The Slime Mould Collective

An international network of/for intelligent organisms

Had some fun looking at ways to compare growth habits of different strains. I've been time lapsing them every minute on plain agar with no food to get a good idea of shape. Loading the movie into imagej I tried plotting it in 3d - basically just stacking up all the images in sequence. Put on a printer I go these strange tree like objects - ignore the red stuff - it's casting sand, it didn't work and it's hard to clean out.

This is 1:1 scale in x & y and ten minutes per mm in z growth starts at the top

Turns out I chose one that would print by blind luck - the more spindly strains have too many breaks and gaps so I'll need to sieve through the data

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Hi Ian!

i'm an artist from Paris and your funwork is very inspiring for me as I'm also doing sculptures with and by Physarum.

Are you artist?  Sorry if it's already written somewhere - I'm new here. 

Happy New Year wishes to you!


Hi there and welcome! 

I'm a career scientist - microscopy but I've dabbled in metal casting and silverwork since I was a kid and love doing a bit of lapidary.

Physarum isn't something I officially research- I got it in for  lectures years ago, found it really amazing for public engagement and it's  taken over. I use the work equipment ( electron microscopes and laser scanning 'scopes ) for looking at it on quiet days - officially for publicity images but mainly because slime moulds are beautiful to look at inside ( well all cells are but myxos have weird on their side too ). Looks like I might even get a paper or two out of some of the playing

I've been directly investment casting with physarum on leaves and clay and since that makes a hell of a lot of waste ( If you know any uses of broken lumps of plaster moulds.. ) I wanted to find a way to work physarum into sand casting. I think I'm part way there but I need to smooth out the overall form so it'll come out of the sand

Another experiment - 3d model of a colony via photogrammetry 1:1 in x & y but about 10x in z to exaggerate the veins


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