Emergence of 3D Printed Homes in the US [An Industry Study]

Updated: April 15th, 2022

We analyzed over 1,550 search results, videos, articles and posts about 3D printed homes in the US.

Specifically, we looked at:

  • How many residential homes have been constructed with 3D printing.
  • Homes that are currently in the planning process.
  • Where they are located.
  • Types of properties.
  • Pricing info.
  • Materials used and proposed.
  • Potential benefits.
  • Future expectations.

Here is more info about data included, and what we consider a 3D printed home for our data.

Let’s get right into the findings.



Number of Homes Printed

Completed & Planned

A graph estimating how many 3d printed homes have been constructed and how many are in planning as of April 2022.
In planning refers to the date the plans were announced.

The chart shows how many homes have been finished, and how many were announced. We will update the data from time to time as homes go from “in planning” to “completed”.

• Printed

These homes have been completed. They are also occupied, being lived in/used by a homeowner or other occupant.

These include both primary homes and also ADUs (accessory dwelling units). So, whether it is a single family home or pool cabana, it is included if it is being used for residential purposes.

The oldest US 3D printed home was completed in 2018 by ICON.

• In Planning

The “in planning” section includes homes that have been announced by the builder, developer or their representative.

The date reflects when the company announced that their homes are on the way, NOT the expected completion date.

Completion dates tend to move, especially when dealing with a brand new technology. It is safe to say, you will see more in the news about these projects in the months to come.

Where Are the Homes?

State by State Breakdown

A map showing how many estimated homes have been constructed using 3d printing technology as of mid April 2022.

• States With 3D Printed Homes

  • Texas: 13 printed, 141 in planning
  • California: 6 printed, 107 in planning
  • Oregon: 10 in planning
  • Virginia: 2 printed
  • Florida: 1 printed
  • New York: 2 printed
  • Arizona: 1 printed
  • Nevada: 1 in Planning
  • Missouri: 1 printed

Types of Homes

The Estimated Share of Each Home Type

Percentage of 3D printed homes that are single family homes, either sold as a spec home or to a buyer.
The percentage of 3D printed homes that are estimated to be ADUs.
The percentage of 3d printed homes in the US that are estimated to be built by non profits for charitable purposes.

• Spec & Custom Single Family Homes

A majority of the homes in planning and printed are for the purpose of selling to a homeowner or investor as a single family residence.

This could be either on the open market (such as Austin’s upcoming community with Lennar) or as a private sale between the builder and buyer.

If you are picturing yourself having a 3D printed home and being among the first to invite your friends over to see, that day is rapidly approaching.

Builders will be printing more spec builds and custom homes over the next few years. But will they be cheaper? Read below.

• ADUs

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are rapidly increasing in popularity. Small backyard dwellings have become more popular all across the US.

This is largely because of a prolonged and painful housing shortage has created a demand for alternative solutions.

3D printed small ADUs, either as a rental unit, in law suite or pool house have already been delivered to owner’s backyards. Mostly, for now, on the west coast. But this trend is expected to continue.

Especially if prices come down.

Mighty Buildings in California has led the way for the 3D printed ADU market.

• Affordable Housing by Non-profit

Habitat for Humanity has begun to print homes for their chosen families. And other charitable organizations have begun to experiment with 3D printing homes.

Grants from government organizations (such as Virginia Housing) and private donors have made this possible.

Affordable 3d printed housing has not begun yet on a large scale in the United States, but the research and proof of concept builds are underway.

• Apartments/Condos

Internationally, there are apartment buildings that were constructed with 3D printers.

However, there are no multifamily buildings yet in the US either printed or in planning that we could uncover. Will update you when this changes.

Pricing

The Elusive, Ever Changing Answer

• Initial Reports

There were, largely embellished, initial reports that you can print a 500 sq ft home for $4,000 dollars. Of course, everyone wanted one.

