How to Make an Animal Cell Model in 3D

Updated February 21, 2017

Animal cells are different than plant cells in that they have a cell membrane instead of a cell wall. This allows them to be more flexible and malleable inside an animal's body. To teach your students about animal cells, it is helpful to show them a 3D model, which you can create out of basic craft materials such as polymer clay. This will illustrate the parts of an animal cell more clearly.

Roll a 6-inch piece of red polymer clay into an asymmetrical ball.

Wrap a 1/4-inch layer of blue polymer clay around the outside of the red polymer clay ball. This will be the cell membrane.

Cut the ball in half with a clay knife.

Roll two 1-inch pieces of blue polymer clay into balls, then flatten them into discs.

Place one of the discs in the middle of each half. This will be the nucleus.

Roll two 1/2-inch pieces of yellow polymer clay into balls, then flatten them into discs.

Place a yellow disc in the centre of each nucleus. This will be the nucleolus.

Roll two 2-inch pieces of light blue polymer clay into oblong shapes.

Place a light blue shape inside each cell towards the edge. This will be the vacuole.

Curl two 2-inch long ropes of purple polymer clay into a spiral.

Place a spiral into each half. This will be a golgi body.

Place the animal cell halves onto an ungreased baking tray.

Bake the halves in a 200-degree conventional oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Allow the halves to cool completely. When you display the animal cell, you can place the halves together, then open them up to reveal the insides of the 3D animal cell model.

Things You'll Need

  • Polymer clay
  • Baking tray
  • Clay knife
  • Paper clip
  • Oven
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