Saltygloo is a small pavilion by design studio Emerging Objects that is made entirely out of 3D-printed salt panels and constructed in the likeness of an igloo. While there have been plenty of architectural structures throughout history that have been made of salt (particularly in the Middle East), Saltygloo marks the first using 3D-printed fabrication.
Made out of 336 different bricks consisting of salt harvested from San Francisco Bay, the architectural construct uses a new method of 3D-printing which involves a layer of salt being laid down, topped by a binding agent, and then followed by another printed layer of salt. This process is repeated over and over again.
The reason behind this project is to test existing resources and push them to their limits in the hopes of finding new cost-effective, renewable, and strong building materials and processes. Compared to other 3D-printing materials, salt is inexpensive, but still yields rigid, lightweight structures. It is also a translucent substance. Emerging Objects states that: “The translucent qualities of the material, a product of the fabrication process and the natural properties of salt, allow for natural light to permeate the space…and reveal the unique qualities of one of humankind's most essential minerals.”
Saltygloo will be on display as part of the New West Coast Design 2 exhibit at the Museum of Craft and Design through January 5, 2014.