7 July 2015

An English Summer is said to comprise "two hours of sunshine and a thunderstorm". Well, we did have the odd hour of sunshine — plus the hottest July day on record — and plenty of rain. But that hasn't dampened our spirits here in Oxford and we're pleased to announce some exciting news — plus a few tips to help you work more productively.

3D Printing Support

Last week we brought out our latest free CrystalMaker 9 update: version 9.2.2. This includes direct 3D printing support, letting you export the displayed structure as an STL 3D file, as supported by most 3D printers.

With this new version you can send your CrystalMaker 3D files direct to your printer, without the hassle of having to use third-party software. Even better, CrystalMaker writes compact and efficient binary STL files (so much better than bloated text files). All models are generated using Ångstrøm units, so you have a consistent basis for producing multiple models with the same relative scale.

Tip: Create Portfolios of 3D Structures on Your iPad

CrystalMaker 9 also lets you generate self-contained, fully-rotatable 3D models which can be manipulated on your iPad. Simply export a model in the COLLADA 3D format, then drag-and-drop it into Apple's free iBooks Author package. Connect your iPad to your Mac, press the "Preview" button, and you will have a new book with a rotatable 3D model on your iPad!

Apple Update Restores Multi-Touch to Yosemite!

We are delighted to report that, following extensive discussions with Apple Developer Support, the latest OS X 10.10.4 "Yosemite" update again restores "multi-touch" capability to CrystalMaker 9 and SingleCrystal 2.3.

Now you can rotate and zoom your structures using simple gestures on your trackpad. It's a real time saver - very intuitive and very interactive.

Tip: Molecule Building Made Easy

CrystalMaker 9 makes it incredibly easy to build a new molecule from scratch. Simply click away with the new Add Atom tool (shift-click to add a bond), choose new atoms from the Atoms palette, and you have a two-dimensional molecule. Choose the Transform > Relax Molecule command to optimize the 3D geometry - and optionally add hydrogen atoms with the Add Hydrogens command.

CrystalMaker 9.2 Updates

Fourteen months after its launch, CrystalMaker 9 has had its second major update. The new version adds three new file formats, support for atom vector import, improved energy modelling, more robust software installation (Windows), plus numerous productivity features.

CrystalMaker 9.2 at a glance:

This major update is FREE to registered CrystalMaker 9 users. Download your copy from our website today.

CrystalMaker 9.2 now supports loading multiple atom vector definitions from a CrystalMaker text (CMTX) file - making it easy to visualize vector fields, or provide regular input for property visualization.

Structural data can now be imported from TOPAS and DMol3 files (DMol3 includes two formats, single-molecule ".car" and multiple-structure ".arc"). Data can also now be exported to a DMol3 ".car" file.

Energy modelling has been improved with some major work on the treatment of small inorganic molecules. This should ensure that more-realistic bond lengths are generated. In addition, the Add Hydrogens command will now recognise boron and add the requisite number of H atoms.

Other changes include "Spaces"-aware Tile and Stack Windows commands (Mac), plus a new Spaces-aware Auto-Rotate-All command. Windows users will find that the installer has been streamlined and should prove more robust - thanks partly to a workaround for an issue with the LEAP Motion Controller support. Also new on Windows is the ability to resize windows larger than the current screen - useful for generating high-resolution video (up to 4K!) on a smaller screen.

Tip: Build Nanotubes, Bend Lattices

CrystalMaker 9's Selection > Bend command lets you bend a graphite sheet into a nanotube. You can use this command with any selected area and enter any radius of curvature: great for engineering bent lattices, toroidal or even helical structures.

Printed CrystalMaker User's Guide: Just $49 with FREE Shipping!

We are pleased to offer you the option of purchasing a deluxe printed edition of the CrystalMaker 9 User's Guide for just $49 with FREE shipping worldwide!

Whilst an electronic version of the same guide is provided with the program (as an Adobe PDF file, available from the Help menu), we believe many users will prefer to have a printed copy - particularly one as beautifully-reproduced as this.

This lavishly-illustrated 234-page guide is printed in full colour on high-quality paper, perfect bound and with a smooth matte-laminated cover. To order your copy, please visit our web store (this is an online exclusive). You will see the CrystalMaker User's Guide listed below the CrystalMaker order links.

Tip: Explore "Pair Distribution Functions"

CrystalMaker 9's Distance Explorer panel lets you interactively chart the range of coordinations around different atoms in your structure, with colourful "pair distribution function" histograms and detailed tables of data. This is a great way to understand the range of bond distances on a per-site basis, and the panel can be accessed via the Edit > Bonding dialog, or directly, via the Measure > Distances command.

Welcome to our Zero Carbon Website!

Following some major network disruption a few months back, we are pleased to announce that not only have we switched to a new web hosting company, but we also have a Zero Carbon website!

The CrystalMaker Software website is now hosted by UKFast, the first hosting provider to be 100% carbon neutral under BSI PAS 2060. This means you can be confident that all carbon emissions associated with the hosting of this site have been offset by renewable energy projects that reduce the use of fossil fuels. These projects are verified by The Voluntary Carbon Standard.

This move further strengthens our company's commitment to the environment - which also includes the use of electric vehicles powered by 100% renewable energy.

Tip: Spice up your Presentations with Rotating Models

Why show a picture when you can have a movie? CrystalMaker lets you generate rotation movies of any displayed structure - with a single menu command (File > Export > Rotation Movie). You can customize the number of frames and duration - plus you have full control over the video compression and output.

Our recomemndations? Windows/Powerpoint users should use AVI video; Mac users should use QuickTime and use CrystalMaker's Compression Settings panel to choose the H.264 option for optimum quality and compact file size.

See us in Boston!

We shall be exhibiting at the American Chemical Society's Fall Annual Meeting in Boston. The exhibition starts on the evening of Sunday 16 August and continues through to Tuesday 18 August. See us at Booth 1038 just behind and slightly to the right of the central ACS booth.

Tip: Edit Atom Colours

CrystalMaker lets you assign colours to your atoms, based on their site occupancy (element symbol). The colours as assigned automatically, using the active Element Table - which you can edit using the Edit > Elements command. However, you can also customize colours (and radii) using the Site Browser: you can edit settings on a per-element, or per-site basis, using the colour boxes and radii fields provided. Finally, you can also assign colours to individually selected atoms, using the Selection > Atoms > Colour command.

Order Online and Save

If you're using older, unsupported versions of our software, please consider upgrading: you'll benefit from great new features, slick new interfaces, improved compatibility with the latest operating systems - and will be able to resume receiving free support and updates. Learn more about the great new features in CrystalDiffract 6.5 and CrystalMaker 9.2 for Mac and Windows.

If you order your upgrades online, you'll also benefit from our web discount which increases the more products you order (up to 20% off).

Tip: Polyhedra Just Work!

Unlike lesser software, CrystalMaker automatically generates all coordination polyhedra for you, as part of the bond generation process: no extra work involved!

All you need to do is choose the Polyhedral model type and, if necessary, customize polyhedral styles using the Atoms pane of the Model Inspector.

If you wish to represent empty cavities by "dummy" polyhedra, you can use CrystalMaker's Selection > Make Polyhedron command, which will generate a dummy site for you, generate the requisite bonding, and let you show large cages or clusters.

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