I am interested in generating crystal structure images for my own research. I came across very cool and professional graphics:

enter image description here

Can someone please suggest some software to produce similar graphics (including the shadows behind the atoms)?

I should have contacted the owner directly, but I could not find any contact details on the website.

  • Yes, Blender and Maya might be options, but there are others out there. Searching for chemistry, medicine, generating molecules models will give you some options. They can be a little fiddly to find, but they do exists. Also, there is a possibility that you might be able to do this in SketchUpPro.
    – benteh
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55
  • If you want to do it in Blender and you have any questions, there is community here in SE: blender.stackexchange.com
    – Yisela
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


Judging by the ambient occlusion and reflections, this looks like it has been created using 3D modelling software like 3ds max, or Maya. However those are both industry-leading software packages and cost a lot (trust me). You might be better off trying to find a free solution, like Blender, or mimicking the effect in an illustration program like Adobe Illustrator.

I hope this helps! :)

  • 1
    Just to mention, Inkscape is an open source Illustration program. inkscape.org/en
    – Jenna
    Commented Apr 17, 2014 at 13:42

Looks like 3D software, free one is Blender

Example of complex structures

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