Get to know designer printing presses made of salt and clay

They realized early on that they had something unique about 3D technology. “We both come from rural backgrounds, growing up outside in the landscape, literally playing in the dirt,” San Fratello says. “Both of us were able to bring our own lived experiences to it – our own connections with the land and agriculture. That lived experience combined with these amazing technologies, and that’s why our practice is different. We bring our love for the country and literally put it in the printer.”

people relaxing in a 3D printed cabin
Emerging Objects’ experiments in materials, software and hardware come together in this prototype housing unit. Zoning restrictions were eased in response to the housing crisis in the Bay Area, which inspired the couple to tackle housing problems on a micro scale.


Whether it’s a cabin, a brick, a vessel, or an art installation, a constant in their work is rethinking natural materials through the lens of technology. The project can be printed from mud, sawdust, salt or Chardonnay grape skins – all materials that come from the earth. It all boils down to experimentation, to the question “Why not?”

However, the pair would defy all attempts at categorization. As they say on their website, β€œIt would be impossible to say we have a studio philosophy. We just try to keep creating.”

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