Genspace Workshop – 3D Printing for Biofabrication

Workshop Date: December 11, 2021
Participant and Written by: Lyndsay McKay

Acknowledgements and Credits:
Instagram: @genspaceNYC, @sweeney2400
Twitter: @genspacenyc, @CsweeneyArtist

Want to grow your own furniture? How about a pair of shoes or this season’s hottest new handbag? Now we can!

In December, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop through, which explored 3D modeling & printing for biofabrication. Genspace is a nonprofit community biology lab in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York City, where anyone can learn and meaningfully engage with life sciences. It has served the area since 2009, providing hands-on STEAM education programs for youth and adults - demystifying scientific processes, and providing a platform to engage in innovative and emerging global technologies. The organization is proudly comprised of students, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs who come together to learn, create, and grow. Our instructor for the workshop was Christopher Sweeney, who is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art and Design, earning his Fine Art degree in Painting and Drawing/Art Education and a Master of Arts from University of the Arts, PA. Sweeney has been the recipient of multiple awards in Arts Education and is an ambassador for industry organizations such as MakeyMakey, Chibtronics and Morphi.


Through the course, “3D Printing for Biofabrication”, we discussed the critical steps to making 3D structures and shapes for growing biomaterials such as mycelium. The virtual setting felt immersive and accessible, and included participants from all over the globe. With an open forum and many opportunities to engage, we were provided moments to learn about the practices of other artists, fabricators, educators and more. The workshop introduced us to a computer assisted design program called Morphi, through which we began to design our own printable forms, and to support the growth of our favourite biomaterials. We walked through tutorials and processes in 3D mold making, showing the step-by-step process of making the molds with semi-flexible filament, as well as the growing times and post-growth fabrication of mycelium. We were offered entry level information and through break out rooms, we were provided time to discuss individual projects, embrace ideas, reciprocate, and engage in meaningful dialogue about eco-conscious materials and practices.

This workshop was wonderful for connecting me to new collaborators around the world, to incredible resources and most importantly, for showing me that the possibilities for creating with biomateriality are truly endless.

Image Credit
1) GenSpace Workshop – 3D Printing for Biofabrication banner image 2021.
2) screenshots retrieved from GenSpace Workshop – 3D Printing for Biofabrication, 2021.
3) Christopher Sweeney, @CSweeneyArtist/ Screenshot of artwork from GenSpace Workshop – 3D Printing for Biofabrication, 2021.