ICON, an Austin-based construction technologies company, on Monday unveiled its new “Vulcan II” 3D printer that can print up to a 2,000 square foot house quickly at half the cost.
“It’s four times as big, it’s twice as fast, and it’s going to start shipping to customers next month,” said Jason Ballard, CEO and Co-founder of ICON.
The Vulcan II is ICON's first commercially available construction 3D printer. Designed specifically to produce resilient single-story buildings faster, more affordably, and with more design freedom. It has expanded the footprint to approximately 2,000 square feet and has an adjustable width (to accommodate different slab sizes) and is transported in custom trailer with no assembly required. The Vulcan II can be operated by anyone with basic training thanks to the improvements in automation, mechatronics and a suite of specialized software.
The Vulcan II features intuitive tablet-based controls, remote monitoring and support, onboard LED lighting for printing at night or during low-light conditions, and a custom software suite ensuring set-up, operations, and maintenance are as simple and straightforward as possible.
The Vulcan II stands 11.5' tall and can print wall structures up to 8.5' tall. It spans 33' and can print on foundations up to 28' wide. The printer prints a 1" tall, 2" wide print bead at a linear horizontal operating speed of 5–7" / second. Each Vulcan II 3D printer comes with an integrated tablet-based operating system for controlling every aspect of print operations via an intuitive and simple user interface.
ICON has also created proprietary concrete/mortar material which it calls “Lavacrete” that has passed every structural test and is safe for people and resilient to the varieties of conditions it may encounter.
ICON also announced partnerships to put its technology in action to build affordable homes for Austin and other communities.
In partnership with New Story, a San Francisco-based, Y-Combinator backed nonprofit, Icon wants to end homelessness by building sustainable communities using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials. Another partnership is with Cielo Property Group.
In March 2018, ICON unveiled its first 3D printer and unveiled the first 3D-printed home in the U.S. to receive a building permit in Austin, Texas. ICON wants to use the funds to further its mission to revolutionize homebuilding through robotics and 3D printing and to bring affordable, resilient and sustainable homes to people across the world. In October 2018, ICON raised $9 million in seed funding to build custom 3D printed homes in less than 24 hours.
“It’s our mission at ICON to re-imagine the approach to homebuilding and construction and make affordable, dignified housing available to everyone throughout the world,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “We’re in the middle of a global housing crisis and making old approaches a little better is not solving the problem. We couldn’t be happier with the team of global investors who are supporting ICON in our belief that the homebuilding industry needs a complete paradigm shift.”
The Vulcan II 3D home printer will begin shipping next month as well as actively accepting orders for 2020.