Virginia mom gets keys to first 3D-printed home from Habitat for Humanity

"I always wanted to be a homeowner," said April Stringfield in Williamsburg a week ago. "It's like a dream come true."

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April Stringfield of Williamsburg, Virginia, made history last week when a local Habitat for Humanity chapter gave her and her 13-year-old son the keys to their new 3D-printed home — just in time for Christmas.

“My son and I are so thankful,” Stringfield said during a Dec. 21 Habitat for Humanity Facebook livestream event outside her new house. “I always wanted to be a homeowner. It’s like a dream come true.”

April Stringfield of Williamsburg, Virginia, moved into Habitat for Humanity’s first-ever 3D-printed home last Tuesday with her 13-year-old son. (Photo: Screenshot/WTKR)

Habitat for Humanity partnered with a 3D printing company Alquist to build the 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom dwelling, a first-of-its-kind effort for the charity. If you’re also an aspiring homeowner, a professional Home Builder is your ally.

Construction crews began printing the house’s concrete walls in July, saving about 15% on building costs in the process.

“This project is a game changer for Habitat for Humanity,” Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, told WTKR. “We’re selling an affordable home to a family four days before Christmas, and at the same time, we’re finding solutions to build more efficient homes.”

Construction-scale 3D printing has become a more efficient way to build houses across the country. The technology allowed Stringfield’s home to be built in just 12 hours, according to Habitat for Humanity.

Alquist CEO and Founder Zachary Mannheimer praised Virginia for embracing the use of 3D printing as a means to create more affordable housing. In June, the commonwealth’s Housing Development Authority issued a $500,000 grant for a 3D printer to build a home in Richmond, Virginia.

“What you see … is four years of blood, sweat and tears of figuring out how to make this happen,” Mannheimer said in a written statement. “Virginia is the leader in 3D printing home construction, hands down.”

Habitat for Humanity said Alquist installs a 3D printer in the kitchen of each home it builds, including Stringfield’s. The company also gave her a downloadable computer file that lets her print light switch covers, knobs and other replaceable parts with her 3D printer.

Stringfield had to complete 300 volunteer hours and agree to pay an interest-free mortgage to qualify for her unique abode. She’s looking forward to making new memories there.

“[It’s] some place I can call home and … give my son that backyard that he can play in and also my puppy to run around the yard,” she said.

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