Actin filament construction set
by destroyer2012, published
Actin is a protein involved in maintaining a cell's shape, as part of what's called the cytoskeleton. Actin exists as monomers, but certain conditions (like the actions other proteins, or the presence of certain salts) cause the monomers to stick together and create these long, helical filaments.
Read more about actin here rcsb.org/pdb/101/motm.do?momID=19
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Did you print it in the orientation I provided or did you turn them sideways? My pegs are super strong because they are printed parallel to the layer planes.. I don't think I've ever broken one.
The reason why I didn't go for an asymmetric peg is because i think then you are more likely to break it. At least this way if you get the rotation wrong you can just take them apart and try again. My next iteration of these will probably involve magnets though
Very nice! We printed a couple, but we did notice that the little pegs tended to break off easily, and it takes a while to figure out how to assembled the monomers into a filament. Perhaps a slightly larger and asymmetric peg might be useful.
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Print many monomers and then put them together to make a filament! You'll need at least three before the filament structure becomes stable (Just like the real thing!) and then it's easier to add more to the plus end than the minus end (also realistic).
EDIT (9/20/2013) There seems to be some confusion as to the orientation you should print the monomer in. I have tried many other orientations and this one is the best in terms of strength, surface quality, and support effectiveness. Do not rotate it or you will get a worse model.
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