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ERIC Number: EJ1166998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
MolPrint3D: Enhanced 3D Printing of Ball-and-Stick Molecular Models
Paukstelis, Paul J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v95 n1 p169-172 Jan 2018
The increased availability of noncommercial 3D printers has provided instructors and students improved access to printing technology. However, printing complex ball-and-stick molecular structures faces distinct challenges, including the need for support structures that increase with molecular complexity. MolPrint3D is a software add-on for the Blender 3D modeling package that enhances the printability of ball-and-stick molecular models by allowing the user to selectively split molecules into fragments. MolPrint3D adds pins to the bond and holes in the atom at selected junction points to allow the fragments to be printed independently and assembled. This approach significantly minimizes the number of support structures needed and enables the construction of large macromolecular structures as ball-and-stick models. The MolPrint3D pipeline is described, and several examples demonstrate how improved printability can provide new tools for enhancing student interaction with 3D models.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DMR1149665