3D printed tiles made from mycelium and algae
London and New York based research and design studio bioMATTERS created a 3D printed interior tiling system made from mycelium and algae.
Called MYCO-ALGA, the tiles are digitally designed using computational algorithms. Next, domestic and industrial waste materials are ground into a paste, forming the foundation of the mycelium, the root system of mushrooms. The paste was inoculated with mycelium and 3D printed into customised shapes. In two weeks’ time, the mycelium grew and acted as a natural adhesive. Through drying and dehydration, the growth was then stopped, resulting in a lightweight, white, polystyrene-like material.
To apply colour to the tiles, the studio extracted pigments from algae biomass. After they were turned into gels, they were 3D printed on the tiles. Each tile features non-repetitive shapes based on computation generated branching morphologies, based on the growth pattern of mycelium.