Founded in 2012 by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, professors at the University of California Berkeley and San Jose State University, the aim of Emerging Objects (according to the website) is to “design and 3D print environments for the 21st century and provide consultation to companies […] to help catapult innovation.”
Speaking to Rael, co-founder and CEO of the company, 3D Printing Industry learn more about their latest project, the enchanting, 3D printed Cabin of Curiosities.
3D printing with a handmade aesthetic
In our interview, Rael says the cabin demonstrates “that 3D printing can be beautiful, meaningful, and well crafted – not crude, fast and cheap.” The cabin’s cladding comprises 4,500 3D printed titles, of which there are two types: planter tiles and “seed stitch” tiles.
The ceramic planter tiles support a living wall of plants. “Seed stitch” tiles utilize G-code processing and rapid printing processes to introduce variation and create a handmade aesthetic.
Like all handmade objects too, no two tiles are the same.
Experiments in sustainable materials
The list of materials upcycled by Emerging Objects is as eclectic as the projects they have worked on. “All the components are sustainable and made from natural or upcycled waste streams,” explains Rael. “Ceramic, sawdust, recycled Chardonnay grape skins and corn-based bio-plastics,” are just a handful of the materials they have investigate thus far.
The interior walls of the Cabin of Curiosities are made of bio-based plastic derived from corn (potentially PLA), and feature a custom relief textures.
Emerging Objects’ commitment to sustainability is also apparent in the modular design of the cabin, which allows for the easy replacement of components.
The project should be scaleable. Emerging Objects currently has the capacity to “print anywhere from 100s to thousands of tiles per day” and Rael says they have partnered with 3D Potter to develop printers suitable for industrial scale manufacturing.
Other groups are exploring the intersection of architecture and 3D printing. Italy’s largest technical university, Politecnico di Milano has been experimenting with “a new type of non-standard architecture” using “algorithms which allow us to generate three dimensional cellular structure, varying in topology and sizing with the precision of a tenth of a millimeter.”
For Rael the Cabin of Curiosities is not merely an exploration of using 3D printed materials for “longevity or structure, but also a study of aesthetics.” He concludes,
“We see the future as being elegant, optimistic, and beautiful.”
Vote now in the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards.
The 3D Printing Industry Jobs is live. Post a job or discover your next career move now.
Featured image shows Emerging Objects’ Cabin of Curiosities. Photo via Emerging Objects.