When it comes to creativity within the 3D printing space, one company seems to be head and shoulders above the rest. That company is Emerging Objects, and they have been in the news quite a bit lately, if not for their 3D printed Bloom Pavillion, then maybe for their 3D printed earthquake-resistant Quake Column. One thing is for sure–this company surely knows how to prove to the naysayers that 3D printing has tremendous potential in just about every field of study out there.
Founded by CEO Ronald Rael and CCO Virginia San Fratello, the company has used just about every type of 3D printing technology there is for their vast array of interesting projects. The latest project for Emerging Objects is one which not only makes you stop and think, but also may just make your taste buds wake up.
The design, based on the famed Utah teapot (Newell teapot), is not 3D printed out of plastic, sandstone, or even metal. Instead it is 3D printed out of nothing but tea and sweetener. Not only is the Utah teapot the perfect design to 3D print for such a project because…. well a teapot made out of tea is just a really cool concept, but also because of what this specific teapot stands for.
The Utah teapot was the very first digital 3D model in the world, and has become a standard reference in the computer graphics community. Created in 1975 by Martin Newell, what better design could have been chosen than this very one?
“It’s printed in powder form on a powder-based 3D printer,” co-founder & CEO of Emerging Objects Rael tells 3DPrint.com. “The material used is tea and sweetener, so ‘sweat tea’ essentially!”
Rael and San Fratello did not only 3D print a tea pot, though. They 3D printed an entire tea set, including tea cups and a set of teaspoons which are accurately measured out to hold the exact volume of a single teaspoon measurement. Rael tells us that it took about a week to design the different objects.
“The teapot took the longest to make as it requires a lot of water and took a week to dry completely before extracting,” Rael tells us. “We didn’t need to do any post processing, but if dipped in water, it would become tea, so we put a light sealer on all the items to reduce their fragility.”
I asked Rael if the items could actually hold tea, and the only answer he would provide me with was, “It holds tea in the actual object, so yes!” So perhaps this would not be considered an actual usable tea set, but it certainly goes a long way in proving that even non-conventional materials can be used in the 3D printing process. What other project ideas could be up Rael’s sleeve?
Well how about a 3D printed coffee mug made of coffee, or a 3D printed salt and pepper shaker made of salt? Already done, by Emerging Objects as well! See images below.
What do you think about this unique 3D printed tea set, one created form nothing but tea itself? Discuss in the 3D printed teapot forum thread on 3DPB.com.