A-form RNA Helix Stand

by codygeary, published

A-form RNA Helix Stand by codygeary Feb 7, 2013
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4104Views 609Downloads Found in Biology


This is a molecular model of an RNA helix. RNAs are transcribed from DNA in the cell and are important to many cellular processes.


This will require support material to print properly. It's also available on Shapeways to print (at cost, no markup) if you do not have the ability to print this at home.

If people are interested I can try to make another version that has small bars in between the base-pairs to allow it to be printed without dissolvable support. (but I don't own a 3D printer so I'd need a volunteer to test it out).

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Hi Cody, great model. Which PDB did you use for that?

Is there a way you can make these files from xyz or PDB molecular coordinate files?

Yes! It's actually quite easy to generate surface files from PDB coordinates.

There is a nice little tutorial of how to generate surfaces from PDB in the program UCSF-Chimera (which is what I used here).

The more difficult part was creating the little stand, which I made in Google Sketchup, and then aligned to the outputted PDB surface from Chimera in Meshworks.

I'd love to try to print this on a Makerbot. If you want to add the support bars, I'd be happy to give it a go.

Cool! I have been studying the requirements for makerbot models a little closer, and I might have to really redesign this to make it printable. One idea is to make the bases thicker so there isn't a gap between them. I will try to do it when I get a chance. :-)

Also, I will be posting a DNA helix model soon as well.