It’s a salty glue, an iglo-ish model made of salt where every grain of salt sticks together with glue – or in other words: Saltygloo. This funny-named project by American additive manufacturing company Emerging Objects focuses on creating ideal 3D printing material, which is strong, lightweight, pellucid and relatively cheap to produce.
The salt was captured from the San Francisco Bay, where natural power from the sun and wind produce 500.000 tones of sea salt per year. The team has harvested its salt from 109-year old salt crystallization ponds in Redwood City, where every year nature produces 8-12 inches of solid crystallized salt. Thereupon, they created a new 3D printing technique that makes it possible to 3D print figures made of salt and glue. At the end of the process, the team had created 336 translucent panels and had put them in the right place in order to create an iglo-ish house.
Although you probably wouldn’t imagine yourself living in a salty iglo, there’s definitely something striking about this project. It shows that we are able to create something useful with a natural material of which no-one thought it would be helpful for purposes such as creating shelter. If you would like to see this unique iglo with your own eyes, you could check it out at the Museum of Craft and Design for the show New West Coast Design 2 until January 5, 2014.
Credits images: Matthew Millman.