Austin-based Icon shows the possibilities for 3D-printed homes

South by Southwest badge holders can get a look at one of the possible futures of housing — one built by giant 3D printers.

Icon, an Austin-based construction startup focused on 3D-printing technology, is showcasing one of its newest 3D-printed homes, dubbed “House Zero,” in East Austin. The project is aimed at showing the possibilities of 3D-printed housing.

“In the future, neighborhoods and towns and cities are going to be built by robots if we want. That future is faster and more affordable and more sustainable and more beautiful. And this house is meant to sort of be an icon of that future,” said Icon CEO and founder Jason Ballard. 

Ballard said he sees 3D printing as having the potential to revolutionize the way we build homes, and even structures for defense purposes or space operations. The 3D-printing construction method offers versatility, range, speed and lower costs than traditional construction, according to the company. 

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Icon, an Austin construction startup focused on 3D-printing technology, is showcasing its “House Zero” project in East Austin during South by Southwest.

During SXSW, the Icon house will be open for tours to badge holders on Sunday and Monday. The company said tickets have already sold out, and Ballard said he expects thousands of visitors between the tours and private events that will be hosted at the house. 

“Seeing really is believing and the whole world comes to Austin during (SXSW.) We’re going to try to get as many eyeballs and human bodies in and around this house to help sort of build belief that the problems we face with regard to human shelter are solvable problems,” Ballard said.

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