Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Most office workers would like to shorten their commute. But cutting the distance between home and office is not easy when inner-city real estate is usually the most expensive.

One German designer thinks he has the solution: taking your home and putting it right next to where you work.

Professor Peter Ebner, from a non-profit research forum called 3M FutureLab and the students from UCLA and University of Huddersfield have designed a 3D Printed House that could be located next to office buildings.3M futureLAB

Forget about smart studio apartments, these are 3-D printed houses. Made of sand and special binder, the mobile prototype measures approximately 50 square feet, the size of about three refrigerators.

Though the homes are less than 10 feet high, Professor Peter Ebner believes he will be able to fit in a bathroom, kitchen and sleeping space.

The 3-D printed homes are designed to be portable.3M futureLAB

“I am sure that in 10 to 15 years, we will print most of our products,” Ebner told NBC News. “This will be the next industrial revolution. It will change everything about how we produce things.” Including homes.

Ebner, who leads the on-profit research forum 3M FutureLab, worked with students from the University of California in Los Angeles and the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, UK, to design a 3-D printed house specifically for students and young professionals. The 3-D printing manufacturer Voxeljet and Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE) of University of Munich also took part in the project.

Inside the 3-D printed home.3M futureLAB

The temperature in the house are controlled by a "spring system."

The surface of the house can collect the water and use for heating, cooling and toilet system by the water that runs through the capillaries in the walls.

Once the details are perfected in the prototypes, "printing" affordable clam shell homes will get much easier. “The prototype we did is expensive, but in the near future the construction cost of 3-D printed house will be much less than the traditional way to build homes,” Ebner said.

“The 3-D printing has the same cost as we spent on other product designing; the cost just depends on the size but not the complexity of building it.”