3D Printing and Oyster Mushroom Experiment


Not sure how much people here will be interested in this, but since i personally want to see more diversified posts here on wide various topics and i just saw that cool Algae Bioreactor post, i figured i’d post this. I have ideas about using those piezo disc mist/fog makers underneath a inoculated log in a container might work well, but i have not experimented with that yet. A plant breeding collaborator of mine in Utah has experimented with putting inoculated logs in a greenhouse and has had good success with that.

Anyway, i just bought a blue oyster mushroom kit from Fungi Perfecti that should work easy to start out with. I am growing that in the garage. But i wanted to try experimenting with creating my own mushroom growing as well. I was too excited to wait. lol. This is what i came up with.

The container is a “honeycomb vase” from thingiverse. I really have no idea what it was initially intended for, though it looks super cool. Probably the coolest thing i’ve 3d printed yet. I am re-purposing it for potentially growing oyster mushrooms. It is printed at 100% infill of biodegradable Coffee-infused PLA (Polylactic acid). (I no longer use ABS). I was planning on putting some “pea-straw” with some Dextrin and Agar. Maybe i should add some other nutrients as well. Anyway, i’m hoping the Dextrin, Pea-straw, and PLA will provide enough nutrients and support for the Oyster Mushrooms. I hope to avoid major sterilization. My only worry is that mold will colonize the dextrin before the oyster mycelium, but we will see.

Got it ready. didn’t take a photo, sorry. But i put in first a layer of Dextrin powder followed by some (TSA) tryptic-soy-agar, followed by some oyster mushroom spawn dowels, followed by a layer of pea-straw mixed in with some Teosinte/Corn “straw”, followed by a few more layers of roughly the same. Also included small sprinkles of some mushroom soup bullion cube powder that has yeast extract in it. No sterilization done. I’m taking a page out of Joseph’s lazy book and hoping that the oyster mushrooms have the ability to out-compete the mold and any other contaminants. I guess we will see. :slight_smile: but that is why it is called an experiment… so many things could go wrong… but that is why it is exciting. So ya, that’s my geeky experiment project for this week.



very nice. Will forward to a friend who is very into mushrooms as well.


Hi Andrew,

Nice idea. I work on mushrooms too. I saw some article a few months ago about a group in Europe 3D printing things with mushrooms.



For whatever it’s worth, I’ve enjoyed reading about your projects and ideas lately. It would be great to hear more.

Perhaps this is heresy, but as far as I can see, the prospects for crowdsourcing meaningful phenotype research based on climate recipes are dubious–unproven at best–so it doesn’t make sense to focus narrowly on building kits for that. The key weakness with applying the crowdsourcing concept to climate recipe research is that people have to be rich to afford good sensors and climate control equipment. The level of necessary equipment investment for collecting meaningful data would be a better match for institutions with plenty of funding.

On the other hand, it’s obvious that lots of people here are interested in building hydro and aero systems, among other things. There’s lots of interesting stuff to experiment with and talk about in the realm of applying open source tech to growing food. I for one am all in favor of people sharing what they’re working on, discussing the challenges they’re facing, and collaborating on solutions and improvements.


Oh wow, that must have taken forever to print!

Have you heard of this clay 3D printer startup? The printer is very reasonably priced.


I’m planning to get one for printing custom orchid pots, but they could be used for mushrooms as well. I see clay as an advantage because they could be fired between grow cycles to re-sanitize the material.


It looks like in Cura with the fast print settings and at 100% infill with coffee-pla it would have taken 4 hours and 55 min. But i might have printed it on normal speed so it might have been 6 hours and 24min. Honestly i think it was at normal. lol. yeah, way too long. Should have done fast speed. oh well, too late now.

I have heard of clay printers or extruders before, but not that particular printer. Sounds cool. That would be neat to be able to print and fire your own reusable pots. Yeah, i’m sure with some change of straw and mycelium you could do what that one person mentioned with the 3d printing mushroom art sculptures, but instead of art you could just print a mushroom block to grow your own mushrooms at a faster colonization rate.


Thanks. i appreciate it.

Yeah i agree to some extent. I’m still waiting to see what sort of off-the-beat sort of diverse projects emerge from all of this food computer and climate control stuff. On the one hand it is useless without massive standardization and high cost sensors like you mention, but on the other hand cheap sensor and alternative builds might have some merit and fruit yet and i don’t think the data from those systems would be entirely useless. Though harder to just “grab and go” or “plug and play”.

Cool. yeah, i can share more of what i’'m working on or have worked on in the past. some of it is on my blog, some of it isn’t. Some people might be interested in my plant breeding projects i’m working on. I think i will make a separate thread and share some of that.

