Icon aims to print concrete houses within days by the end of the year

Adobe Stock / Kange Studio

On Monday, Texas construction technology startup Icon unveiled its latest 3D concrete printer, the Vulcan II, which allows users to create family homes up to 2,000 square feet with walls that “resemble the folds of a Shar-Pei dog. ”

Austin-based developer Cielo Property Group is buying the Vulcan II and plans to use it to build affordable housing later this year. Icon says that by the end of the year it will be able to use its 3D printing technology to create livable concrete houses in a matter of days, potentially saving up to 30% on new house production costs.

As fantastic as it seems, a 3-D printed house could solve real industry problems. Construction costs have skyrocketed due to labor shortages and rising material prices. In the United States, about 1.2 million homes have been commissioned annually in recent years, about 250,000 fewer than the historical norm. Dozens of startups have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into technology that could make the industry more efficient. Nobody has really got the problem under control so far.

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