How to build a 3D cross-section model of the skin

Written by kelly sundstrom
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When teaching students about the skin, it can be helpful to provide them with a display model of a 3D cross-section of the skin that will allow them to see the skin layers. You can make your own 3D cross-section model of the skin with polymer clay, which hardens in any conventional or toaster oven.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Polymer clay
  • Clay knife
  • Aluminium Swiss roll tray

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Press a ball of red polymer clay into a rectangle that measure 1 inch high by 4 inches wide by 4 inches long. This will be the subcutaneous tissue of the skin.

  2. 2

    Press a ball of orange polymer clay into a rectangle that measures 2 inches high by 4 inches wide by 4 inches long. This will the be dermis of the skin.

  3. 3

    Press a ball of skin-coloured polymer clay into a rectangle that measures 1 inch high by 4 inches wide by 4 inches long. This will be the epidermis of the skin.

  4. 4

    Place the subcutaneous tissue layer onto the bottom, the dermis layer in the middle, and the epidermis layer on the top to form a cube.

  5. 5

    Roll a 1-inch piece of brown polymer clay into a rope, and press in onto the side of the cube. This will be a hair inside the skin.

  6. 6

    Roll out two 1-inch pieces of red and blue polymer clay into thin ropes. Twine the ropes together, and place them at the bottom against the side of the cube containing the hair. These are the arteriole and venule.

  7. 7

    Twist a 1-inch piece of green polymer clay into a spiral shape, and place it next to the hair. This will be a sweat gland.

  8. 8

    Place the skin cross-section model onto a Swiss roll tray, and bake it at 93.3 degrees C for 10 minutes.

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