How to make a 3D model of the large intestine

Written by dawn marcotte
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How to make a 3D model of the large intestine
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

Food travels through the body in the digestive system as it is broken down and changed into fuel for use by the body. It reaches the large intestine last, where water that remains after digestion is removed. This helps regulate the body’s hydration. The large intestine also removes the waste that the body does not use.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Digestive track diagram
  • Styrofoam sheet
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • White modelling foam
  • Black marker
  • Knife
  • Coloured clay
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Pins

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  1. 1

    Lay the styrofoam sheet on a flat surface. Trace the outline of a torso, leaving at least 2 inches on each side of the styrofoam. Trace an outline of the large intestine, small intestine and stomach as indicated by the diagram. Cut out the long intestine diagram with the utility knife. This should leave an open space along the left side, across the middle and down the right side of the styrofoam sheet.

  2. 2

    Roll the white modelling foam into a snake shape that is long and wide enough to fill the space of the large intestine diagram previously cut. Shape the foam to mimic the bumpy surface of the large intestine.

  3. 3

    Insert the foam snake into the styrofoam sheet so that it extends out the front of the sheet. Draw a black line across the front of the foam to divide it into the Cecum, Ascending Colon, Transverse Colon, Descending Colon, Sigmoid Colon and Rectum. Follow the diagram to accurately draw the lines.

  4. 4

    Remove the white foam from the styrofoam sheet and lay on a flat surface. Measure a 2-inch length of the transverse colon, and cut that area in half horizontally. This will expose a length of colon for modelling the interior of the large intestine. Hollow out this 2-inch area of the foam. Discard the top half as it will not be used.

  5. 5

    Choose one of the five colours of modelling foam to represent each of the following structures: Serosa, longitudinal muscle layer, circular muscle layer, submucosa and mucosa. Make a flat section of the serosa colour that will fit inside the entire length of the 2-inch cut area. Make a flat piece of longitudinal muscle that is ¼ inch shorter, and lay this on top of the serosa layer. Make a flat piece of circular muscled that is ¼ inch shorter than the longitudinal muscle and lay on top of the longitudinal muscle. Make a flat piece of submucosa that is ¼ inch shorter than the circular muscle and lay on top of the circular muscle. Make a flat piece of mucosa that is ¼ inch shorter than the submucosa, and lay it on top of the submucosa. This will form the model of the inside of the large intestine.

  6. 6

    Place the completed model back into the styrofoam sheet with the coloured foam facing the front. Label each structure with a small piece of paper and attach to the styrofoam or modelling foam with a pin.

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