Projects

Projects

SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

Lee 3D in collaboration with Molecular Models, have been working with life-science researchers and scientists across the UK and beyond to bring molecular structures to life using colour 3D printing. We printed the SARS-CoV-2 spike trimer for Prof. Jason McLellan (University of Texas at Austin).

Copies of the model have been gifted to the vaccine development teams at Oxford University and  Imperial College London. These models are hugely beneficial as communication aids in public outreach.

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a key target for a vaccine against COVID-19. It is termed a ‘spike’ protein since dozens of copies of this molecule sit on the outside of each tiny corona virus; these give each virus a distinct spiky appearance – like a crown (or corona).

The spike protein is made of three protein chains (shown in red, green and blue on the model) that wind together to form a trimer. When a COVID-19 virus infects a human, the tip of each spike can interact with a human protein that is naturally present in the cell membrane of our respiratory epithelia – angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2).

The ACE2 molecule is shown in yellow and the magnets show how it can specifically attach to the spike trimer. When the spike binds to ACE2, this can lead to the virus binding and then infecting the human cell. The trimer is also covered in small sugar molecules called glycans and the biological function of these and their role in infection is still being studied.

The structure we have printed comes from cryo-EM data published by the group of Prof. Jason McLellan, University of Texas at Austin, in the journal Science in February 2020:

Wrapp et al, (2020), Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation, Science, 367, 1260–1263


A Democratic Monument – Architecture Fringe 2017


In the summer of 2017 we were approached by Adam Nathaniel Furman to produce a full colour 3D printed model for the New Typologies Exhibition at the Architecture Fringe. We captured the making of the model on film to illustrate some of the manual work associated with colour 3D printing.

“Democratic Monument is a proposal for a new kind of Town Hall for British cities. It re-groups various civic functions into one visually symbolic composition of architectural forms that reconfigure and express varying references, ornament and allusions, depending on the metropolitan area it is situated in and embodies. It is an expression of urban pride, chromatic joy, and architectural complexity.” – Adam Nathaniel Furman

Adam Nathaniel Furman Colour 3D Printing
The Democratic Monument

Designed in Rhino Serengeti (v6 WIP)
Prepared for printing in Materialise Magics
Printed on 3D Systems Projet 660
Film Credits:
Film production: Lucy Lee at Instinct Media – www.instinctmedia.co.uk
Sound by Louise Brown at Sync Sounds


Research & Development – Pigeon


As colour 3D printing specialists we have always taken an interest in data creation. We began to try out low-cost, hand held 3D scanners to see what kind of results we could achieve. We were really impressed by the results produced using photogrammetry. This led to the pigeon model that we created in 2016.

The film explores creating colour 3D data for creative communication.

The Pigeon Film 2017
The Pigeon Film 2017

Software model created using Agisoft PhotoScan
Prepared for printing in Materialise Magics
Printed on 3D Systems Projet 660
Film Credits:
Film production: Lucy Lee at Instinct Media – www.instinctmedia.co.uk
Sound by Louise Brown at Sync Sounds

Kreod – Olympic Pavilion Models

Kreod Olympic Trade Pavilions
Kreod Olympic Trade Pavilions

Kreod’s successful Trade pavilion built for the London 2012 Olympics led to a proposal for an International Trade Pavilion at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Lee 3D was asked to make models of both the London and Rio pavilions to help communicate the design evolution and final design.

Research & Development – Façade Models

Colour 3D printed facade studies
Façade Study Models

Originally developed to illustrate our book ‘Digital Craft’, these façade studies became a device for exploring brick representation using colour 3D printing.  This included changing variables such as scale, colour, brick spacing and colour application techniques. The images above show models with scales ranging from 1:100 to 1:50.

Modelled in Rhino 5
Prepared for printing in Materialise Magic
Printed on 3D Systems Projet 660

Radiant Worlds – SkySaga Characters

Colour 3D printed SkySaga figures
SkySaga Characters and Features

A series of colour 3D printed marketing models made for UK based game development studio, Radiant Worlds. This included a set of extra large models presented at Korean global games exhibition G Star.

These models illustrate great use of the colour 3D printing process.