Like Motif Design Tools’ architectural panels, the tennis tables can be built with embedded organic or inorganic materials such as grass, leaves, sand, rocks, seashells or, as Ball puts it, “just about anything that will fit within the thickness of the laminate we are making.” This includes wood veneers such as cherry and oak.

So how does a wastewater company move into the recreational market? Initially, Orenco developed decorative fiberglass manhole covers for water systems with embedded images of grass, rock or bark mulch to match landscaping. Next the company embedded images and materials into custom architectural panels under Motif Design tools. Then Ball and fellow tennis and table tennis enthusiasts decided to use the technology to build a tennis table. “The whole thing is really in its infancy,” notes Ball. But he’s betting that sports enthusiasts will share his excitement about the custom tables.