In the heart of Texas, houses are popping up like mushrooms, and not at the hands of humans and traditional tools, but driven by the precision and innovation of robots and 3D printers. Near Austin, a one-of-a-kind community is taking shape, promising to redefine not only "dwelling," but also building.
A new era is born, layer upon layer
In the construction world, the word "revolution" is used often. But what happens when this revolution is driven not by human hands, but by machines? ICON, a pioneer in large-scale 3D printing, in partnership with home builders lennar and the visionary design of the Bjarke Ingels Group / BIG, is giving a tangible answer to this question.
Homes printed in 3D and built by robots: from idea to reality
Just a year ago the idea of a community of 3D printed homes seemed like a distant dream. But with ICON's successful demonstration of its Vulcan construction technologies, the dream is fast becoming a reality.
After successfully completing four molded homes in 2021 and its "Casa Zero" earlier this year, ICON is now in the process of building an entire community of 100 homes in Georgetown, Texas.
It's not just a matter of technology. These houses represent a fusion of modern design and functionality. With an aesthetic that evokes a contemporary Texan ranch, each house is a masterpiece of energy efficiency and resistance to the elements, thanks also to the additive construction method.
A team of robots at work
100 houses printed in 3D and built in a relatively short time are not a trivial matter. To do the feat a whole team of Vulcan robots that not only speed up the process, but also reduce material waste and offer architects unprecedented design freedom.
Stuart Miller, Executive Chairman of lennar, expressed his enthusiasm for the project: “We are delighted to partner with ICON and BIG in building a one-of-a-kind 3D printed home community that combines innovative designs with sustainable features at an affordable price.”
Could it be the future of living?
Each of the 3D printed homes in the community will be powered by the sun with solar panels on the roof and will have a respectable technological endowment. Smart bells, locks and thermostats, but above all the appeal of a project created to focus on a larger vision.
As he pointed out Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON: "We believe that in the future robot and drones they will build whole neighborhoods, cities and towns. And we'll look back on this community as the beginning of it all."
And further? In a century will houses be 3D printed at the speed with which we order a menu at Take Away today? Obviously I'm not able to say it: it is important, however, that all housing solutions that look to the future are sustainable and accessible to all.
And maybe this is the right approach.