BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group has joined a series of investors and partnered up with ICON, in order to push forward the use of 3D printing robotics to deliver dignified, resilient homes around the world. Aiming to contribute actively in the ongoing transformation, Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG stated that “additive manufacturing will play a transformative role in the future of construction”.
ICON, an Austin-based start-up specialized in developing construction technologies that advance humanity, including robotics, software, and building materials, has secured funding to “accelerate the development of its printers, create a variety of home types and designs and enhance its core technology stack to further its mission”.
The company’s first 3D printed home was unveiled back in March 2018, in Austin, Texas; and it 2019, ICON launched its next-generation Vulcan technology and delivered signature projects in the U.S. and Mexico. Alongside non-profit partners, the manufacturer continued in 2020 to 3D-print resilient homes in Mexico and houses for the homeless in Austin, TX. In fact, Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON highlights that “in early 2018, there were no 3D-printed homes in North America and today, there are almost twenty […] 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-Bjarke Ingels Group has 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. On that note, Bjarke Ingels said that “with ICON we are pioneering new frontiers – both materially, technologically and environmentally – so putting some skin in the game became inevitable. […] 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”.