The construction of homes using 3D printing techniques is growing as popular as its cinematic equivalent. Tech startup has started a new assembly plant in Reno, Nevada, from which it intends to send its first models to buyers in Nevada, California, and Arizona.

The homes offer 3D printing, smart home technologies, zero carbon emissions, and the capacity of operating off the grid via their own power, water, and septic systems. The homes are not a bargain, as the grid-connected base model carries a cost of $200,000, though they can be customized to facilitate off-grid functionality. Aside from the sustainability assets, the structures can be manufactured in 4 to 7 weeks, says the company, in comparison to conventional onsite home construction through the use of standard materials, which can require months to finish.

Last year, ICON says that it constructed the first permitted 3D-printed house in the United States, in Austin, Texas. The company also introduced its Vulcan II printer, which can supply residences measuring up to 2,000 square feet in size.

Apis Cor is another 3D specialist that intends to construct a demo house in the United States in 2020. In the Netherlands, a corporate consortium has established a factory of 3D printing machines that make use of concrete and plans to produce materials for the five residences to be constructed for Project Milestone in the city of Eindhoven.

Employing 3D printing to build houses has some positives. Lower costs can be incurred due to a reduction in raw materials and lowered expenditures to be put toward labor. Construction with 3D printing is less waste incurring; a 3D project produces 30% of the waste of a traditional project. The practice of 3D printing cuts down on the construction schedule, approximately 6 weeks—this stands in opposition to the 6 months needed for a traditional new home. And 3D printing provides more creative and cost-efficient design shapes.

The obstacles associated with the 3D printing of houses include the lack of laws and codes that regulate the practice. In addition, more materials and specialists are needed to facilitate this variety of construction project.

Despite these challenges, the road to 3D printing seems clearer by the day—even three-dimensional.