Life-changing - this is how Tim Shea, a formerly homeless man described his feeling towards being the first person to live in a 3D-printed house in Texas. The 70-year-old new homeowner has been struggling with homelessness for a long time since he succumbed to heroin addiction.
Shea has now settled into his 400 square-foot home on the outskirts of Austin, Texas. His humble abode is located at the Community First! Village site, which units were constructed by the innovative home 3-D printing machine.
The first 3D homeowner, who has been living in an RV, is just one of the many seniors in America who are struggling to find affordable housing.
"I think from my personal experience from my former lifestyle that I developed a shell," Shea told the New York Post.
"I didn't feel secure, and anytime I had the opportunity, I would hide or isolate. I never really wanted to interact with people," he added.
But Shea's life turned upside down since shifting from RV-living to a 3D-printed home.
"Everything I do is just the opposite, and I have many activities to do every day with others," he said.
"When I found out I'd be the first person in America to move into a 3-D- printed home, I thought it was pretty awesome," he added.
3D-Printed House Details
The 3D-printed housebuilder, Icon, has developed six different 3D home layouts. Shea chooses an open floor plan due to his arthritis and may eventually need to use a wheelchair as he moves around the house. According to the developers, the materials used in the 3D-printed homes are considered durable compared to traditionally built homes. The house can withstand any disaster like hurricanes. The 400 square-foot house features one bedroom, one bath, a full kitchen, a living room, and a large porch with a gorgeous sunset view. All of these were built through the help of Icon's 3D Vulcan printer. More than having a roof above his head, Shea revealed that the best part of living in a 3D-printed house is having a "sense of security." "I feel like I am embraced in this house. There are no tight corners; it's rounded, it feels like it envelops me. I just love sitting in there and looking at the interior of it. It's just a very comfortable, very warm, welcoming place, and I am so proud to be living in it," Shea said in the video provided by Icon.
Shea's 3D-printed home is a part of the 51-acre development by the Austin-based company. The Community First! Village is composed of 500 homes, including the 3-D printed variety.
The nonprofit community first put $18 million to build a tiny home village for the homeless to get off the streets. It initially had space for 180 residents who will pay $300 in rent and have a job opportunity on the site to sustain their newfound life.
Real estate developer Alan Graham founded the community in 2015. Rather than merely providing a shelter for the homeless, Graham envisions giving them a true sense of community.