Showing posts from 2015

Education series: Aquaporin

Everyday proteins - this is Aquaporin
Did you know that our kidney processes over 100 litres of water everyday? Under normal cell functioning conditions, a typical cell membrane will not be able facilitate so much water through the cell. Cells in the kidney need a special transport protein called Aquaporin to facilitate rapid transport of water in and out of the cell so that the kidney can perform its function in water reabsorption.

Structure Aquaporin is a tetrameric protein that consists of four identical monomers. Each monomer has six transmembrane α-helices arranged in a right-handed bundle and orient themselves alongside the other monomers to form four water channels (Fig. 1). The 3D printed model is obtained from the Protein Data Bank (PDB ID: 1FQY) and can be downloaded from our Thingiverse page.

3D Models To highlight the uniqueness of this protein, download and print a 3D model for yourself or your class. As you rotate the model, notice t…

Education series - Discover Insulin

Everyday Proteins - Let's take a closer look at insulin
In our last blog, we learned how to to download a protein PDB file and convert it into a STL format suitable for 3D printing. Now here is your chance to start exploring the wonderful world of proteins. Let us print our first everyday protein - Insulin.


An essential hormone in our body that regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Insulin is produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells and is regulated in our body to ensure a balanced glucose levels. Too high or too low levels of glucose in our body can result in conditions known as hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. 

(1) Go to the protein database website (
(2) Search for 1TRZ
(3) Download the PDB file and follow steps from the previous tutorial
(4) Print your first insulin molecule and let's start exploring this fascinating molecule together

3D Printed View
Here is a 3D printed insulin molecule and pictures from front and back view.

Education series: Discover proteins with 3D printing

Welcome to the first mini-series of educational blogs with 3D printing. In Discover Proteins, you will learn how to download and print complex 3D molecules such as proteins.

Start exploring unique structures of proteins using your 3D printer. 
In this mini tutorial, you will see how easy it is to do this. With the ease and convenience to print pretty much any structure you can find in the protein database, there is really so much you can do for your classroom in this amazing field of science. Get the kids excited to learn more about the protein by exploring their 3D structures and let them feel, hold and visualize the proteins in their hands.

In this blog, I have printed the hemoglobin molecule as a demonstration. It is really quite easy to download the files, convert them and send them to the 3D printer. This is a good opportunity for young kids to explore and learn about the World Wide Protein Data Bank (, there is so much information that they can find here. Follow the…

SE3D wins SBIR Grant

We are thrilled to announce that SE3D Education was recently awarded the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for 2015. The team at SE3D Education would like to take this opportunity to thank National Science Foundation (NSF) for giving us this opportunity to develop new technology for education.

This project will commence in 1 January 2015. Keep posted for more updates.