Programmatic conversion of crystal structures into 3D printable files using Jmol


A new paper that came out of a collaboration initiated at an ACS Meeting, maybe three years ago, has finally gone online. My recollection is that at an ACS CINF reception I started chatting with Vincent Scalfani. At that time I was involved with ChemSpider and he bounced an idea about 3D printing of crystal structures. I reported that we were going to host the Crystal Structures on ChemSpider (here) and Vincent even presented on it at the ACS (here, with >2000 views). But as happened on a fairly regular basis a great idea never came to fruition and the data were not put onto ChemSpider, and I left to join the EPA over eighteen months ago.

But it was still great work, and when it was made clear that the data would not see light of day the original article, written 2 years ago give or take, was adjusted to simply communicate that the data were available on Figshare here (https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3302859.v6). The peer review process gave good feedback and pretty much said “Why aren’t they on a searchable database”? Well, we tried, but Bob Hanson, JMol-hero, got to work and produced this site in a few days! Bob is incredibly productive.

Well then the paper was accepted, all is good, the data are open and the world has access to tens of thousands of crystal structures ready for printing.

The paper is available here: “Programmatic conversion of crystal structures into 3D printable files using Jmol” at http://jcheminf.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s13321-016-0181-z

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