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ICON: Vulcan – Concrete 3D Printer

Contributions:

  • System Architecture
  • Concept Development
  • Detail Design
  • System Integration
  • Testing and Refinement
  • Ongoing Support

The ICON Vulcan concrete 3D printer is designed to print small concrete homes economically, efficiently, and quickly. Early in development ICON approached Pump Studios for a reliable solution that would be lightweight, easy to set up and disassemble, as well as provide a cost effective platform for refinement and upgrades.

Pump supported ICON through all the key phases of this project. The first phase involved doing the detailed design of the printer to meet key requirements. Next Pump worked to support fabrication, sourcing, and assembly of the Vulcan printer itself. Once the printer was up and running Pump helped with testing and optimization of material properties, printer settings, and all the parameters that are necessary to producing high quality prints. Finally, we rolled up our sleeves, and worked on site during the process of making the first permitted 3D-printed house in the US that meets applicable building codes.

In order to accomplish several of the requirements, Pump was involved in many aspects of the process. Pump developed custom G-code to control material placement, and match print speeds to critical material properties. We worked with the structural engineers and architects to determine a strategy for structural reinforcement. Then while printing, we helped optimize the operating procedure and maintenance schedule needed throughout the process.

We are proud to have been involved from the start of this project, bringing the first permitted, 3D-printed house to life in Austin, TX.