This has been debunked multiple times by emerging industry experts. You can see a great video about it on reddit by Architect Belinda Carr, and reaction by redditors with construction experience.

• The Reality

The reality is that 3D printed homes are not the cheapest option, currently, to build a home.

There are a wide number of expenses that many do not consider. Remember, many portions of the structures are traditional, and humans use traditional methods to construct aspects of these properties.

The fact that they are not the cheapest building option is disappointing, especially if you read the news headlines and thought these homes were immediately going to be 15-20% cheaper, or even more.

Another expert in the 3D printing construction community is Jarett Gross, who has a highly valuable YouTube channel, that is worth subscribing to. Below he is touring a Icon modern home, which will be used as a model home before being sold.

Jarett also debunks the $4,000-$10,000 home myth, talks about pricing, how pricing could possibly come down in the future, visits nearly all of the 3D printed homes and companies in the US, and more on his channel.

The reality is, based on our findings, that 3D printing is likely more expensive per square foot than traditional construction methods for the time being.

• The Real Number….

Ok, so pricing info from each builder, complete with line by line itemization for each project….simply will not be shared.

In fact, in our extensive experience working with home builders it is nearly impossible info to come by even with a traditional home unless you are a builder, developer, or build your own home.

However, you can work backwards to see what builders are asking for 3D printed homes so far, and what is in the news.

  • Apis Cor. They are offering deposits on homes at a starting price of $194-$204 per square foot (likely to go higher with non-base options, not including land price).
  • SQ4D. The NY home is under contract was listed at $213 per square foot (including land, finished).
  • Dr. Andrew McCoy (Virginia Housing Grant w/ Alquist): Believed construction can be done (eventually) for between $116-$122 per square foot, however it is unclear when or if they will attain that. Reportedly, another charitable organization was told the Richmond 3D home cost $400,000 to complete.

• The Futurism Effect

Ok, so the price is higher than you thought. But these homes are still being printed and sold.

And, aside from the charitable builds, you have to assume that these companies are making a profit off of the homes.

How can that be possible if the price to build is potentially higher than other construction methods?

Well, because 3D printed homes are cool, and you probably want to be among the first to own one in the US.

I know that I do. Just like different architecture and styles of homes will get more dollars per square foot, 3D homes are currently selling easily because they are sleek.

I would probably accept a slightly smaller property at a bigger price tag to live in 3D home if I could afford it.

I call this the “futurism effect”. You are are potentially living in a home of the future. Many people are embracing it.

Now, if the price truly turns out to be 15-20% lower once the full potential is reached, that is a different story and mass printing of homes will be inevitable.

Potential Benefits

Why 3D Printed Homes?

• Future Pricing

Ok, so the previous section brought the pricing of these homes back to earth.

However, there is a general consensus, from both builders and industry experts, that pricing will come down. The question is when.

Why? First of all, builders are still perfecting the process. Secondly, price of printers and materials could decrease with larger scale production (economies of scale).

And finally, more builders could enter the 3D printing game, which could cause price adjustments due to increasing competition.

How affordable will it be? Nobody yet knows. Until tens of thousands (or more) 3D homes are printed across different US states, it will be unclear what the cost is compared to traditional homes construction.

• Speed

3D printed homes have the potential to be constructed faster than traditional construction methods.

This is also unproven so far. Because only certain portions of a home are 3D printed, it is hard to say how much faster construction will be once it reaches its full potential.

It is generally believed that 3D printing will save time if the process is optimized and larger portions of the home/foundation are printed. It also could become faster as the printers themselves advance.

• Reduced Waste & Sustainability

Construction produces waste, most of it from unused portions of materials or damaged materials due to human error.

3D printed portions of homes have the potential to reduce this amount of waste due to the exactness of the machine.

Of course, this waste reduction could increase as larger portions of the home are 3D printed (not just walls).

The sustainability of 3d printed homes will dramatically increase if the materials used are recycled or more eco friendly. This is currently being tested.