Personally when i hear the name “OpenAg” i think of a more diverse group than what is currently here. Mostly it’s all about food computers and artificial growing systems. Not bad, and all that is interesting, and i understand that is why this forum and community was created, but why not let it evolve to be more. much more. All kinds of different growing and tinkering and sharing all in an open atmosphere. When i read the thread about the guy wanting to merge Farmbot and the PFC together in one but then said that they came to the conclusion that they are completely different systems and projects i became very sad. Sure they are a little different now, but that does not mean they couldn’t be one project. The way he just gave up on it almost brought a tear to my eye. sad. Why couldn’t the farmbot community and others like the http://opensourceecology.org/ people post threads over here? I think they could and should.

While not really having anything to do with anything we have talked about here or anyone on the forum, one experiment i did was to build some helical coils to see whether the electricity could speed up plant growth. I stole the idea directly off some patent i found online. I was able to build the coils, but my experiment was flawed from the beginning so i didn’t have a true experiment. I didn’t see much change, but i personally think the coils were not close enough to the stems of the plants. I think they needed to be within an inch to have any affect. I’ve also heard that solar panels connected to rods into the ground to where the roots are can stimulate plant roots to grow more and thicker from the solar electricity. Interesting idea, but i have not tried that one yet.


Yeah, that would be great! There’s a big wide world of things for people to explore, tinker with, and hopefully share.


Guess I’ll update you with how this all went. I’m done tinkering with mushrooms for now. Life is getting pretty busy as of late.

Anyway, update #1: The original use of unsterilized mix of stuff and agar i used failed miserably. I got some weird mold and then some weird red bacteria. It smelled way funky too. Bad all around. But failure is not a bad thing.

Update #2: i then washed out the 3d printed object and tried again. The second time i used part of the grain from a commercial inoculated oyster kit. It had produced a few oysters so i decided to try and recycle it before it was completely spent. I used pea straw again mixed in with the mushroom grain. This time i also covered the outside with plastic wrap to keep in moisture until the mycelium had recovered and grown. Basically trying to mimic some of the ideas from a commercial mushroom kit. This worked quite well. Or at least sort of. I think my climate is too dry to grow mushrooms well. The mushrooms grow and then turn yellow and shrivel up at some later time. Even the commercial mushroom grow kit did. Even with spraying mist everyday and keeping them in a dark cupboard. Still a cool experiment.


@BioLumo hows your culture doing? how does the the mycellium react to the PLA?


Um. Well its was dead in my last update. Sorry if i didnt make that clear. It turned yellow and stopped growing. Either it ran out of nutrients or my air was too dry or both. Seems its a tricky balance between moisture, CO2, and oxygen. The mycelium seems to like higher CO2 but needs oxygen to fruit.

I once accidentally grew some yellow mushrooms on a diy gelatin petri dish that had added nutrients in it. That was actually really cool.

It didn’t really grow on the PLA much, though a little bit around it in some places. But otherwise not much interaction. Since PLA is similar to corn starch and dextrin i thought maybe the oyster mushroom would be able to break it down. In my limited test it did not, though perhaps over time?

I also wonder if vegetable oils could be an oyster mushroom nutrient source since they can use petroleum oils fine according to paul stamets.


Have you done any more with mushrooms?
I am looking to test a new sensor (https://www.sensirion.com/en/environmental-sensors/carbon-dioxide-sensors-co2/) and thought a mushroom box would be an ideal testbed. Peter gave me a box of DIY oyster mushrooms for Christmas, and I am trying to keep it going with coffee grounds and wood pellets. It got too dry at one point, so hence the thoughts of a controlled environment.
Plan on going minimal to start, just a box with a filtered opening, a pan of water for humidity and the sensors. Will try coffee/wood for a medium, but may also try some cardboard.


Not recently. Though awhile back i tried replicating another person’s experiment with cut up oyster mushrooms with using hydrogen peroxide as a cleaning agent (apparently mushrooms actually produce hydrogen peroxide themselves naturally), and using pieces of cardboard tied in a mist bucket. It sorta failed, though i did learn some things.

  1. Mushroom mycelium seems to like high humidity and high CO2 for initial growth contrary to expectations as mushrooms breath oxygen. For fruiting bodies i think oxygen is more important then.

  2. Oyster Mushrooms can grow on cardboard, but it is not ideal and they seem to grow very slow. I think the cardboard is lacking some vital nutrients. I think that is why straw and grain is a more preferred medium. Another guy had some success with the cardboard when he added plant fertilizer in low amounts to the water.

Paul Stamets talks about using oyster mushrooms to help clean up petroleum oil spills. I have wondered if cardboard soaked in vegetable oil might be a better medium than pure cardboard. Old rancid oil could be used as to not go to waste if it would work. But i have not tested this idea.

I did grow this blue oyster mushroom kit this last fall. It wasn’t doing much until i forgot about it in the garage. when i found it again it had huge old oyster mushrooms that had went to spores. It was quite funny actually. The blue oysters are able to be grown at lower temperatures, white average, and pink oysters at hot temperatures. https://fungi.com/collections/indoor-mushroom-growing/products/the-blue-oyster-mushroom-patch