The chair is the result of a collaboration between Klarenbeek and scientists at the University of Wageningen to develop a new way of printing with living organisms. “Our main purpose was to bring together the machine and nature to create a new material that could be used to make any product,” Klarenbeek told Dezeen.
The result is a new material that, Klarenbeek believes, could be used to make almost anything in future. “It could be a table, a whole interior or even a house,” he said. “We could build a house with it.”
Presented at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven this weekend, the Mycelium Chair was printed using a mixture of water, powdered straw and mycelium, which is the thread-like part of a fungus that lives underground.
The mycelium grew within the structure, replacing the water and creating a solid but extremely lightweight material. Mushrooms began sprouting on the surface, at which point Klarenbeek dried out the structure to prevent further growth.
“When you dry it out you have the straw kind of glued together by the mushroom,” Klarenbeek said. “You have this strong, solid material that is really lightweight and durable.”
A thin layer of printed bioplastic covers the structure of the chair to contain the growing fungus. Straw was used as a substrate since the fungus used in the project – the yellow oyster mushroom – likes to grow on straw.
“The mushrooms are only a decorative element,” said Klarenbeek. That’s why we shot the photograph with the mushrooms popping out. Our main purpose was to bring together the machine and nature to create a new material that could be used to make any product.
“This chair is really a metaphor for what could be made with this technique of 3D printing a living organism and then have it grow further. It could be a table, a whole interior or even a house. We could build a house with it.” …
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.