• Durability

Durability will be proven with time. Not much time has passed since the first 3D printed homes had someone move in.

However, concrete has been proven to be strong, fire resistant, mold & insect resistant and more.

Very few of the 3D printed homes in the US are 100% concrete, and many contain a concrete mix.

But it is likely that the right mixture of concrete and/or other additives will prove more durable than stick framing.

There is also potential for the mix and materials to change and evolve to become stronger.

• Safety

Framing a home is a dangerous activity, in fact it is one of the most dangerous aspects of construction.

3D printers have proven to be much safer for workers, and could cut down on injuries/deaths in the future.

• Aesthetics

The architectural/design potential of this construction method is vastly greater than traditional methods.

Printers can design shapes that would be way too expensive or logistically complex for current methods.

The homes also have a signature layered look to the walls that many find quite appealing. The walls can be stamped, smoothed, or left natural. The look changes with different material.

3D Printing US Companies

The Biggest Players in US 3D Printed Homes

The interior of the Chicon House, a 3d printed home in texas. The walls are white and show the layered look of concrete
The interior of the Chicon House. Notice the layered 3d printed walls.

• Icon

Icon printed the first 3D homes in the US, the Chicon House in Austin, Texas in 2018.

The company has since printed/built a luxury model home with mid century modern flair (House Zero), has printed some affordable/charitable homes and also printed and sold 4 spec homes in Austin.

Icon made huge waves when they announced a 100 home community in partnership with Lennar.

• Apis Cor

Apis Cor is a major player in autonomous construction, and is now taking deposits on 3D home builds throughout the US for delivery starting in 2023.

They have built both residential and commercial structures all over the world, including the first commercial building in the US.

Apis Cor also manufactures and plans to sell printers. Their first printer, “Frank” has printed many homes. They are headquartered in Florida, close to the space coast.

• Mighty Buildings

Mighty Buildings has made a name for themselves as a forward thinking 3D printing company building ADUs in California.

They took a leap forward when they announced a partnership with developer Palari to bring communities of modern 3D homes to Coachella Valley.

• Palari (Developer)

Palari is the developer behind the communities of 3D homes in California. They also have plans to bring 3D homes to Napa Valley, San Fernando Valley and the Central Coast.

The builder for the communities is Mighty Buildings, and they offer 4 different models plus optional ADUs.

• Lennar

Lennar is the first large national homebuilder to incorporate 3D printed homes in a large scale community to be sold on the open market.

The builder is partnering with Icon to bring 100 single story homes to Austin, Texas. The homes are expected to have a large portion of 3d printed construction.

• Alquist

Alquist has used the COBOD printer to construct homes in Virginia in partnership with a grant from Virginia Housing and in partnership with Virginia Tech.

• SQ4D

SQ4D listed the proclaimed first spec home that used 3D printing in Riverhead, NY which is on the north shore of Long Island.

• COBOD (Printers)

Several builders, both in the US and abroad, use COBOD printers for their projects. They are one of the major producers of the equipment needed to do this type of construction.

COBOD is based in Copenhagen. The name is derived from Copenhagen Building On Demand.

• Printed Farms

This Florida start up 3d printed several structures for homes in their home state using the COBOD printers. They also are printing a residential home in Tallahassee in partnership with a local contractor.

• Habitat for Humanity

Habitat is considered one of the largest non profit home builders in the world and has been the largest for some time.

They have emerged as a leader in 3D printed homes for charitable/ low income housing purposes. They have completed multiple projects with more sure to follow if they prove cost effective long term.

• More

There are many companies, government organizations and non-profits that are researching and experimenting with 3D printed homes.

We will update this list as they emerge.

Materials Used

This What is Being Used, and What Could Be

• Traditional Concrete Mixture

Many of the 3D printed homes use traditional concrete as the main component of their mixture, along with some additives to provide strength.

The exact mixtures of each company are not disclosed, but concrete and portland cement is the most common base.

