Educational Model of A Bacteriophage

by XYZAidan, published

Educational Model of A Bacteriophage by XYZAidan Nov 22, 2014
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5155Views 1984Downloads Found in Biology


This is a hands-on 3D model of how a virus infects a cell/bacteria (virus life cycle). I designed this about a year ago during my microbiology unit in science class, but only recently got around to applying the finishing touches. It shows all stages (Attachment, insertion, Production, Assemblage, and Lysis) of the cycle.

Credit to Justin Olive for being my science teacher.


Print all parts on 10% infill, standard layer height, and WITHOUT supports and raft.

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The legs on the "large" virus aren't all touching the build plate, only two of them. Because of this the printer will try to print two of them in the air, thus failing to print properly.

I'm not sure what you're talking about, every slicer I've put it in works fine.

Tested with Cura, the center, rear and right "leg" doesn't touch the build plate. Not without supports.
Tested again with re-downloading and opened with slicer, same result. I opened with meshmixer and cut the lower part of the model to make it flat, and realigned height to bed.

Look at this picture: http://imgur.com/gallery/OstmW
This was immediately after downloading. I don't think there's an issue, and it seems like you fixed whatever problem you were having.

Yes, but you're using rafts + supports under the feet.

Without any support you can see that the center + two legs are not touching the build plate.
I printed using brim, and it only printed a brim around two legs, the others were printed in the air.

I am not using supports. The rafts only form around points that are touching the build plate. Given all the rafts form, all the legs are touching the build plate. Why are you still arguing? You fixed the problem, get on with it.

Wow... OK.

I was just trying to give some friendly pointers that the model's feet aren't touching the build plate, hence why some people are experiencing difficulties printing it.

I'm not "arguing" with you, I'm just trying to to help.

Look in Thingiview, you can clearly see it hovering:


But I'll just shut up, sorry for trying to help.

Love this design! I'm trying to make it for a Biology teacher friend, but I have a question: For whatever reason, I can't get the legs to print. I'm sure it's a setting on my machine, but I don't know how to fix it. When I print the body upright, it never gets past the first layer. When I print it upside down, even with supports, it can't print the legs - I just get strings.

Any advice? What do I need to change?

The model isn't touching the build plate on all legs, I opened with Meshmixer and removed a tiny bit of the bottom to get the legs + the middle part all at the same height. Otherwise it would start printing only two legs, and start with the rest at layer height 2-3, making strings in the air.

Strange, haven't heard of a problem like this. If your slicer has a layer viewer, it can probably give you some insight. You may also want to try putting it through a mesh repair tool, such as NetFabb Basic.

Hey Aidan,

I'm with MakerBot PR. Love your design! Were you in college when you made this? What motivated you to make the bacteriophage model? Do you know if other students ever used this?

Thank you! I originally designed this when I was in 7th grade actually. I made this to help some fellow students get a hands-on understanding of the topic. A while back I was actually
contacted by a teacher who told me he had printed my design on a Z18 and used it to help blind students learn biology.

Sorry for the late reply. I'm going to private message you to learn more about this awesome design!

Its perfect, I go print it

This is a fantastic model!