Understanding chemical structures using Computer Aided Design and 3D printing

Photo of Rob Britton, Richard Blackburn and Charlotte Dickenson

Project Team

Icon- group of 3, animated

Charlotte Dickinson (Digital Associate)
Rob Britton (Digital Innovator)
Richard Blackburn (Digital Advocate)

Department: Chemistry



The project aims to help students understand threshold concepts around 3D chemical structures, through use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) to create digital 3D structures and 3-D prints, and using them to describe concepts.

How it works

Icon - activity (1)

Charlotte and Rob will identify key concepts that are challenging for students to understand due to the need to visualise molecules in 3D. Students will be given guidance on using CAD to develop their own models of molecules and interactions, before printing them using a 3D printer. Students will then reinforce their learning by presenting their model to peers, thereby teaching them about the molecule too.

3D printed model of transcription factor interacting with DNA strand.


Implementation in Semester 1 2019/20