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2019: From the Lab to New Homes

By Jason Ballard

At the beginning of last year there were no 3D-printed homes in North America. In early 2020, there will be twelve 3D-printed by ICON. Here is a look back on the year and what's ahead.

It’s hard to believe that at the beginning of last year there were no 3D-printed homes in North America. 2019 has felt like a most glorious blur … unveiling the new Vulcan II, printing our second house and partnering with Mobile Loaves & Fishes and its Community First! Village, breaking ground on the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood in Mexico with New Story, beginning six more 3D-printed houses at Community First! Village, and a few other projects that we’re excited to share more about in the New Year. In early 2020, there will be twelve 3D-printed homes by ICON, with dozens more on the way.

Something we say at ICON is, “There isn’t a global robotics crisis, there is a global housing crisis.” We tell ourselves that so that we remember that although ICON is functionally an exciting technology company, our mission is innovation for the sake of humanity. In that stream, the most meaningful thing that happened this year was getting to meet, for the first time, the people and families who will be some of the first to actually live in 3D-printed houses.

From meeting the families Mexico living in substandard housing who will now get to raise their children in safe, comfortable, dignified houses, to meeting Tim, a now formerly homeless man in Austin who will soon be living in a 3D-printed house. It was as emotional and beautiful as you might imagine.

It feels like we’ve lived a lifetime in two years, but in all truth, we are actually just getting started. You all can expect to see more high-velocity progress from ICON in 2020 to help bring housing into the modern world and in-line with our highest ideals.

Thank you for all your patience as we work hard to bring this technology from science fiction to real-world ready. Even though we get more emails, phone calls and requests than a small company can possibly address, we still want to hear from you. More than you probably realize, it helps us to know how we can best serve the world with this technology. If you want houses, we want to know as much as you can share. If you want a printer, tell us why and how you want to use it. While we are not quite ready to take on individual requests, filling out the survey helps to inform these future decisions. As ICON continues to grow, we will keep you updated with new information, project updates, technology innovations, career opportunities and more.

Humanity has been building homes the same way for over 1,000 years. It’s time for a new paradigm… a paradigm that puts affordability, resiliency, beauty, comfort, and dignity in reach of everyone on this planet. We appreciate you being with us on this journey.

We Ride,

Jason Ballard // CEO & Co-Founder of ICON

Vulcan II printing a 500 sq ft home at Community First! Village. Photo credit: Regan Morton Photography
In-progress home in Tabasco, Mexico with ICON engineer, Dana
First set of homes completed in Mexico on the world's first 3D-printed community alongside New Story and Echale. Photo credit: Joshua Perez for New Story
ICON team at the ceremony to open the doors to the 'Welcome Center' at Community First! Village in Austin, TX, September 2019. Photo credit: Regan Morton Photography