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  • Can large scale 3D printing eco-friendly materials be use for structures?

    Gabriel Bustos
    Apr 12, '21 2:57 PM EST

    Can eco-friendly materials such as wood fill, richlite, straw bale, hemp, or mycelium be implemented into 3D printing materials on a large scale for structure use? 

    3DFuel's bio filament offerings Source:

    3DFuel's bio filament offerings Source:

    The industrial revolution brought forth prosperity to mass-produce efficiently. However, the cause and effect have created an evident backlash wide-reaching. Still, difficult to break and revert the process. Today, the amount of energy used, and pollution generated from mass-produced construction materials is overwhelming. The amount of harmful chemicals used is growing exponentially, leading to many individuals developing allergies or becoming ill around new carpets, paints, adhesives, and a large range of building materials.

    Eco-friendly materials such as woodfill, richlite, straw bale, hemp or mycelium, bamboo, clay, reclaimed wood, TFL (thermally fused Laminate), natural paints, and oils or waxes could be used as an alternative to producing low energy buildings that can be solid, safe and can restored the environment from pollutants. Most of the Eco-friendly materials are grown from seeds and absorb carbon dioxide while they grow. After harvesting, they sequester greenhouse gas avoiding emissions to the atmosphere. Eco-friendly building materials can breathe, absorbing, and circulate moisture for a healthier indoor environment.

    We have been fortunate to have used a lot of great alternative materials. Throughout history, we’ve use plants to make wood and cotton. We use animals to make leather and wool. However, the kingdom of fungi has been completely ignored. We have never used mushrooms for materials.

    In nature mycelium infuses all landscape, it holds the soil together, it is extremely tenacious. This holds up to 30,000 times its mass. They are the grand molecular decomposers of nature. They transfer nutrients between plants and trees. The rotting mushrooms are essential for the health of the forest. They give rise to the trees; in return, the trees create the debris that falls to feed the mycelium. The perfect eco-balance. 

    Mycelium is the best natural polymer because it uses less energy and resources to make a product. It is grown with two components, the mycelium and local agricultural waste that are thrown away from crops. It becomes an adhesive to a given shape. According to Ecovative, Myco-works, Mycotech, and Mogu “The mycelium is placed on a plastic mold for three to five days to glue itself into a solid shape. The growth happens indoors in the dark it doesn’t need light or watering it just self-assembles. Once the process is done the shape is placed in an oven to bake at 200*F, at a minimum for 45 minutes, or evaporates with a press machine. Killing the fungi and guarantee to never sprout again. We just need to get away from the stigma of fungi being a bad thing”.


    Hy-Fi is the first large scale structure to use this mushroom brick technology

    Carlo Ratti Associati, designed the living HY-Fi, the “Circular Garden” and the shelly mycelium pavilion is a collaboration between BEETLES 3.3 and Yassin Areddia Designs. These designers used mycelium base bricks and mycelium molded materials to create Pavilions. As well as designer Eric Klarenbeek found a way to create solid objects from mycelium 3D printing. The famous sprouting chairwas built with potato starch string and mycelium to solidify it. calls it the new bioplastic. It is a strong, solid, lightweight, isolating material. He states that with a larger 3D printer “we can build a full-scale house with this material.” Eric Klarenbeek was a part of creating the growing Pavilion. The outer panels were grown from mushrooms, with the mycelium in the roots providing strength. These are covered with a coating that is a bio-based product

     The growing Pavilion

    The growing Pavilion

    Mycelium symbolizes a unique approach to how to use and dispose of construction materials. Being 100% biodegradable, and found in abundance on the earth, natural growth from waste that can eliminate food, organic, and compost waste that end up in landfills can close the wasteful loop. mycelium-based materials have immense, yet unexploited potential. Mycelium is nature's oldest and greatest decomposer that can potentially solve our modern problem.




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  • Will large 3D-printing technology reduce housing prices?

    Gabriel Bustos
    Mar 13, '21 1:07 PM EST

    Diane Olick | CNBC3D Printing has been around for over 40 years. In 1986, commercial rapid prototyping was started by Charles Hull when he founded 3D Systems in Valencia, California. Charles Hull realized that his concept was not limited to liquids and therefore gave it the generic name... View full entry

  • The most primitive and communal instinct we share is nature. Yet, seek for something eccentric or magical.

    Gabriel Bustos
    Feb 24, '21 6:42 AM EST

    The lakes, beaches, and almost any outdoor activity that is connected to nature grounds you to spend more time at that place. I have noticed that when one goes to a plaza or outdoor mall. A public space makes a world of difference to a person’s mood to stay longer or not in that area. But... View full entry

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