Austin, Texas-based construction technology startup Icon unveiled a luxury 3D printed home in late May.
Icon’s printer built the walls of the over 2,000-square-foot home and its ADU in eight days.
See the printer system and Icon’s proprietary “lavacrete” concrete mix in action.
Building a home from the ground up no longer has to be a year-long endeavor.
Austin, Texas-based construction technology startup Icon built House Zero, a luxury home and backyard tiny home, in nine months …
… with the help of a 3D printer, which completed the walls of the home in just one week.
Many 3D printing enthusiasts view the process as a viable solution for the ongoing housing shortage and affordability crisis.
The technology is still relatively nascent, but there are already dozens of companies around the world who are beginning to specialize in the tech-forward homebuilding system.
This includes Icon, which uses its large Vulcan printer system and proprietary “high strength” concrete, known as “lavacrete,” to print the walls of its units.
The printing systems can produce five to 10 inches in one second, significantly cutting the time it takes to build a home, according to its maker.
The long-lasting lavacrete can stand up to bad weather conditions while protecting the home from natural disasters, making it a safe and viable alternative to existing materials.
The automated printer also uses fewer materials and less labor, therefore saving the homebuilders some cash.
Homes that could take about a year to build can instead be 3D printed and complete within several months, just like its latest House Zero.
Icon began printing the walls of its latest luxury dwelling in May 2021.
Despite weather and hardware issues, the walls of the Texas home and its accessory dwelling unit were printed at the same time in eight days while working between about 16 to 18 hours a day …
… a process that would’ve otherwise taken weeks if using traditional home building methods, Jason Ballard, Icon’s cofounder and CEO, told Insider in an interview.
Besides the quick building time, particular design elements inside House Zero wouldn’t have been possible without a printer.
The three-bedroom, 2-½ bathroom structure is lined with uniquely curved and wavy walls, an architectural element that was created to show off the Vulcan’s capability.
These curved walls make House Zero stand out from any traditional home, and would’ve been incredibly difficult to create without a printer.
When the walls were complete, the rest of the home — such as plumbing and window installation — was completed by February 2022.
For now, Icon’s printing system can only build walls, which is often the most “trade intensive” part of the home to build, according to Ballard.
It’s only one component of the home, but according to Ballard, the process is already making the homebuilding process “radically faster and meaningfully cheaper” amid our ongoing housing crisis.
And someday, Icon wants to automate the entire homebuilding process, which could further dramatically cut construction costs.
So don’t be surprised if you find yourself shopping for your own 3D printed home in the not-so-distant future.
Read the original article on Business Insider