• Geopolymer Concrete

Geopolymer concrete and cement is an exciting, cutting edge material mixture that has large potentials in the 3D home market.

It is more eco friendly than traditional concrete by using less water and relying on natural materials or other industrial byproducts to produce.

It also has the potential to last longer than traditional cement.

To learn more about geopolymers, I recommend checking out Geopolymer International.

Geo Int. is also partnering to build a 3D home out of their geopolymer concrete in Las Vegas, which is in planning.

• Other Organic Materials

The pioneers of 3D printing are undoubtedly sitting at the white board for long hours trying to figure out what is the best mix to make a strong, sustainable, long lasting home.

Many of those materials have been natural/organic as they are can be locally sourced and may need less manufacturing.

Companies have tested and/or used sand, stone, rice fiber, dirt, lime, ice and many other organic materials usually as an additive/mixture.

• Recycled Glass

RMIT in Australia did a study on using glass as an aggregate in 3D concrete instead of sand/gravel.

The findings were that glass could make the concrete less prone to cracking.

In addition, glass has the potential to make concrete mixtures more eco friendly by reducing water consumption and using a recycled element instead of relying on sand mining.

• Full Construction Materials

MIT has been experimenting with 3D printing structures, and one day hopes to print a large portion of buildings for reduced cost.

One day, the researchers in charge of the project believe their printing robots could possibly print structures from start to finish, from digging for site preparation to foundation pouring to finishing work.

“..in the future, to have something totally autonomous, that you could send to the moon or Mars or Antarctica, and it would just go out and make these buildings for years”

Dr. Steven Keating, PhD, MIT

They recently printed a structure out of spray foam as a test.

Obviously, a home of spray foam is not going to stand the test of time, but the robots they are building themselves are impressive.

• Other

There have been various other mixtures tested and used for 3D printing of homes, some in the US and others abroad.

This includes plastics, metal fibers and a host of other material that likely has not been disclosed yet.

The final mixtures will change with time and as technology improves.

Time is also needed to see how the mixtures hold up over, say, several decades.

International & Beyond

3D Printed Homes are All Over the World & One Day Perhaps the Galaxy

Aerial view of a collection of 3d printed homes in China, including a multi level building.
Aerial view of buildings made with 3D printer by Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co., Ltd. at the Suzhou Industrial Park in Suzhou city, east China’s Jiangsu province. — Photo by ChinaImages

• International

Although 3D printed homes have progressed quickly in the United States, it has progressed even further worldwide.

They also had a head start. In 2015, Apis Cor built a 400 sq. ft home in Russia that is widely credited as the first 3D home. The US had their first project 3 years later.

In Europe and in Asia, they have constructed 3D printed homes, commercial buildings, apartments and other structures out of a wide range of materials.

• Intergalactic

Many companies have set their sights beyond earth. Specifically, for structures built on the moon and mars.

For obvious reasons, using machines and robotics to print homes in space is preferable to humans using traditional construction methods.

NASA has been open about the desire for private companies to design habitats for future space endeavors. They have even held a contest for it.

The Future of 3D Homes

How Many Homes are Coming?

• The Next Wave

2022 & 2023 will see a large wave of new 3D printed homes in the US.

Apis Cor is taking deposits to begin building in 2023.

And companies like Lennar & Palari are working with 3d printed home companies to build entire communities. If they sell out their communities quickly, more are almost guaranteed to follow soon after.

• And Beyond?

The next handful years are a very important time for autonomous construction. If the homes are a commercial success it could quickly take off.

The technology is still in a VERY early stage. There are currently nearly 1 million homes per year built in the US.

200 yearly homes built partially with 3D printing technology is not even a drop in the bucket.

Construction with this method would have to increase 100x to even get to approximately 1% of the market of new home builds in the US.

However, there is massive potential for it to take off and capture more market share. We are seeing this now in the electric vehicle industry, which started as a niche product and now is capturing more and more market share.

