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OpenSCAD Crystal Structure Project

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Aalto.png This page was part of an Aalto University course 3D Printing of Open Source Hardware for Science

Please leave comments using the discussion tab. The course runs in 2018. It is not open edit.

Crystal structure models are used by material science professors to help explain how structure influences properties of various materials. Some models come in self assembly kits like the molymod line [1] or molecular model company [2] that range 20-40 Euros, but more detailed models can run hundreds of Euros [3]. Some can even be thousands of euros - particularly for large scale or complex models. Ideally, anyone interested in material science could print these structures in any size or format for a few pennies.

Your project: develop an OpenSCAD script to make a 3-D printable model of the crystal structure most relevant to your research: Due Date March 13, 2018


  1. Choose structure useful for you, check on past attempts http://www.yeggi.com/
  2. Look it up- lay out geometry
  3. Make parametric SCAD model with OpenSCAD
  4. Differentiate atoms in some way (e.g. color)
  5. Select part and wire model (e.g. straws, stir sticks, filament, etc.) or print solid with fasteners (e.g. snap fit)
  6. Ensure reasonably flat base
  7. Realistic sizing- e.g. use scaling – make sure atoms are appropriately scaled to one another
  8. At least 1 unit cell
  9. Register with a free account at NIH 3D Print Exchange https://3dprint.nih.gov/
  10. Post SCAD and STL at NIH 3D Print Exchange https://3dprint.nih.gov/
  11. Print Full Color Model at FabLab on FFF 3-D printers and bring to class (Tape your name-write your name on it)
  12. Add a photo of your print with a link to your models in the gallery on the Appropedia assignment page below

Gallery of OpenSCAD Crystal Structures 2018[edit]

OpenSCAD Crystal Structures

Gallery of OpenSCAD Crystal Structures 2017[edit]

OpenSCAD Crystal Structures


Tools for modelling molecules for 3D Printing

List of Crystal Structures to Target[edit]

1. Aluminum Gallium Arsenide 2. Beryl 3. Calcite 4. Cesium Chloride 5. Diamond 6. Flurite 7. Graphite Sheet 8. Graphite 9. Ice 10. Lithium Niobate 11. Methane Hydrate Clathrate 12. Multiple - Crystal Model Kits 13. Nickle Arsenide 14. Sodium Chloride 15. Sphalerite 16. Spinel 17. Inverse Spinel 18. Quartz 19. Rutile 20. Pervskite 21. Lead Sulfide 22. Faujasite 23. Zeolite LTA 24. Zeolite LTL 25. Wurtzite 26. Silicone Carbide Alpha 27. Silicone Carbide Beta 28. Skutterudite 29. Corundum 30. Pyrite 31. Seven Basic Unit Cell Model Kit 32. Fe-Ferrum