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3D printing crystal structures handout for the IUCR Meeting in Montreal
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3D printing crystal structures handout for the IUCR Meeting in Montreal

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In collaboration with the University of Alabama, we are creating a public on-line repository for 3D printable structure files (.stl and .wrl). We used Jmol to prepare ~30,000 molecules and solids in …

In collaboration with the University of Alabama, we are creating a public on-line repository for 3D printable structure files (.stl and .wrl). We used Jmol to prepare ~30,000 molecules and solids in .wrl and .stl format! More information will be released at the upcoming 248th American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco, CA. See CINF Abstract # 125.

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  • 1. 3D Printed Crystal Structures at The University of Alabama Vincent F. Scalfani, University Libraries, vfscalfani@ua.edu IUCr 2014 –23rd Congress on Crystallography, August 5 – 12, Montreal, Canada Overview Over the past two years, we have been actively exploring 3D printed crystal structures. The dodecaborate anion [B12 H12 ]2– , 9-Borabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane (9-BBN), and triphenylphosphine (PPh3 ) plastic models here today were fabricated on a Stratasys Dimension Elite 3D Printer. How to Convert Crystal Structures into 3D Printable Files There are many different methods and software packages that you can use to convert crystallographic information files (.cif) into 3D printable files (e.g. stl and wrl). We have personally used Jmol, UCSF Chimera, and Python Molecular Viewer with great success. Please see the references below for a detailed explanation of the conversion process. Generally, it only takes a few minutes to convert your crystal structure into a 3D printable file. Current Efforts We have been working towards creating a community of 3D printing crystal structure enthusiasts. There is a listserv, [3DP-XTAL] hosted by the University of Alabama. If you would like to be added to this listserv, simply email me at vfscalfani@ua.edu. We are also in the process of creating a 3D printing crystal structure wiki/blog for the community. In collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry, we are creating a public on-line repository for 3D printable structure files (.stl and .wrl). We used Jmol to prepare ~30,000 molecules and solids in .wrl and .stl format! We are very excited about this project and will have more information at the upcoming 248th American Chemical Society Meeting in San Francisco, CA. See CINF Abstract # 125. Some Recent References on 3D Printing Crystal Structures (1) Scalfani, V. F.; Vaid, T. P., 3D Printed Molecules and Extended Solid Models for Teaching Symmetry and Point Groups. Journal of Chemical Education 2014, ASAP.; (2) Kitson, P. J.; Macdonell, A.; Tsuda, S.; Zang, H.; Long, D.-L.; Cronin, L., Bringing Crystal Structures to Reality by Three-Dimensional Printing. Crystal Growth & Design 2014, 14 (6), 2720-2724; (3) Chen, T.-H.; Lee, S.; Flood, A. H.; Miljanic, O. S., How to print a crystal structure model in 3D. CrystEngComm 2014, 16 (25), 5488- 5493.