by Taylor Kim August 06, 2017

Design studio Emerging Objects is an innovative, independent 3D printing ‘make-tank’ that specializes in 3D printing architecture and building components. They are an additive manufacturing startup that specializes in 3D printing. They believe innovation lies in their unique approach to materials and sizes and and the  belief that 3D printing is the medium where good ideas become real.

This installation by Emerging Objects is a salt pavilion has been created entirely from salt. The group explained that 500,000 tonnes of sea salt are harvested each year in the San Francisco Bay Area using power from the sun and wind. "The salt is harvested from 109-year-old salt crystallisation ponds in Redwood City," they said. "These ponds are the final stop in a five-year salt-making process that involves moving bay water through a series of evaporation ponds. In these ponds the highly saline water completes evaporation, leaving 8-12 inches of solid crystallised salt that is then harvested for industrial use."

"The structure is an experiment in 3D printing using locally harvested salt from the San Francisco Bay to produce a large-scale, lightweight, additive manufactured structures," said Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello of Emerging Objects.

Not only is salt a renewable resource, it’s also  inexpensive compared to commercially available printing materials and creates strong lightweight components.

This pavilion is the first to be 3D printed from salt,  but draws on traditional techniques for building with the material. "No one has ever 3D-printed a building out of salt," Rael told Dezeen. "However, there is a long tradition of architecture constructed of salt blocks, particularly in the Middle East and in desert environments."

The 336 unique translucent panels of the Saltygloo structure were made in a powder-based 3D printing process where a layer of salt is applied then fixed in place selectively with a binding agent, before the next layer of salt is deposited and the process is repeated.

This exhibit was originally on display at the Museum of Craft Design

All Photography By Matthew Millman 

Design team: Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Seong Koo Lee.

Fabrication team: Ronald Rael, Seong Koo Lee, Eleftheria Stavridi

Material development: Ronald Rael, Mark Kelly, Kent Wilson

Special thanks: Professor Mark Ganter, Solheim Lab, University of Washington, Ehren Tool, Department of Art Practice, University of California Berkeley, Department of Architecture, University of California Berkeley, Department of Design, San Jose State University, Kwang Min Ryu and Chaewoo Rhee.


Read more here 

Taylor Kim
Taylor Kim


Leave a comment