Augmented reality with tangible auto-fabricated models for molecular biology applications

Alexandre Gillet, Michel Sanner, Daniel Stoffler, David Goodsell, Arthur Olson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

40 Scopus citations


The evolving technology of computer auto-fabrication ("3-D printing") now makes it possible to produce physical models for complex biological molecules and assemblies. We report on an application that demonstrates the use of auto-fabricated tangible models and augmented reality for research and education in molecular biology, and for enhancing the scientific environment for collaboration and exploration. We have adapted an augmented reality system to allows virtual 3-D representations (generated by the Python Molecular Viewer) to be overlaid onto a tangible molecular model. Users can easily change the overlaid information, switching between different representations of the molecule, displays of molecular properties such as electrostatics, or dynamic information. The physical model provides a powerful, intuitive interface for manipulating the computer models, streamlining the interface between human intent, the physical model, and the computational activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Visualization 2004 - Proceedings, VIS 2004
EditorsH. Rushmeier, G. Turk, J.J. Wijk
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE Visualization 2004 - Proceedings, VIS 2004 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 10 2004Oct 15 2004

Publication series

NameIEEE Visualization 2004 - Proceedings, VIS 2004


OtherIEEE Visualization 2004 - Proceedings, VIS 2004
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


  • Augmented reality
  • Molecular modeling
  • Molecular visualization


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