribe on YouTube or the email list on www.automate.construction.
SQ4D Website: https://www.sq4d.com/portfolio-items/our-next-print/