World's largest 3D-printed neighborhood comes to Texas

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The same company responsible for creating 3D homes for the homeless in Texas is now set to develop the largest 3D neighborhood in the world.

Scheduled to break ground next year, the project, created by Lennar and ICON, will feature 100 single-story houses “printed” on-site using advanced robotic construction and a concrete-based building material.

While an estimate of how much the entire project will cost is unknown, Austin-based ICON revealed that the project began when Lennar recently invested in ICON’s $207 million financing round and the idea is centered around delivering “affordable, technology driven homes that meet rising demand,” the company revealed in a press release.

“ICON exists as a response to the global housing crisis and to put our technology in service to the world,” said ICON co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard in a statement. “Construction-scale 3D printing not only delivers higher-quality homes faster and more affordably, but fleets of printers can change the way that entire communities are built for the better.

ICON revealed it can produce homes up to 3,000 square feet in size, and has previously printed the walls of a house measuring 400 to 500 square feet in just 24 hoursICON / Lennar / BIG

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“The United States faces a deficit of approximately 5 million new homes, so there is a profound need to swiftly increase supply without compromising quality, beauty, or sustainability and that is exactly the strength of our technology,” Ballard added.

Digital renderings of the neighborhood development show rows of properties with roofs covered in solar panels. Each home is expected to take a week to build.

Co-designed by the Danish architecture practice Bjarke Ingels Group, the construction process involves five, 46-foot-wide robotic “Vulcan” printers, which produce a concrete mixture called Lavacrete.

ICON revealed that their printers can build up to 3,000 square feet in size over a course of “several days.” Lennar then comes in afterward and installs the roofs, windows, doors and finishes.

The project will feature 100 single-story houses “printed” on-site using advanced robotic construction by ICON’s Vulcan construction software.ICON / Lennar / BIG

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The 3D method has become an alternative to building houses the old-fashioned way, with many championing their effectiveness and ability to reduce labor costs and construction time.

Earlier this year, ICON produced a 3D home for 71-year-old Tim Shea, who is known as the first person to have ever live in a 3D-printed house.