How To Make An ATP Synthase Model

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ATP Synthase Model

The following describes the steps and materials needed to make a working ATP synthase mollecule


1 piece of white foam poster board.

7 one inch circular magnets

1 bag of small bells (metal)

1 small remote control car (optional, needed to make electronic model) (warning some remote control cars are not powerful enough to spin the model.



Cut two circular pieces of foam board (must be the same size and approximately four inches in diameter.

Cut a long strip of foam board (about four inches wide and the length should be equivalent to the circumference of the two circles).

Make a four inch in diameter tube out of the strip of foam board and glue the two circles on as end caps to create a cylinder.

Use an exacto knife to cut seven half-inch horizontal slits equidistant and parallel from each other around the cylinder.

Place seven circular magnets horizontally oriented into each of the half inch slits previously cut.(The majority of the magnets should protrude out of the cylinder parallel to the end caps of the cylinder.

Glue seven half inch wide strips of foam board in between each of the magnets. (The foam strips should be glued slightly higher on the cylinder than the magnets. This should create a consistent ring of alternating magnets and foam strips around the entire cylinder).

Cut one Hexagon (slightly larger than the two circles previously cut) out of the remaining foam board.

Cut a hole in the center of the foam hexagon. (The whole must be slightly larger in diameter than that of drive wheel of the remote control car.

Attach the remote control car so that the drive wheel is slightly protruding from the hole cut in the hexagon (I prefer to remove the front end of the remote control car so that it can fit on a smaller hexagon.

Once your car is attached, cut another long piece of foam board (about 4.5 inches wide).

Glue the strip of foam around the outside of the hexagon so that a 3D hexagon is created. (Once this step is completed you may want to add extra support to keep the car in place.

Glue the drive wheel protruding from the hexagon to the center of the previously created cylinder. ( I use spacers to raise the cylinder, but they are not necessary).


Make a vertical tube facing upward to work as a hopper for the bells. The exit of the tube must be lined up with the rotating magnets. One side of the tube must be cut allowing bells attached to magnets to exit, but it can not allow bells on top of the foam pieces to exit.

Make a down tube or exit tube on the opposite side of the hopper which knokes the bells of the magnets after they have completed a full rotation. The bells must rotate towards the exit tube. (Steps 14 and 15 will take some trial and error, do not get discouraged).

Decorate and enjoy.