Often in textbooks proteins and molecules are rendered in a way which makes them look made of colorful plastic.  Would love to do an installation of some kids room with instead of toys, hundreds of 3D printed proteins in numerous colors, strewn about floor in a complete mess.  The problem with plastic appearance is that it’s hard and static- ideally proteins would be represented in a wobbly material.  Anyway, I wanted to put my flesh colored filament to good use so I printed some biological stuff, all models via 3dprint.nih.gov


^I love the way the flesh filament looks as your peeling away support material..


^mouse retina neuron from NIH 3dprint, data by eyewire.org


Some nuclear pores.  Below: nuclear pores on an SEM image I took, 100,000x magnification.



^GFP and clathrin cage.  GFP i can never get to print well- need dissolvable support.  Clathrin is a protein which assembles into cages around vesicles forming at the cell membrane, helps with getting things where they need to go in the cell.  Below: scanning electron micrograph of clathrin cage.  SEM processing adds 2nm of gold to the surface which can dull the details of very very small things.  The image below is starting to get to the limit of that microscope- 200,000x magnification (each tick mark is 20nm).