3D Printed Mycelium

Date: January 2017 - Current
Materials: Oyster Mushroom Mycelium

This material engineering research started as part of BetaBrew.

Certain fungi have positive immune system benefits for honey bees, including preventing causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD).  If hives were made of this material, the architecture and materiality could have a major impact on the quality of life of our reliable pollinators.

Mycelium, one could say, is the root structure of a mushroom. It consists of fine white filament which slowly grows into and dissolves nutrient material providing nourishment for the fungus’ body. To 3D print mycelium, a nutrient rich filament is made and inoculated with mushroom spore. After the initial print, the filament is left untouched for 2 weeks allowing the mushroom mycelium to grow and bond the filament layers together. This process of 3D printing is a temporal process which is incomplete without the additive growth of the fungus structure. The final material is strong and lightweight. It is also completely eco-friendly and biodegradable.