Company 3D prints houses on Earth, partners with NASA for moon project | 60 Minutes

There was a time when futurists were predicting that the advent of 3D printing was going to change our lives.. that each of our houses would have a 3D printer to make whatever items we need. What virtually no one predicted, though, was that there might soon be 3D printers that could construct almost the entire house.

But that’s just what a 6-year-old Austin, Texas company called Icon is doing.. 3D printing buildings. And if you believe Icon’s mission-driven young founder, 3D printing could revolutionize how we build, help create affordable housing, even allow us, to.. wait for it.. colonize the moon. Sound out of this world? Take a look..

What you’re watching is the building.. actually, the printing, of a 4-bedroom home. On this construction site, there’s no hammering or sawing, just a nozzle squirting out concrete — kind of like an oversized soft serve ice cream dispenser — laying down the walls of a house one layer at a time. It’s the brainchild of a 41-year-old Texan who’s rarely without a cowboy hat, Jason Ballard.

House <a href=3d printing ” height=”349″ width=”620″ class=” lazyload” srcset=”https://assets3.cbsnewsstatic.com/hub/i/r/2023/10/06/44e00921-1f6e-4d52-a084-8fb53f473058/thumbnail/620×349/b2f5ab68e8bcb8e833c000dc7f5b35e2/3d-printing-4-001.jpg?v=69042d5753ca4b526d6a54f60ee177ca 1x, https://assets3.cbsnewsstatic.com/hub/i/r/2023/10/06/44e00921-1f6e-4d52-a084-8fb53f473058/thumbnail/1240×698/3231a958be71a2dadff86c0bd7f61d9c/3d-printing-4-001.jpg?v=69042d5753ca4b526d6a54f60ee177ca 2x”/
A 3D printer squeezes out the concrete mixture for the houses.

60 Minutes

Lesley Stahl: 3D printing a house.

Jason Ballard: Yes, ma’am.

Lesley Stahl: People are gonna hear that and say, “No.”

Jason Ballard: We’re sitting inside one right now.

Lesley Stahl: This house was printed?

Jason Ballard: Yes, ma’am. 

Lesley Stahl: Oh.

Jason Ballard: There you are.

Lesley Stahl: Look at this.

Jason Ballard: Welcome.

And so was this one. Does a concrete home printed by a robot have to look cold and industrial? Maybe not. 

Lesley Stahl: I like the curved wall.

Ballard gave us a peek at the first completed model home in what will soon

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