3D home construction begins in Muscatine, Iowa

A giant robot 3D printer will do all the work instead of construction workers swinging their hammers to frame a home.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — Last December, News 8 told you about how Alquist 3D is working with the City of Muscatine to start constructing 3D-printed homes this year. 

Zachary Mannheimer, Alquist’s CEO, told News 8 Joe McCoy that five months later: “The benefits of 3D-printed homes are trying to get the American Dream back.” 

His company has begun building 10 3D printed homes in the town of southeast Iowa. The homes will provide a number of benefits to the surrounding area. 

Mannheimer explained that the home is similar to any other concrete house with only a few differences. “Number one: We can do it quicker. We can print the entire home’s walls in 20 hours. Number 2: We only need to have two or three workers on site in order to print the walls. 

After 28 days, the walls are fully solidified. It’s important to note that the printing is only done for the exterior walls of the home — the interior and roof are done as usual.

After two days, a sledgehammer can cause little damage. 

Mannheimer said, “These houses are extremely strong.” They can withstand the strongest winds of a hurricane or tornado.

Concrete mixtures with additives can reach PSI values of between 6,000-8,000. Mannheimer says that’s two to three times more powerful than traditional concrete. 

These homes are being constructed at a crucial time. 

Ron Monahan is the Housing Initiative Manager at Muscatine. 

Monahan hopes that the homes will attract more people to his community. But where will they be built?

Four houses [will be] In a subdivision. Monahan stated that the state will fund six houses in downtown Muscatine. The six houses will be a first-time buyer program with a priority for teachers.

These houses have already been listed on the market, and should be finished by fall. They cost between $200,000 and $500,000. 

Watch News 8’s previous coverage on YouTube

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