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3D Printing

3D Print: Hemoglobin

Download curated files for 3D printing.

3D Model Information

Hemoglobin 3D model view
PDB structure used to generate the model file: 4hhb

Model generated with: MolecularMaya/Autodesk Maya

Model physical size (in mm): 71.6 x 62.3 x 57.9

Download 3D Print File (.stl)



Heme 3D model view
Additional Models: Heme ligand

Model generated with: MolecularMaya/Autodesk Maya

Model physical size (in mm): 8.2 x 18.1 x 15.8

Additional: Each hemoglobin subunit contains one heme molecule. Print this model 4 times to assemble the complete structure.

Download 3D Print File (.stl)

Sample print

Hemoglobin with Supports
Hemoglobin Model Size

Printed on: Ultimaker S3

Model material: PLA

Support material: PVA (water soluble)

Output scale: 100% for hemoglobin, 85% for heme to create an offset for fitting parts

3D Print and Structural Features of Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin model

Image 1

Hemoglobin model

Image 2

Hemoglobin model

Image 3

Hemoglobin transports oxygen in our blood. The protein changes shape based on its oxygenation state with this model (PDB structure 4hhb) capturing the oxygen-free state. PDB structure 3A0G is an example of oxygenated hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin comprises four chains, 2 alpha and 2 beta, encoded by different genes (alpha: HBA1 or HBA2; beta: HBB). The model features distinctive ridges that allow for easy identification of these chains. The alpha subunits were hand-painted in darker red on the model. Each subunit contains a pocket to hold one heme (Image 1).

The heme is a ring-shaped molecule that binds oxygen to its central iron atom. In the example shown, each of the heme molecules was modeled using a piece of pipe cleaner and a 5 mm melty bead to represent the iron (Image 2).

A file for printing the hemes is provided, but the pipe cleaner models are easier to put in and out for demonstrations (Image 3).