Instructor: Stefani Bardin || Collaborators: Kadallah Burrowes
In this first round of material tests, we blended the coffee bean husk substrate material in a food processor to get an even texture for our 3D printer extruder nozzle. We experimented with the ratio of substrate material to mushroom inoculate. There is a set of material samples that use a 1:4 mushroom spore to substrate material blend and a second set of material samples that has a 1:2 mushroom spore to substrate material blend. We also experimented with three different blending methods. There is a machine blend (very even), a hand mix (fairly even), and a post inoculated test (no blend).
The images above show mushroom mycelia growth after 10 days. The machine blend with 1:2 ratio, spore to substrate mix, had the smoothest and strongest mycelium growth. The hand mixed samples were strong but not smooth in growth texture. The post inoculated samples were very brittle and not smooth. The machine blend had growth that was structurally strong with a smooth silky texture on the exterior even after we baked the samples. Our next round of tests will focus on creating a material that can be extruded smoothly. This blend, although fine in texture, was difficult to extrude. When pushed from a plastic bag with force, the substrate material broke apart and separated from water. We need a material that stick to itself well, won’t break, and will not separate from water.