3D printing sharpens our research in protein structure and function

3D print has become a useful tool for structural biologist to explain protein structure and function, especially explain to undergraduates in the class or to our collaborators. We always want to print some structures for data explanation and discussions. Recently we had purchased a XYZPrinting da Vinci Jr Pro 3D printer and here is a quick post noting our installation and a test trial printing a ubiquitin molecule.

The printing model in STL format can be generated by ChimeraX. Instructions can be found at RCSB PDB and Chimera site. After adding “a lot” supports, we started our first print trial and here is the output. The size of print output is about 3 x 4 x 4 cm^3. Clearly some sharpening processes are needed to remove the sticky PLA thin filaments. We are very happy to have a nice 3D printer in the lab and more 3D structures will be printed in a queue.

3D print model of ubiquitin

Update: 2022, Feb. 10.

We had made a 10x15x12 cm^3 model for 3D printing. This is a RNA polymerase we recently determined by Cryo-EM. Here is a snapshot record of 3D printing.