Grow It Yourself - Mycelium Longboard / Pennyboard

About: Student Industrial Product Design @ Howest Kortrijk

Hi guys

As an assignment for school we needed to make a bio- based product. My idea was to make a mycelium longboard that is fully decomposable after its lifecycle. The ideal non - polluting board ! The idea had a lot of succes at school so I thought why not share it with the whole world of Instructables !

Here is how I have done it

Step 1: Preparations : Materials

What you need to make this awesome board :

- Plastic box in which your board fully fits

- Autoclave

- Heat - resistant bag

- Mycelium culture

- Substrate (hay, hemp, coffee)

- Desinfection alcohol

- Small gas fire

- Scale

- Epoxy

- Circular mould

- Triplex shelves

- Skateboard trucks ( + nuts and bolts)

- Cling film

- Incubator ( a room where the temperature is at a constant temperature of at leat 24°C)

- Saw

(- Spray paint )

- Drilling machine

- Drill M4

- Bearings

Step 2: Prepare the Triplex Shelves

Draw the contour of the pennyboard / longboard on the triplex shelves. Make sure you have two shelves at least. You can use more of them but it won't be necessary because with two shelves you should generate enough strenght already.

Step 3: Prepare the Substrate

Mycelium is a fungus ( good fungus ) that serves as a base to grow mushrooms. Mycelium can easily be found in forests as it is there that mushrooms grow. To grow mycelium you need a substrate. The substrate is needed because it serves as nutrition for the mycelium.

The substrate is prepared by following next steps :

1. Weigh off 400 gr of hay

2. Weigh off 400 gr of hemp

3. add 40 gr of coffee

These 3 components are your substrate. You can put these three elements in a bag ( beware : the bag needs to be heat - resistant for at least 100° c). Ad a little bit of water to make the mixture slightly damp.Close the bag with a clip and let it cook for at least one hour in a pot with nearly boiling water (autoclave). This is done to kill all the bacteries in your mixture.

After that the mixture has been cooked let it fully cool.

In the following steps it will be important to work as sterile as possible to prevent contaminations of the mycelium.

Step 4: Add Mycelium to the Substrate

BEFORE YOU START WITH THIS STEP :

Desinfect EVERYTHING with desinfection alcohol. But really everything if you want this to go well (table, cooking pots, spoons, your own hands and arms, whatever that is in your neighbourhood,...).

Add some small pieces (+/- 50 gr) of mycelium to the bag with the substrate. You can crush the mycelium if you want. The smaller the pieces the better the spread of the fungus.

Shake the overall so everything gets mixed well.

Step 5: Preparing the Longboard / Pennyboard

Now take your triplex shelves. Also desinfect these shelves and the place you are gonna put them on. You need to make a kind of sandwich consisting out of layers of mycelium / wood / mycelium /wood / mycelium.

After that the totall needs to be wrapped in cling film (DESINFECT THE FILM AS WELL). Also make sure you don't use to much cling film because the mycelium needs to be able to "breath" through the film.

Close it off with tape.

Step 6: Growth Fase 1

After making the board you can let it grow for about 7-10 days in the incubator you made. After some days you should already see some results.

Step 7: Growth Fase 2

After 10 days you are allowed to unpack the board out of the film and put it in a box. Leave the board in the box until it has become fully white. Take care of the fact that the board needs oxygen you can do this by opening the box everyday for like 10 seconds just a small bit. Don't remove the full cover as the air is full with bacteria which is not good for the fungus.

Sidenote : work again as sterile as possible

- Clean the box with the alcohol

- Clean your hands

- Clean the cling film before opening it

Step 8: Bake Off the Board

When the board has fully grown you can put it in the oven for three hours at a temperature of 70 degrees. This is done to kill all the bad bacteries and to prevent having contaminations.

Step 9: Making the Wheels

The wheels are made in the same way as the longboard. To give more strength the mycelium was given an extra treatment with epoxy.

So to begin you can just follow all the previous steps. If you want to have the circular shape you can use a mould to put the mycelium in. I have 3d - printed one. You can do this ass well as I have put the STL - file in this step.

Step 10: Add Epoxy to the Wheels

Plunge the wheels in epoxy until they are full drained in the mix. Let the wheels dry for 8 hours or less/ more according to the description on your epoxy . If this has gone well this is the result you should get.

Afterwards you can provide holes M4 in the mycelium made wheels to mount your bearings.

Step 11: Finishing of the Board

I have finished the board with a black stripe of spray paint but you are fully free to skip this step or do something else to finish it off !

Step 12: Assembly of the Components

Assemble the wheels trucks and board as a normal skateboard. Job done !

It should be steady enough to carry a small child but currently i'm exploring more options to make the board itself stronger to carry bigger weights and make it fully functional !!! More to come some guysss!!!

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