How to make a 3D cell

Creating a 3D cell model can make a great science project or demonstration to help others better understand what humans and animals are made up of. Creating your own 3D cell model can be done with a few simple materials. Making a 3D cell shouldn't take more than two hours to create.

Purchase a medium styrofoam ball (about six inches). Cut out a quarter of the styrofoam ball using a knife.

Spray paint the outside of the ball with brown paint. Place it on a sheet of newspaper and allow it to dry. The brown paint will represent the cell membrane.

Cover the area that was cut out of the styrofoam ball with pink or red clay. This will represent the cytoplasm.

Roll purple clay into about a plum-sized ball. This will represent the nucleus. Cut out a quarter of this clay like you did with the styrofoam ball. Place this ball into the centre of the cut-off area of the ball.

Create another ball with clay, this one being a lighter purple or a green colour. This will represent the nucleolus. Place the nucleolus in the centre of the ball of clay for the nucleus.

Make the mitochondria using light blue clay rolled into a long string. Slowly mould the string into a zig-zag shape. Set this piece aside. Create another sphere shape with dark blue clay and then cut it in half. Place the zig-zag shape on top of this half sphere and then stick the piece of clay to the top of the styrofoam ball.

Roll tiny balls out of the light green clay. They should be about the size of peas. These will represent the lysosomes. Place the lysosomes on the bottom area of the styrofoam ball.

Mold a piece of the yellow clay into strings. Zig-zag these shapes to create the endoplasmic reticulum. Place these on the bottom area of the ball.

Create a long skinny oval shape out of orange clay to represent the golgi apparatus. Place this anywhere on the styrofoam ball.

Sprinkle table pepper all over the cell to create the ribosomes. Label each cell organelle with sticker labels.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium 6-inch styrofoam ball
  • Knife
  • Newspaper
  • Clay (pink, red, purple, light purple, green, blue, light blue, light green, yellow, orange)
  • Spray paint (brown)
  • Ground black pepper
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About the Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.