What It Is

One of the projects during the Spring 2020 semester that the Spark Academic Innovation Hub has taken on is 3D models of viruses. Models were designed by students in the General Virology (MBIOS 442) class and created through an additive manufacturing process.

The goal for this project was to expose students to 3D design and help them to visualize the biological structure of viruses. It provides them a hands-on project and teaches them an additional skill they can add to their resumes.

How It’s Made

Students first design a model of their virus using the 3ds Max software provided to students in the Spark Design Studio. They finalize their dimensions and export the project as an STL, so it is a solid 3D object. The models are uploaded to Cura, a software that converts the 3D model into g-code, so 3D printers can read the file. The model is then printed with PLA on LulzBot TAZ 3D printers.


  • PLA


  • 3ds Max 2020
  • Cura LulzBot Edition


  • LulzBot TAZ 5
  • LulzBot TAZ 6
  • LulzBot TAZ Workhorse

If you have any questions please contact Chris Lavoie at