3D Printed Protein
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.
- .PDB (Protein Databank) of the protein. This entry uses a protein that my brother is researching.
- UCSF Chimera (version 1.8.1 is used below)
- 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).
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.
Part 2 will show to resin encase the sandstone model for long-term durability.