Atomic Orbital Collection

by chemteacher628, published

Atomic Orbital Collection by chemteacher628 Dec 12, 2015

Educational Thing


This is a set of atomic orbitals. The basic design was adapted from BlendeLabor's probability shapes. The files include plans for all of the s, p, d, and f orbitals as well as a connector which can be used to hold all three p orbitals together. The orbitals are great models for showing students what the orbitals look like in three dimensions. They can also be used to show the geometry in bonding, especially when discussing pi and sigma bonds, using the combined p orbitals.

This project contains all of the orbitals that I have made in one place. The orbitals can be found as operate files on Thingiverse as well.

Print Settings


Da Vinci Jr.








Rafts should be used to help stabilize the orbitals as they print. Supports are not needed. Printing the orbitals with 0 infill works well. If you would like them to make them a little sturdier 5% also works.

A little hot glue also helps to keep the orbital connections together.


Overview and Background

Students should already be familiar with the concept of probability densities. They should also know that electrons behave as waves and therefore we cannot know their exact positions. The idea of what an orbital is should already have been presented.

Students will be able to describe the three-dimensional shapes of atomic orbitals.

Students will be able to describe the various ways orbitals can line up in order to form single, double, and triple covalent bonds.

Lesson Plan and Activity

These models are designed to be used as manipulatives to help students understand the three-dimensional shapes of the atomic orbitals. They can be introduced in a variety of ways so there is no one specific activity they are designed for. I have found that I have often reached for them in class whenever I reference the orbitals, types of bonding, and relative reactivity of bonds. They have also been very useful in upper level chemistry classes when describing sigma and pi bonds, as well as hybridization.

They can also be used in combination with my hybrid orbital models:http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1239504

Materials Needed

No other materials needed besides the models.

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