3D printing continues to grow around the world, not just in popularity with makers in the mainstream, but also in a wide range of different important industries. The technology of 3D printing is making significant impacts in the way many of us create and are inspired today, as well as manufacture products. While in many cases they already have, these relatively new processes will continue to pass down many benefits to consumers, whether they are buying household products, new cars, or even new homes.
And now, ICON will have more of a chance than ever not only to advance beyond their competitors in progressive ideas for homebuilding, but also to continue innovating in the areas of making new 3D printers, robotics systems, and advanced construction materials. Recently, they completed seed funding that yielded $9 million. Oakhouse Partners led, while the following other national homebuilders also contributed:
- R. Horton
- Capital Factory
- CAZ Investments
- Cielo Property Group
- Engage Ventures
- Saturn Five
- Shadow Ventures
- Trust Ventures
- Verbena Road Holdings
- Vulcan Capital
Based out of Austin, Texas, ICON’s mission is to meet the needs of the construction industry and their consumers in the future:
“Through advanced robotics and cutting-edge materials, we are able to provide sustainable solutions to a number of our world’s most pressing issues, including the pandemic of homelessness in the developing world, the difficulty of constructing off-planet space habitats, and the exorbitant cost of customized housing,” states the ICON team on their website.
“ICON has developed cutting-edge materials tested to the most recognized standards of safety, comfort and resiliency and is designed to function with nearly zero waste production methods and work under unpredictable constraints (limited water, power, and labor infrastructure) to tackle housing shortages.”
Their goal is to begin fabricating homes that can be 3D printed in 24 hours, with their proof-of-concept, 350-square-foot home constructed in less than 48 hours and costing less than $10,000. These homes are expected to be high-performance, using ‘zero energy,’ and presented in a flexible design platform leaving an infinite number of design opportunities open to prospective homebuyers. The homes are thermally efficient, comfortable, and most importantly—affordable.
ICON has been working with the Y Combinator-backed non-profit organization New Story, including the concept-home project and their mobile 3D printer currently in development. New Story focuses on using progressive technology for building facilities in developing countries that include schools and clean water, along with the potential for jobs.
“For home and community initiatives to be successful, they must be designed with the input of the people who will be living in them. This is called participatory design,” states ICON. “ICON technology enables unprecedented design collaboration and customization for New Story initiatives, increasing community buy-in.”
Find out more about 3D printing in construction at 3DPrint.com, where we have followed many different projects, from plans to build homes everywhere from Dubai to the Netherlands. What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.