Texas Startup Building Largest 3D Printed Home Community in US

You can print the walls of your home in less than a week.
3D printing suburb

Texas startup plans to create a community of 100 3D-printed homes, which would be the largest such community in America.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Icon, a startup that 3D prints building, has partnered with Lenar Corp, a Florida-based construction company, to build the Austin houses in 2022. They plan to use Icons 3D printing technology with Lennar Corp to overcome the current supply chain problems and labor shortages in the US housing market.



Eric Feder, president and chief executive officer of Lennars innovation, said that skilled tradesmen are a dying breed. Alternative building solutions are needed to address this labor shortage.

Icon has already constructed ten three-dimensional printed houses in Mexico with two bedrooms, and seven in Austin. It now plans to expand its operations with the Lennar partnership.

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Printing walls

Although most homes are built with wood frames, Icons buildings can be made using concrete. The 15.5-foot tall 3D printers can produce layers of concrete to create exterior and interior walls. Lennar will finish the exterior and interior work with more traditional methods once it is completed.

According to the WSJ, 3D printing takes around a week. This is roughly the time it takes to frame and drywall a traditional home. The partners hope to speed up the process in future.

In a press release, Jason Ballard, CEO and co-founder of Icon, stated that 3D printing at construction scale can not only deliver better-quality homes quicker and more affordably but also change the way entire communities are built. This will be a historic moment in the history and future of community-scale development.

It will take time to see if 3D-printed homes and the planned community are more than a marketing gimmick. It could be a model for how future housing can be rethought if it works.

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READ MORE: As Austin's demand for homes grows, 3-D printed houses are thriving [The Wall Street Journal]

Learn more about 3D printing: Scientists use AI and 3D printing to uncover hidden Picasso paintings

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