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Distant view of 3D printed house enclosed by timber fence
Loungeroom in 3D printed home with timber lined ceiling
ICON 3D wall printing machine

ICON developed their 3D printing technology because they saw that the current homebuilding model as inefficient and wasteful, contributing in driving up costs past the point of affordability for a large percentage of people.

They developed the technology, software and their own cement-based mix called Lavacrete to work towards solving this housing problem by building 3D printed homes. Lavacrete, its a proprietary mix which is structurally sound, resiliant and cost effective and is made from easy to source raw materials available anywhere in the world.

Nightime exterior view of 3D printed house
White and timber theme home office with indoor plants

Not only does the 3D printing save money due to it’s speed, but it also removes the need for traditional cladding, framing and internal plasterboard (or wall sheeting). The printed form remains exposed and provides an organic and tactile finish to the walls.

The ICON team have used their 3D printing technology to help create homes for the homeless in the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Commissioned by Cielo Property Group, in partnership with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, the village provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for people who’ve experienced chronic homelessness. The village, when completed, will include micro homes, spaces for RV homes, community kitchens and bathrooms, community gardens, organic farm, community cinema, woodworking shop and walking trails – to name just a few things. When the village is completed and at full capacity, it is estimated that 480 formerly homeless people will living there. Check out the Mobile Loaves & Fishes website to learn more about this fantastic village.

In fall (autumn) 2020, ICON was awarded a research contract through the Air Force, which included funding from NASA to begin research and development of an off-world construction system planned to support future exploration of the Moon and beyond. What an amazing achievement!

Related project: Ashen Cabin is another 3D printed home. Read about Ashen Cabin here

Loungeroom with concrete flooring and timber ceiling
Accessible kitchen with timber lined ceiling
Verandah with timber lined awning and potted pants

Sustainability specs:
– 3D printed homes
– Reducing construction costs to provide affordable housing
– Reduced construction waste
– Reduced construction time
– Lavacrete walls replace traditional cladding and internal wall linings
– Resilient and durable

Close up of 3D wall printing
ICON 3D printing technology
Homeowner wearing a Santa hat seated in the 3D printed walls loungeroom
Exterior of 3D printed houses
Construction of 3D housing village
From the architect:

ICON is an Austin-based technology company dedicated to revolutionizing homebuilding and making dignified housing the standard for people throughout the world. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is solving a plurality of problems in the contemporary building industry with their breakthrough technologies.

Stagnancy in home building has not kept up with demand and population growth. This has contributed to a growing housing crisis. Traditional home building methods are inefficient and wasteful. These critical problems have driven costs up past the point of affordability for the average person. High costs also mean providing adequate shelter in developing countries can be nearly impossible.

We are passionate about advancing the state of home construction because the issues we are working on are significant. Our technology enables more shelter for more people in a time when we need it most.

1. Affordability: The average person can not afford a home
2. Sustainability: Homebuilding is inefficient and wasteful
3. Availability: Over 1 billion people do not have adequate shelter

Images courtesy of ICON. Photography by Regan Morton

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