Icon is using 3D printing to revolutionize home building
Icon, a Texas-based technology company, is working to use 3D printing to create homes in the Austin area. Icon says that by the end of 2019, it will be able to print concrete homes within just a few days. The printer used by Icon has the ability to produce bungalow-style homes that are up to 2,000 square feet. An Austin development group, Cielo Property Group, has purchased Icon’s printer and is planning to use it to produce affordable housing. Additionally, Icon is partnering with a nonprofit organization to produce 50 homes in Latin America, projected to be completed by year’s end.
Icon’s 3D-printed homes are created by pouring concrete one layer at a time, which creates small folds in the walls. The printer, called Vulcan II, is operated by a tablet and only requires a few people to run and supervise it. This method reduces labor costs as well as waste that are produced by a traditional home construction site. Icon estimates that by the time components such as land, finishing and inner-workings of the home are factored in, the cost is reduced around 30% compared to traditional home building.
Icon announced in late 2018 that it had raised $9 million in seed funding to reinvent the construction of affordable homes. This will be the company’s first attempt to make a profit from the creation of 3D-printed homes.
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of making three dimensional solid products using a 3D printer from a digital file. 3D printed objects are created through an additive process where layers of material are successively laid until the object is completed. In the completed object, each of these layers resembles a very thin slice. 3D printing enables the production of complex shapes while using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
To learn more about this project, click here. To watch the home 3D printing process take place, watch the video below: