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Game Changer: The First 3-D Printed House Is Coming

Architects around the globe are racing to build the world's first 3-D printed houses -- a breakthrough with profound implications for housing affordability and customization.

In China, a company named Winsun this year said it built 10 3-D printed houses in just one day. The reported cost for each: just $5,000.

In Amsterdam, a team of architects has started construction of the 3-D Print Canal House, using bio-based, renewable materials. The site is both construction site and public museum; President Obama was among the visitors this year. Hedwig Heinsman, co-founder of DUS architects, the team behind the project, tells Business Insider that in addition to being eco-friendly, "The main goal, I think, is really to deliver custom-made architecture."

3-D printers build structures layer by layer. But at USC in California, Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis is pushing the fabrication process one step further with what he calls "contour crafting." He hopes to develop a gigantic 3-D printer, able to print whole house in a single run, from its structure to its electrical and plumbing conduits.

The revolution in 3-D printed housing, in other words, is well underway.

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