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DNA Playset

by emmett Feb 10, 2012
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I created a model with looser joints that should help those having trouble printing the original: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3533211
This worked great also with a faster printing speed (you'll need that to print a full genome ;))

DNA playset (looser joints)
by wavexx

I printed a small sequence to test the joints. They work, but it's a tight fit. Be sure to use a low layer height (0.2 or less) to ensure a good diameter tolerance, and adjust the first layer compensation to avoid having any sort of squash otherwise they won't join each-other.

A little more room on the backbone wouldn't hurt, so you could print at higher layer heights.
I cannot see small kids fighting to get these pieces on and off precisely.

But other than that it's beautiful :))

Tried to print it but without success. The parts do not fit in each other. The holes are too small or the noses too big, whatever you want. The prints are ok, but the parts do not fit in each other.
printing parameters: 1 perimeter (tried 2 either), perimeter thickness 0.4 mm (tried also 0.8 and 1 mm), no infill.
I used Sli3cer prusa edition.

Any ideas how to solve it?

I wished to use the model for the biology teaching, but the printed nucleotides failed to fix with each other.

The setting doesn't work for Ultimaker 3 with Cura slicer:
Top/Bottom solid layers both at 0, perimeters at 1, and infill at 0%.

Comments deleted.

Flagged you 4 times. Why the negativity?

Worked great using slic3r:
Top/Bottom solid layers both at 0, perimeters at 1, and infill at 0%.

Emmett, I know this is an old upload, but are you thinking about creating a base or stand for this? :D

Hello- I love this concept and would like to print some. However, I printed a set of A's and tried to connect the backbone but the perimeter seems to thick to fit together. Can someone help me? I'm printing on a Lulzbot Mini using Cura software and ABS filament. I turned the fill off and am just printing the perimeter. Is there another setting that I'm missing?

Great job!

For the Makerbot, the new software settings allow you to make the floor and ceiling thicknesses 0. You can set the infill to 0% as well and this will just print the perimeter. I'm running a set right now and it looks great!

It is amazing. I love it, DNA playset!

Kinda new to all of this but i wanted to start printing some of these for my classroom. I have a replicator 2. Would anyone be able to help me out with the settings? Ideally I'd want to use makerware, but I have slic3r installed and am trying to figure our the correct settings. Thanks!

More Specifically, when I export the file as an stl, makerware says the file is too large. When i export it as a gcode, makerware fails to convert it to x3g. I must be doing something wrong... but I don't know what. I have set perimeters to 1, solid layers to 0 and fill density to 0.

Layer height .2 mm, Filament 1.75, temperature 230, bed size 153 x 155, print center 76.5 x 77.5, firmware makerware (makerbot), nozzle diameter .4 mm, retraction length 1 mm, lift z 0.

If you read the other comments here, you'll find some info. However, the real answer is this is probably not going to work with Makerware. Really I should just redesign this sometime based on the modern slicers. I haven't printed any of these in a very long time.

Thanks! I was a little unclear. I read through all the comments and I was actually using Slic3r with the settings above. I then imported the gcode into ReplicatorG and converted it into a x3g for my replicator2. What happens is when I select the file to start printing, the extruder doesn't move and just sits there and keeps spitting out plastic. I can't seem to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Not sure why but my Makerbot Replicator 2 always fills the whole thing. Can you tell me what exactly the setting should be.
I have those three parameters in Makerware: Infill, Number of Shells, Layer Height.

Sorry, Makeware can't do this because you can't turn off the top and bottom layers. You'll need a more configurable slicer like Skeinforge or Slic3r. It should be possible with Makerware, using a custom profile and then manually editing their json file, but I have yet to make that actually work. This design was from long before Makerware existed.

Do you know how much of the top and bottom layer need to be sliced off in order to make the middle holllow for a MakerBot Replicator? I'm using Slic3r.

Now it makes sense. Thanks a lot. I try your advice. cheers from NZ

If you add U to the set, you can also model RNA. And adding N would allow for unknown bases (should be in both strands).

Great work! You could also suggest printing in the somewhat standard colors for each base: Green (A), Red (T and U), Blue (C), Black (G) and magenta (N and other degenerate bases). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electropherogramhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... as just an example.

Great idea!

But I'm about confused about the infill-thing. I'm using Slic3r, can someone help me out with what setting I have to use?

I belive you can just set perimeters to 1, solid layers to 0 and fill density to 0.

Tried it and...you're right, those are the correct settings for slicing! Can't wait till I get to my printer tomorrow.


Hi, im new to the thing o matic and i was wondering how i turn off the fill plug in. Any help will be apriciated!! :)

If you're using ReplicatorG, click Gcode -
gt; Edit Slicing Profiles. Then select your profile (I usually make a new one specifically for perimeter-only models) and click Edit. That opens Skeinforge, so click on Fill and then uncheck Activate Fill. Then Save All and use that profile when you generate your Gcode.

Hi Emmett: Can you give me any advice about printing this on a replicator 2 using Makerware? Should I learn ReplicatorG? If so. detailed info would be appreciated.

I made this before Makerware came out, so I've not tried it yet. It should be possible to make a custom perimeter profile though. Experiment and let us know what works.

Hey, thanks so much!


Apparently no takers on making me some for my classes

Well, one obvious solution is to get a Makerbot for your school. They're interested: http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2011/11/14/makerbot-tv-season-1-episode-11/http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2...

I'd write them a nice letter and see if they can help you out. You might also look up your local hackerspace. I'm sure wherever you are, there's bound to be someone with a 3D printer not too far away.

If all that fails, send me another message. I'm working on getting my automated build platf
orm working again, and once that's up I'll be able to print these a lot faster. I may be able to send you a box of nucleotides if you can cover my costs.

saw this first time at your apartment :) ! This thing was awesome I can't wait to get a 3d printer and make some of my own!

I'm a biology teacher and I want a set of 15!!!


I'm not in the business of selling my designs, but a couple of my other works have made it onto people's Etsy pages. Anyone interested is satisfying this demand?

Fantastic addition to Thingiverse! Can't wait to try it out. 8-)

This Thing is ridiculously cool! Great work!!

so inspiring! thanks for doing this!

This is awesome! Such a great way to learn/visualize DNA. Printing on my thing-o-matic works best if you set object first layer infill multiplier to 1, perimerter multiplier to .8 and flow rate multiplier to 1 (keeps the base layer from getting "fat"). Comes right off and snaps together. Really fun. Thanks!

I'm trying to find these options in Skienforge and I must be blind. Where are they?

I'm trying to print with PLA and I have fill turned off, it's looking OK so far but the bottom layer is very fat and makes it difficult to snap together.

You can find the first layer settings under Speed or Raft (depending on the version of Skeinforge you're using). If the first layer is too fat, it's usually because the build platform is too close to the nozzle.

Thanks for the tips. I also often print the first layer slower to help with adhesion on these thin parts (changing the feed and flow rates together). Nice print, by the way.

love it, printed some yesterday but 1.75 times bigger... I'll show it to my biology teacher that has been wondering for a bit what's a 3D printer, i bet she'll love it...

Yeah, that was my first idea too :) Will tell my little sister to take it to class ^^

Awesome, it'd be great if these managed to work their way into a classroom as a teaching tool.

Liking this a lot!