There are tons of 3D designs available from a variety of sources these days. Some are very simplistic utility objects, like clamps or basic shapes, while others offer incredibly complexity, perhaps even designed through mathematical algorithms. But every once in a while a truly unique design appears that is not only beautiful, ingenious and functional, but also leverages the unique capabilities of 3D printing technology.
One of those few designs is the Vortex salt and pepper shakers, designed by Shapeways member moloko, "a team of industrial designers located in Frankfurt, Germany".
What is so interesting about a pair of salt and pepper shakers? Aside from their simplistic beauty, they actually function - and they have no orifice other than the "vortex"-like opening at the top. This is where you fill the shaker. But where do the spices emerge when shaken? They come out the same vortex hole at the top, the same one used for filling.
The designers brilliantly created a complex internal design that uses gravity to enable easy filling, but only metered release of salt/pepper during a shaking operation.
Simple, ingenious and beautiful.