3D Printing Construction Co. ICON Raises $35M. Sector Grows With More Than 20 Active Companies.

3D Printed Buildings BuiltWorlds

With the news that 3D Printing Construction Company,  ICON, has just raised $35 million in funding in a round led by Chicago-based real estate tech-focused, Moderne Ventures, with participation from Austin-based, industrial ecosystem-focused Ironspring, and also the well known architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, it seems an opportune time to take stock of 3D printing as an important area of emerging tech in the industry.

Of all the areas of advances in equipment and robotics in the industry, 3D printed construction ranked lowest in terms of adoption by our early adopter contractor members (see our 2020 Machines Report), but given how new the companies in the sector are and the complexities involved, perhaps that shouldn't be surprising. Other sectors such as project management software, digital modeling, and one form or another of asset tracking have been around for decades. By comparison, commercial scale 3D printing in the industry is really just getting started. Of the more than 20 "building scale" 3D printing companies we are tracking in our company directory, at least fourteen were founded in the past seven years, and none appear to have provided commercial-scale offerings until the last few.

There are many more companies focused on 3D Printing of components, and smaller parts, but creating entire buildings or major building systems poses a myriad of challenges. There have been questions surrounding areas such as the best materials to use, how to comply with building codes, ensuring structural integrity, slow speeds, accounting for various site conditions and constraints, and more. However, as companies in the sector proliferate, raising more sums from influential players, the number of completed projects around the world is steadily increasing.

 

Our First 3D Printing Event, March '16: Northwestern University, Contour Crafting, D-Shape Enterprises, & SOM.

Watch Past Sessions on Robotics, 3D Printing, and ICON's Investors

BuiltWorlds Venture Forum Demo Drop – Construction Robotics

Construction Robotics develops affordable, robotics and automation equipment for the construction industry. They offer 2 products, the SAM (Semi-Automated Mason) a brick laying robot, and MULE (Material Unit Lift Enhancer) a lift assist device designed for handling and placing material weighing up to 135lbs.

Analyst Call – Advanced Machinery & Equipment: Robotics in Construction

Hear from two leaders in construction robotics – Max Trommer, CEO & Founder, Rebartek and Steve Pierz, CIO, FBR – to learn more about advanced equipment, automation, and other innovative practices changing the built world. Speakers: Max Trommer, CEO & Founder, Rebartek Steve Pierz, CIO, FBR

Robotics on the job site

We are always thinking of new ways to make job sites safer places. Today, one of the most obvious methods for safe construction is through the use of robotics, ranging from autonomous rebar-tying to bricklaying robots. In this panel from our Machines conference, Michael Lawrence (True Autonomy), Rafael Astacio (Construction Robotics), Yaron J. Schwarcz (Skyline Robotics), Samrudhdi Suresh (Stealth Startup), and Jeremy Searock (Tybot) discussed […]

IoT sees increase in investment from real estate sector

On this episode of Venture, Moderne Ventures founder, Constance Freedman, dropped by our office to discuss the many tech trends affecting the real estate investment market today. She gives her take on how the Internet of Things is changing how we work and live. Click here to learn more about Moderne Ventures

How the new investments in tech are changing the heavy equipment industry | Venture: Holt Ventures

This episode of Venture brings the Director of Holt Ventures, Adam Bridgman, to the BuiltWorlds studio for a revealing chat. Known for developing the first tractor, Holt has innovated into a new investment company focusing on technology in the heavy equipment space. Click here to learn more about Holt Ventures

The Realities of 3D Printing

What are The Realities of 3D Printing? It has plenty of hype surrounding it, but is it realistic? Even viable? To find out we looked to the next generation and a panel of experts.