3D Printed Protein

YfiK Front

This post will demonstrate how to prepare a protein model to be 3D printed.  This will result in a .STL file for home printing, or a full-color .OBJ file that can be printed using an online service such as Sculpteo.




  1. .PDB (Protein Databank) of the protein.  This entry uses a protein that my brother is researching.
  2. UCSF Chimera (version 1.8.1 is used below)
  3. MeshLab (version 1.3.2 is used below)

Prepare the Model

These steps will convert the .PDB file into a .OBJ file that can be printed.  Stop after Step 16 if the model will not be printed in color.


Full Color Sandstone

Upload the zip file to a 3D printing service (Sculpteo produced the model below) and follow their ordering process.  Be sure to choose a full material (typically sandstone) and ensure that the preview shows the color.  If you have your own full color printer then I hope you know how to use it.

This material can be fragile, so it is not the best for models with thin supports (such as this particular protein).

YfiK Back

YfiK Top



Mono-color Plastic

Process the .STL using the normal tool-chain.  Starting options for slicing:

  • Resolution: as desired
  • Shells: 3 full shells vertical and horizontal
  • Infill: 20%
  • Support: yes
  • Brim: yes

The print time can be long.  The model below was printed at 100 microns and took ~27 hours to print.

View of the printed protein

View of the printed protein

Supports and runtime

Supports and runtime



Part 2 will show to resin encase the sandstone model for long-term durability.

  1. […] Если вас вдохновили приведённые выше картинки и есть доступ к 3D-принтеру, то напечатать самому структуру белка достаточно легко. В интернетах есть много пошаговых инструкций, вот две самые толковые и подробные: http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Print-a-Protein-Modeling-a-Molecular-Machine/?ALLSTEPS http://www.over-engineered.com/projects/3d-printed-protein […]

  2. […] 基本的には、このページを参考にしました。(単色で打ち出すのに)必要なのは、PDBの立体構造データを、フリーのソフトである UCSF Chimera で編集して.stl ファイルとして保存するだけ。結構簡単でした。 […]

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