• Hurdles

Traditional “stick built” methods of building homes is not going anywhere anytime soon. 3D printed homes could take off, slowly.

Then, one day, rapidly.

Or, the homes could be become a unique architectural feat owned by a small subset of homebuyers.

Here are some things that need to happen for 3D homes to succeed:

  • Prices must come down. The decision for most homeowners to live in a 3D printed home is easy if they are cheaper. Most companies believe that they will be. But time will tell.
  • Large builders need to invest in printers. The construction industry always will find the most efficient way to build communities, from a cost and speed standpoint. For builders to invest in a printer, the benefits must be perfectly clear. Right now there are unknowns.
  • Permitting and building codes. 3D printed homes are getting permitted. But keep in mind those are mostly homes with 3D framing. As the technology advances, the building code may have to adjust. This can take time.
  • Materials. Will these homes use less material? Less energy? What will the best mixture be? These are questions that will be answered, but we are not 100% the answer will be what we hope.

Data & Other Considerations

The Details

• How We Found This Info

There is no easy way to track the number of 3D printed homes.

We have spent over 200 hours in the last 3 years combing through search results, builder’s webpages, videos, news articles, press releases and more.

What are included here are permanent residences, both already constructed and in the planning phase of being constructed. Many more homes have been printed for testing/display and later torn down.

• Limitations

There could be 3D printed homes that have been constructed privately and quietly.

For example, no announcement from the builder, developer, resident, no coverage from the experts/media.

And more are being planned and built as we speak, and just not yet announced.

Some of the 3d printed ADUs and 3d printed homes are on the same lot. We count these as 2 prints, since it is 2 residential buildings.

Some of the 3d printed homes “in planning” will also include an optional ADU, but it is unknown how many yet.

For the above reasons, our numbers are definitely to be on the low/conservative side.

We continue to monitor for new communities and completions.

If you think we missed a home or community, reach out to us and let us know, we will verify the source and add it to our numbers.

We will occasionally come and update this post as new projects are announced and completed.

If 3D printing becomes mainstream, it will simply be included in “homebuilding” not “3D printing a home”.

There are also some “prefab” 3d printed tiny homes that are currently in production, however they have not released any info on how many they have delivered.

So there are also more 3D printed pre-fab ADUs out there.

• What is a 3D Printed Home?

Most of the first wave of 3D printed homes are actually hybrids of 3d printed elements and traditional building methods.

Most commonly, the first level walls (interior and exterior) are 3d printed. And the roof system, finishes, windows, doors, slab foundation etc. are traditional.

However, this is evolving.

For example, Internationally, 3d printers have constructed multi-story homes and buildings. And Printed Farms printer was modified to print its own foundation slab.

If building codes and technology continue to evolve, 3d printers could construct more of each US homes.

We did not include in this data non-residential structures and temporary structures (many test homes have been built and demolished).

Conclusions

3D printed homes are emerging in the US. There are now large (50-100 home) communities in planning that include 3D printed walls.

Currently, the technology has yet to consistently produce homes that are cheaper than a stick built home. The exact numbers are not clear, and that might not change until we are able to compare homes for sale in the same area that are 3D printed vs. stick built.

There are a number of companies currently working to make 3D printed homes available. Over the next 2-3 years, it appears you will be able to build a 3D printed home in the contiguous 48 states.

There is also a wide range of homes being printed, from small ADUs, 1 story single family homes, to luxury multi level homes that are hybrid between 3d printed and traditional wood framing.

In other parts of the world, they have even more 3d printed homes than they do in the US.

The future of autonomous construction is exciting, and a new path is being forged as we speak. Some believe it could be the tool needed to end the significant housing shortage in the US.

While others think it is just a novelty for the tech minded homebuyer.

Either way, the world is watching.

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Will Rodgers

Will Rodgers is a real estate expert, creator of this site and partner at the Alper Real Estate Group. Will has been sought after by many major publications for his expertise and creates sought after content for buyers, sellers and investors.