“The U.S. is short nearly 7 million single-family homes,” said Diamond Age. “Producing more will benefit both home builders and home buyers.”
The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company last week said it has raised a $50 million Series A round to advance its automation for the home construction industry and pursue its go-to-market strategy. Diamond Age said its robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) offering combines 3D printing, mechatronics, and robotics to address the labor shortage and reduce construction cycle times from nine months to 30 days.
“Affordable housing is impacting people on a global scale,” said Jack Oslan, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Age. “As the average age for first-time homebuyers has moved from mid-20s to mid-30s, there's an increased demand for more rental property—forcing the entire hierarchy of renters into a more competitive market for 'quality' housing.”
“Helping the next generation of homebuyers get into their first house faster helps the entire ecosystem of housing,” he added.
The gantry-mounded additive manufacturing and finishing system. Source: Diamond Age
Diamond Age to automate home construction
Diamond Age said it is building a suite of 26 end-of-arm robotic tools to offset 55% of the manual labor required to build a new home. The company is also developing additive manufacturing tools that move along a gantry system to add layers of concrete to “print” the interior and exterior walls of the house.
Using 3D printing and robotics technology, Diamond Age said it has advanced its full-stack automation platform by scaling up the building envelope to enable the printing and finishing of a 2,000-sq.-ft. (180 sq.-m) single-story home.
Diamond Age said it delivered its first scaled version of its system, as well as a full-scale, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in 11 months – four months ahead of schedule.
Century Communities Inc., a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based national homebuilder, today announced that it plans to build 72 homes in metropolitan Phoenix with Diamond Age.
Builders, developers invest in robotics
Prime Movers Lab led Diamond Age's Series A round. Seed investors Alpaca VC, Dolby Family Ventures, Timber Grove Ventures, and Gaingels all invested above their pro-rata levels. Signia Venture Partners also participated.
In addition, 20% of the round was made up of production home builders and land developers.
“Diamond Age's Factory in the Field system brings automation to the construction site to backfill the massive labor shortage in the home construction industry,” said Suzanne Fletcher, general partner at Prime Movers Lab. “Jack and his team have hit key milestones ahead of schedule and are transforming the way production homes are constructed, so it was an easy decision for Prime Movers Lab to lead the company's Series A.”
Prime Movers Lab invests in scientific startups in the energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture, and human augmentation sectors. The firm's portfolio spans industrial solar heat, nano-structured materials, wafer slicing, prosthetics, 3D printing, mobility, and artificial intelligence.
Diamond Age said it will use the funding to continue scaling its robotics platform and execute on its first commercial contract to build homes. The company has already doubled in size and plans to add more engineering and fabrication talent.
The funding will also help Diamond Age partner with home builders and developers to turn home building into an on-demand product and provide buyers with more options when designing their homes.
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