- Austin-based construction technology company ICON has worked with the Texas Military Department to build a 3,800 square meter barracks on a Texas military base. ICON announced last week. The company claims it is the largest 3D-printed structure in North America.
- The barracks were built using an in-house ICON technology known as Volcanic building system. The system is 15.5 feet long by 46.5 feet wide and can print between 5 and 10 inches of concrete per second.
- The project is a result of Increase Strategic Funding for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), also known as STRATFI. The barracks were designed by two Austin-based companies – Logan Architecture design firm designed and built the 3,800 square foot barracks, and Fort Structures did the structural engineering.
The barracks are located in the Camp Swift Training Center in Bastrop, Texas, currently used by the National Guard, and can accommodate up to 72 people.
The venture raises hope for a new form of rapid construction as the military seeks to use the technology to replace more time consuming traditional forms of construction, such as creating infrastructure to help communities respond to natural disasters, along with buildings in upstream expedition areas, it says in the press release.
3D printing is gaining traction around the world as it continues to be used on larger projects. Recently a Skanska JV announced they would use 3D printing as part of his work on HS2, a major high-speed rail program in the UK
This is also because Texas is seeing increased movement of companies making their way into the Lone Star State. Last week, contractor AECOM announced that it Relocation of the company headquarters to Dallas, expands the list of major companies relocating to the state.
“Texas has become a technological center of gravity within the nation,” Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Texas adjutant general, said in the ICON news release.
ICON has benefited from its success and a new wave of interest in 3D printed enclosures. Two thirds of the respondents a Survey conducted by HarrisX said they would consider living in a 3D printed house.
With this interest comes funding. ICON announced on Tuesday that it had secured $ 207 million in Series B funding with investors like Citi, Ensemble, Moderne Ventures, and Oakhouse Partners. This brings ICON’s total funding since its inception to approximately $ 266 million.
Looking beyond terrestrial possibilities, ICON is also exploring the use of 3D printing to build sustainable and viable homes on the moon as part of the company’s Olympus project. according to his website. The vision for this project is to use materials found on the moon to build structures that humans can live in.
ICON has also built closer to home House zero, a 2,000-square-foot home that the company used to demonstrate the resilience and sustainability it claims can only be achieved through 3D printing.