Most recently, Emerging Objects made headlines for 3D printing a large-scale structure called Bloom, but, before that, the 3D printing design firm made a name for itself with its unique printing feedstock. From wood to salt to paper, Emerging Objects has developed its own natural materials with which to produce their intricate structures. Even the concrete used in Bloom was a specialized type that was both lightweight and strong enough for structurally sound construction. The Bay Area-based firm’s latest project may not be big, in terms of size, but it certainly looks delicious, if not calming. Emerging Object’s Utah Tea Set is entirely 3D printed out of tea.
Based on the Utah Teapot, the Utah Tea Set is a self-referential piece of design 3D printed from instant tea. The Utah Teapot, that provided the inspiration, was one of the original digital 3D models ever created, designed in 1975 by Martin Newell, and now an iconic symbol of graphic design.
Naturally, the symbol was perfect for 3D printing, but, rather than print the object in ceramic, the firm printed it in powdered instant tea using the binder jetting process. The set not only includes the famous Utah Teapot itself, but also cups and teaspoons printed from tea, too. Each teaspoon measures five cubic centimeters, the exact volume of a standard teaspoon.
Adding tea to their materials portfolio, the Utah Tea Set is just one small project in a large endeavor by Emerging Objects to combine sustainable feedstock with a powerful technology to create one-of-a-kind, potentially revolutionary designs. What will emerge from Emerging Objects next? We’ll just have to wait and see.