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How to create a 3D model of an animal or plant cell

Updated February 21, 2017

Animal and plant cells are similar in many ways, but have distinctive differences as well. For example, a plant cell has a sturdy cell wall cover, while an animal cell has only a thin, malleable cell membrane. If you are giving a report on the differences between animal and plant cells, you can demonstrate these differences much more clearly by making 3D models of an animal and a plant cell.

Roll a pea-sized piece of red polymer clay into a sphere. This will be the animal cell's nucleolus.

Wrap enough yellow polymer clay around the nucleolus until it has a 1/2 inch layer surrounding it. This will be the animal cell's nucleus.

Cover the nucleus with a 1-inch layer of orange polymer clay. This will be the animal cell's cytoplasm.

Place three pea-sized pieces of purple clay around the cytoplasm. These will be the golgi bodies of the animal cell.

Cover the cell with another 1/2-inch layer of orange polymer cytoplasm.

Place a 1/2-inch piece of blue polymer clay onto the cytoplasm. This will be the animal cell's vacuole.

Cover the entire cell with a thin 1/4-inch layer of white polymer clay. This will be the cell membrane.

Repeat steps 1 through 5 of making an animal cell.

Place five to six pea-sized pieces of green polymer clay onto the cytoplasm. These will be the chlorophyll of the plant cell.

Cover the nucleus with another 1/2-inch layer of orange polymer clay. This will be more of the plant cell's cytoplasm.

Cover the cell with a 1/2-inch thick layer of green polymer clay. Press the cell into a cube. This will be the cell wall of the plant cell.

Slice through the middle of both cell models using a clay wire. This will open up the cells to reveal the inner organelles.

Place the pieces onto a Swiss roll tray, and bake it in a 93.3 degrees C oven for 15 minutes.

Allow the clay to cool completely before displaying the models.

Things You'll Need

  • Polymer clay
  • Clay wire
  • Swiss roll pan
  • Oven
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