Meet Kristen Henry – Youngest on Business Insider’s 20 Under 35

Henry can build a house in 80 hours — with help from a 3D printer. At 25, she’s one of the youngest people ever to do so.

Henry is passionate about 3D printing because she thinks it can solve some of the most pressing issues in housing: She said 3D printing the foundation, the structure, and the walls of a home on-site can make housing safer and easier to build and ultimately ease a housing shortage nationwide.

“For centuries, residential construction techniques —such as stacking blocks, laying bricks, or framing with lumber — have remained largely unchanged, despite oftentimes being labor-intensive and unsafe,” she said. “Automation has improved many other industries, and implementing advanced technology into the way we build our homes is long overdue.”

Since graduating from Yale, Henry has worked for the Long Island-based 3D-printing construction company SQ4D. Hired initially as an engineer, she was promoted to chief technology officer within a year and has since led efforts to expedite the printing process.

Most recently, she forged a partnership between SQ4D and Habitat for Humanity of Long Island to 3D print a home for a family in need. Once SQ4D builds the house, they sell it. One that was recently on the market was listed for $299,000, much less than the area’s median price of $450,000, Business Insider reported last year.

Henry advises other young people who want to be leaders in this space to jump in.

“It’s about getting your hands dirty, getting in there doing things and making sure you get experience, involve yourself in conversations, and start on projects,” she said.

—Kelsey Neubauer