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BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

Denmark Architecture News - Aug 20, 2020 - 13:08   3074 views

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has partnered up with ICON as a new investor to expand knowledge and design capabilities for 3D-printed robotic homes in the near future. 

ICON is a 3D-printing company and developer based in Austin and the company unveiled its first 3D printer and successfully secured a building permit and printed a home in Austin, Texas in March 2018. One year later, the company released its plans to build world's frst 3D-printed community houses in Mexico

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON 3D-Printed - Welcome Center Community First Village Austin Texas, 2019. Image courtesy of ICON

Officially announced on ICON's website on August 19, the website said Bjarke Ingels' firm BIG joined the series a round of investors to push the boundaries of 3D-printing technology and gain further insights, as well as expanding its knowledge and design capabilities with ICON.

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON First Permitted 3D Printed Home bedroom, Austin, Texas, March 2018. Image © Regan Morton Photography

"We believe additive manufacturing will play a transformative role in the future of construction and with our investment and partnership with ICON we can contribute actively to this ongoing transformation," said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

"With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers – both materially, technologically and environmentally – so putting some skin in the game became inevitable." 

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON 3D-Printed Homes Community First Village, Austin, Texas, For Homeless, March 2020, Interior. Image © Regan Morton Photography

The design industry has become revolutionized through the adoption of Computer Aided Design and Building Information Management. Regardless of how digital the documentation has become, designs still get built practically the same way as always." 

"Robotic manufacturing will enable us to eliminate the loss in translation from data to matter and allow us to fabricate homes at great speed, with less waste, and with higher accuracy than today," Ingels added.

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON-First Permitted 3D Printed Home, Austin, Texas, March 2018. Image © Casey Dunn

ICON stated on its website that the company has completed a $35M series a round of financing led by Moderne Ventures. In 2018, ICON was the first company in America to secure a building permit for and build a 3D printed home. The company's mission is to deliver dignified, resilient homes using advanced construction technologies including robotics, software and building materials.

"In early 2018, there were no 3D-printed homes in North America and today, there are almost twenty and we’re gearing up for hundreds more," said Jason Ballard, Co-founder and CEO of ICON. 

"We anticipate more high-velocity progress in the years ahead to help bring housing and construction into the modern world and in-line with humanity’s highest hopes. 

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON 3D Printed Homes Community First Village, Austin, Texas For Homeless, March 2020, Tim Shea Future Resident Seeing New View. Image © Regan Morton Photography

"The present challenges the world is facing due to new coronavirus have only emphasized the tremendous gap between the housing that we have and the housing that we need. We are grateful to those who have believed in our mission from the beginning and are excited to have a larger team of global investors joining us in our belief that the housing of our future must be different than the housing we have known."

"The investment brings ICON’s total funding since launching its revolutionary technology to $44 million. ICON announced $9 million in seed funding led by Oakhouse Partners in October 2018," stated the company's website

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

New Story Project Mexico Early 2020. Image courtesy of ICON

"Seed round investors included Cielo Property Group, D.R. Horton and Emaar among others. ICON’s new round of funding will accelerate the development of its printers, create a variety of home types and designs and enhance its core technology stack to further its mission of using advanced construction technologies to advance humanity."

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON Six-HomeProject Community First Village 3D-PrintingHomes For Homeless. Image © Regan Morton Photography

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON 3D-Printed Homes Community First Village, Austin, Texas For Homeless, March 2020. Image © Regan Morton Photography

BIG partners up with ICON to expand knowledge and design for 3D printed robotic homes

ICON Vulcan 3D Printer Extruding Lavacrete. Image © Regan Morton Photography

The international architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group joined the series A round of investors, which also includes CAZ Investments, Citi, Crosstimbers Ventures, Ironspring Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, Oakhouse Partners, Trust Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Wavemaker Partners.

Top image © Joshua Perez, courtesy of New Story.

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