Rhinestone and 3D Print Molecule Necklaces




About: Instructables Community Manager - I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

I was looking at some projects on the site the other day and saw a laser cut Serotonin necklace and thought it would be fun to make a 3D printed version that also has rhinestones! I fiddled with the design until It came out just the way I wanted it and this is the results! I thought Serotonin was a good molecule for this project but decided to branch out and so far I have also made Dopamine, Adrenaline, GABA, and Caffeine. I'll talk a little about each molecule in Step 2.

If anyone is interested in the designs with holes instead of inserts for Rhinestones, let me know. It should be a fairly quick and easy process to adapt the design for that.

If you are interested in molecules but not as necklaces, check out these molecule ornaments.


I'm also selling these necklaces on Etsy! Check them out :) Serotonin - Dopamine - Adrenaline - GABA - Caffeine

Instructable 290

Step 1: Supplies and Files

For Printing:

For Jewelry Making:

Step 2: Designing the Molecules

I used Tinkercad to design the molecules and it was a very finicky process (not because of Tinkercad but because of the way I wanted the design to look).

I started by designing the parts I needed to make it. This consisted of an oval cylinder and a cylinder with a cone cutout for a rhinestone. I used an oval cylinder for the connector pieces because I didn't want those pieces to just be normal rectangles, I wanted to soften it up a bit and give it some more detail.

In order to get the dimensions about right, I started by bringing in a basic design of the molecule and then scaling it to the length and width I wanted. When I had that, I took my starting pieces and started putting it together. Above you can see how I worked to get the 3 piece intersections and 2 piece intersections to make sure the corners and joins all looked right. Once I finished a design, I constantly exported it and brought it into the slicer to find any errors. Then I went back to Tinkercad and made alterations and repeated the process until I had the final design I wanted.

Since some of the molecules were similar, when I could, I worked with a finished design and altered it to make the new design such as Dopamine and Adrenaline.

I ended up making:

  • Serotonin - well-being and happiness
  • Dopamine - reward-motivated behavior (also sometimes considered the pleasure-seeking molecule)
  • Adrenaline - causing increased heart rate, it is the molecule of energy
  • Caffeine - is a psychoactive drug, known for causing awakeness
  • GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) - reduces excitability / anti-anxiety

Step 3: Print!

I didn't really do anything special for printing except for the 100% infill to make them as sturdy as possible.

Step 4: Gluing

Start by gluing the rhinestones in their spots. Tweezers make it easier to put the rhinestones down on the glue.

Step 5: Assemble the Necklace

Make it however you want, but for mine, I took two pieces of fine chain at about 6.5" long and connected them to the molecule using the 4mm jump rings.

On the other end of the chains, I attached the larger jump ring to one and the clasp to the other.

Step 6: All the Molecules!

Any other molecules you think would make cute pendants? Share your ideas :)

Step 7: Serotonin

Step 8: Dopamine

Step 9: Adrenaline

Step 10: Caffeine

Step 11: GABA



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    14 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago on Introduction

    I don’t know what a sugar molecule would look like, but it would be a way of letting someone know that they are “ sweet. “

    1 answer
    Penolopy Bulnickwaynew89

    Answer 3 months ago

    It looks like Sugar or Sucrose would be a little too big, but I'm sure it could be done and would look great :)

    Dr H

    6 months ago

    Great idea!
    Are these Rhinestones also available in colors? Then one could use e.g. white ones for oxygen, blue ones for nitrogen, yellow ones for sulfur, green for chlorine and so on. In addition, one may also use copper filament for aromatic and silver for aliphatic parts of the molecules. I guess I will try to construct A, G, C and T in the holiday break.

    1 reply
    Penolopy BulnickDr H

    Reply 6 months ago

    I think you should be able to find rhinestones in different colors too. I think color coordinating would look really neat :)

    Owl Trained ED Doc

    6 months ago

    I have very little 3-D printing experience, but with these molecules, there is a isomeric structure (chair - L&D isomers, boat) that is more complicated that the 2-D representations shown here. Is there anyway for the print to come off the plate when printing?

    My 3-D printing experience is limited to the handheld 3-D pen.

    1 reply

    You can build up more from the plate, it really just depends on what you want to do. Though, you'll probably need support material if you build up at low angles.

    You can certainly make these more complicated, I was going for more of a basic represenation to give it an easy and clean design :)


    6 months ago

    Beautiful! I really like this 3D printed jewelry series you are publishing (I am thinking about the constellation necklace, the 3D print on tulle fabric, the Halloween jewelry...)! Very creative, I'll probably use these ideas to make some gifts!

    1 reply
    Penolopy BulnickMatlek

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you! I'm glad you are enjoying the projects and I hope they help with your making :)


    6 months ago

    Ha ha. Excellent collection. How about a bit of morphine to round off a "Dirty (half) Dozen"
    You could have the necklaces coated in trace solutions of these substances and your skin would absorb them bit by bit!!!!

    1 reply
    Penolopy BulnickFOOD by Lyds

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thank you! Yeah, caffeine is fun, I wasn't sure how many rhinestones to add to it, but I'm happy with how it turned out :)