It would take 220 years to 3D-print an average house

Real estate blog Movoto offers a calculator to determine what it would take to 3D-print your house with a MakerBot Replicator 2.

3D-printed house stats
Maybe you should wait on building that 3D-printed house. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

We've been hearing about the possibility of 3D-printed, full-size houses for some time. We may even get our first one sometime this year, thanks to the efforts of a couple of different architectural firms . Now you can get an idea of what it would take to create your own home from 3D-printed blocks.

Real estate blog Movoto has created a "3D Print your House" calculator to give you the daunting numbers involved with using a 3D printer to make your abode. The numbers are based on the time and cost of materials of using a MakerBot Replicator 2 to print out plastic bricks.

The calculations involved working out how long and at what cost it would take the Replicator 2 to produce a brick measuring 8 inches by 3.5 inches by 2.75 inches. It would also cost $12 in plastic to make each of these theoretical bricks. The rest is about determining how many bricks it would take to build a house.

A typical 2,500-square-foot, two-story house would take 220 years to print out and use more than $330,000 in plastics. I ran the numbers on my own home and it would only take 120 years and $182,000 to make it with a MakerBot printer. That doesn't even include extras, like windows, wood flooring, or heating. Good thing I bought the place already built.

This doesn't meant 3D-printed homes won't become a reality. The architects looking into building these are using industrial-size printers that can handle much larger pieces in a much shorter amount of time than a regular home 3D printer. It just means we won't be printing homes from home anytime soon.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.


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