Side Table: Mold Making

  • Post author:
  • Post published:November 28, 2019
  • Post category:Blog

Over the last two days I have begun working on the side table to grow out of the mycelium. In order to create cardboard molds, I needed to figure out what pieces I needed to create the conical shape. I modeled the design in Fusion 360, but it does not have an easy way to unroll the 3d shape into a template, so I recreated it in Sketchup, which has an extension to to the unwrapping. I could not figure out how the export the file correctly, so I tried Rhino3D. I knew Rhino could do exactly what I wanted, but I had already used up the trial. I ended up taking a screenshot of the result because I couldn’t export anything, then I resized it in Photoshop. I printed it as a poster to tile the image across multiple pages. After trimming all of the pages, I could tape them together to get a full template.

I cut a piece of cardboard to match the template, then I tested out how the shape would look. I liked how it had a teardrop shape instead of being perfectly round, so I decided to keep the design that way.

The next day, I cut the thinner strips from the full cardboard sheet because I need to grow the mycelium in thinner, 4 inch thick, sections for better airflow. has a tutorial for making cardboard molds, and they recommend covering the cardboard in packing tape so that the mycelium will not grow into the paper, so I spent the entire day working on that. I then cut teardrop shapes as base pieces and attached them to make sure that the mold hold their shape. This is not the most environmentally friendly, since I am covering everything in plastic, but if this product was produced, a single reusable mold would be used instead of a cardboard and packing tape one.

After calculating the volume of the table, I found that I need about 2.5 bags of mycelium, so I ordered three. I will hydrate them when they arrive, then I can begin growing the pieces for the side table.