University of illinois Urbana-Champaign

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Caffeine Molecule 3D Print

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Created 03/23/2010

Photograph of a 3D print of a caffeine molecule, created on the 3D printer in the ITG Visualization Laboratory (coin included for scale). The molecular structure of caffeine (C8H10N4O2) was obtained from a protein data bank file (.pdb) and imported into VMD software ( Using VMD, rendering options were selected and a VRML-2 (.wrl) file was exported. This VRML-2 file was imported into ZPrint software, the ZCorp 3D printer's control software, and the physical 3D print was made. Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the world. It's a physically addictive stimulant that is naturally produced in the leaves, seeds and fruits of many plants. Caffeine is commonly found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and a wide variety of over-the-counter medications.


  • Joe Lingeman , School of Art & Design , Model
  • Darren Stevenson , ITG, Beckman Institute , Photograph
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