KB Home Supply Chain and 3D Printing

By on May 11th, 2022 in coverage, news

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[Source: Wall Street Journal]

Charles R. Goulding and Ryan Donley notice a mainstream publication directly suggest use of 3D printing for industry.

On March 24th 2022, Brian Sozzi, Yahoo’s editor at large, wrote an article entitled “This Mega Homebuilder is Having Trouble Finding Garage Doors, Cabinets and Windows”. The mega home builder is KB Home, a New York stock exchange home builder with over $4.5 billion in annual sales. 

Sozzi used a quote from KB’s COO Robert McGibney stating that disruptions in garage doors, cabinets, windows, and HVAC were inhibiting the company’s ability to complete homes during a time of strong demand. The article also included a quote from Jon Jaffe the Co-CEO of Lennar another large national home builder experiencing similar supply chain disruption. 

When concluding his article Sozzi astutely observed that perhaps it’s time for home builders to use 3D Printers. We couldn’t agree more. We have recently written articles on how 3D Printers can be used for HVAC components and garage door parts. In addition to new home construction, HVAC systems typically require numerous repairs with replacement parts during their life cycle.

All our HVAC contractor clients with service businesses are having a difficult time sourcing parts.  Our glass and window clients have been using 3D printers for design for years and that expertise can be converted to production applications. 

3D printing can serve as a potential solution to the home supply chain whether 3D printing entire homes or components to complete home construction, the technology can be leveraged to alleviate demand.

Companies like NorDan from Sweden have been integrating large-scale granular 3D printers into their processes to eliminate supply chain issues for products such as windows and doors in new homes. Test production of doors has been ongoing with the new 3D printing machinery with numerous prototypes produced from various materials for commercial and residential use. The company aims to eliminate supply chain issues, especially in the housing market.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

The now permanent Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit is available for companies developing new or improved products, processes and/or software. 

3D printing can help boost a company’s R&D Tax Credits. Wages for technical employees creating, testing, and revising 3D printed prototypes can be included as a percentage of eligible time spent for the R&D Tax Credit. Similarly, when used as a method of improving a process, time spent integrating 3D printing hardware and software counts as an eligible activity. Lastly, when used for modeling and preproduction, the costs of filaments consumed during the development process may also be recovered.

Whether it is used for creating and testing prototypes or for final production, 3D printing is a great indicator that R&D Credit eligible activities are taking place. Companies implementing this technology at any point should consider taking advantage of R&D Tax Credits.


We were glad to see a mainstream editor explain the home building supply constraint issue and then question why 3D printing isn’t being utilized when it can be part of the solution. 

By Charles Goulding

Charles Goulding is the Founder and President of R&D Tax Savers, a New York-based firm dedicated to providing clients with quality R&D tax credits available to them. 3D printing carries business implications for companies working in the industry, for which R&D tax credits may be applicable.

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