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Northern California company 3D printing its first house | Update

A local company plans on building wildfire-resistant, affordable homes with a 3D printer, and its first one is now under construction.

REDDING, Calif. — A Northern California company is in the midst of 3D printing its first house.

This is an update to the very first story that aired on To the Point with Alex Bell back in August.

RELATED: Could 3D-printed homes solve California's housing crisis? | To The Point

ABC10 spoke with two Northern California companies that build homes using 3D printing.

Each company uses different materials and has a different approach.

Mighty Buildings in Oakland uses a resin material and is partnering with developers to create entire sustainably built neighborhoods.

Emergent 3D up in Redding uses a concrete mixture and has designed a wildfire-resistant home.

Just days ago, Emergent 3D officially began 3D printing its first house, which they say — to their knowledge — is the first on-site, 3D-printed, California building code-approved house in the entire state.

It’s being built in Redding’s Enterprise Park. This first home – built in partnership with the City of Redding – will be where the park host lives with their family, so it’s providing housing for a city employee.

Emergent 3D has begun construction of the first on-site 3D printed home in California! This house will be home to the Enterprise Park Host, who will be responsible for managing and maintaining the park grounds. Visit cityofredding.org/3dhomes for more info on this exciting project! 📷 Landon Cramer @cityofredding #3dprinting #3dprintedhouse

Posted by The City of Redding on Friday, September 30, 2022

Later this fall, however, Emergent 3D plans on taking its on-site 3D printer to the community of Paradise, which is still rebuilding after the 2018 Camp Fire. There, Emergent 3D plans on building what it calls its Wildfire Restoration House - the same model they’re printing in Enterprise Park. It’s a 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home that meets California’s requirements for building in wildfire-prone areas.

RELATED: 'The number one need in every single community is housing' | How 3D printed homes are hoping to fill a void in California

The idea for Emergent 3D was born out of the 2018 Carr Fire, which destroyed hundreds of homes across Shasta and Trinity counties — including in Redding — and killed eight people.

The company says by 3D printing these homes, they’ll be able to charge about 11% less compared to a conventionally built home of the same size — and those savings for homeowners can improve as the technology evolves.

Emergent 3D CEO Don Ajamian explains how it works now.

“We actually take the material and formulate and mix it up ourselves,” he said, standing at the print site in Redding. “When we get the consistency just right, we pump it through the machine, and it works its way through the hoses that you see here and all the way down to the print head. And the print head is controlled by the computer, which tells it exactly where the walls are, and it just lays out extruded layers of concrete that are two inches wide by an inch-and-a-half tall. And it’ll do one layer of every wall and then another layer and then another layer until it builds it up to eight feet high.”

Emergent 3D’s founder and Chief Visionary Officer Matthew Gile told ABC10 this week that he and Ajamian have submitted their site plan to the town of Paradise and – once approved – they hope to begin building that Wildfire Restoration Home there sometime in November.

Watch: Survey: Money worries lead concerns for California voters heading into 2022 election

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