I guess I’ll call this a toy? Seems close.
This is a DNA model / building set. I first designed it for a biology teacher at my school, but this pretty colored version was made for the fabulous @MightyMitochondria as part of the Make a Friend swap. I believe her students will get to play with it soon.
It was designed in Inkscape, made from 3mm birch plywood, cut on a Full Spectrum laser cutter, then painted with watercolors and sealed with poly finish. It was fun painting this version as I didn’t for the original.
Here’s the set:
The teacher wanted something that would work in 2d:
And then include helicase and polymerase to let them model replication:
But also work in 3d. The base is there to help it build up evenly, but once it’s up you can (carefully) pick it up and even lay it sideways. I didn’t want a center pole like a lot of 3d models have. It’s a little tricky to get them all clicked together right, but I love how it looks in the end: