Icon’s giant 3D
printer can build the walls of a small house in 24 hours, cutting traditional construction time in half and saving costs. Earlier this year, the startup 3Dprinted homes inside a community for the homeless near Austin. As the printer rolls back and forth on its tracks, it squeezes out Icon’s custom material in layers to create walls, replacing a home’s traditional structure, insulation, and sheathing—and reducing labor costs. (The foundation, roof, windows, and other parts of the house are built traditionally.) “We’ve also begun our first experiments in placing the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems into the print,” CEO Jason Ballard says.