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ICON and M3 Design Win ‘Best of Best’ for Product Design Collaboration on Vulcan Printer

ICON’s Vulcan 3D printer for homes, designed in collaboration with M3 Design, wins the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ award in the Product Design category.

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M3 Design

April 12 th 2021 | 5 minute read

ICON’s Vulcan construction system and 3D printer for homes, designed in collaboration with product development firm M3 Design, has won the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ award in the Product Design category. The Vulcan printer is the first digitally native approach to building construction, creating homes that are stronger and longer-lasting than traditional building materials, and constructed at increased speeds and with less waste. With usability and compassion at the forefront of its innovative design, the Vulcan construction system won over the 50-member Red Dot jury of independent design experts from all over the world.

ICON Construction 3D printer with REd Dot award

ICON brought M3 on board to help develop a fully resolved design reflective of the technical sophistication the printer is capable of that also acknowledged the company’s larger purpose. The Vulcan was intentionally designed to represent a perfect marriage of human and high-tech.

“When we’re looking at potential clients, our priority is finding folks who have the courage and tenacity to transform their industry in an unexpected and innovative way. And ICON sets the standard,” said M3 Design Director of Industrial Design Nathan Careless. “The M3 team is honored to have our collaboration with ICON be recognized for successfully re-imagining the way the world thinks about construction equipment with such a prestigious design award.”

Where most construction equipment is aggressive and intimidating, the physical form of the Vulcan printer took a different approach. M3 helped ICON create a new standard in construction design – a machine that inspires curiosity rather than apprehension. The final direction was chosen for its iconic silhouette and simple geometry that mixes hard edges and rolling surfaces. Lighting effects were added for functionality on the worksite and as a way to highlight the ICON brand. To tidy the exterior and ensure protection from the elements, all wiring and material hoses were routed internally up to the print head.

“During a very pivotal time for ICON, M3 was an indispensable design and engineering partner on the Vulcan construction system, said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “The Vulcan then went out into the world successfully creating dignified, resilient 3D-printed homes and delivering on its promise.”

Since its creation, ICON’s Vulcan construction system has 3D printed a series of seven homes for individuals experiencing homelessness and the first mainstream housing development of 3D-printed homes for sale. To date, ICON has 3D printed two dozen homes and structures with its various Vulcan construction systems across Mexico and the U.S.

Visit for more information about the collaboration. For more information on ICON’s latest construction systems, visit


About M3 Design

Founded in 1996, M3 Design is a product development and innovation firm located in the Austin, TX area specializing in design, engineering, strategy and brand. M3 is a team of world-class industrial designers and engineers who work together to create the products that inspire the future of healthcare, lifestyle and workplace brands. M3 takes pride in challenging convention to help their clients maximize business opportunity by creating exceptional products and experiences.

About ICON

ICON develops advanced construction technologies that advance humanity. Using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials, ICON is shifting the paradigm of homebuilding on Earth and beyond. For more information visit or follow the conversation on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (@ICON3DTech).

About the Red Dot Design Award

In order to appraise the diversity in the field of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award breaks down into the three disciplines of Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. With more than 18,000 entries, the Red Dot Award is one of the world’s largest design competitions. In 1955, a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. In the 1990s, Red Dot CEO Professor Dr. Peter Zec developed the name and brand of the award. Ever since, the sought-after distinction “Red Dot” has been the revered international seal of outstanding design quality. The award winners are presented in the yearbooks, museums and online. More information is available at

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We design products that inspire the future of Heathcare, Lifestyle and the Workplace.