CrystalWalk is a crystal editor and visualizer software designed for teaching materials science and engineering. Based in WebGL/HTML5, it provides an accessible and interactive platform to students and professors by introducing a simplified crystallographic approach that creates crystal structures by combining a lattice with a motif without the use of its internal symmetry.
A comprehensive set of didactic functionalities is also available, as an online content publication platform for sharing interactive crystal structures, a “didactic narratives” tool to generate interactive classes based on predefined animated sequences as well the support for advanced interaction and virtual reality technologies as Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, LEAP Motion, multi-touch devices and 3D printing technologies.
The process of development and implementation of CrystalWalk was guided by principles of free software, accessibility and democratization of knowledge, adopting state of art technologies for the development of interactive web applications, such as HTML5/WebGL, service oriented architecture (SOA) and responsive, resilient and elastic distributed systems.
A brief description of the project and CrystralWalk’s main functionalities can be seen on Dr. Fernando Bardella’s seminar presentation to Drexel’s College of Engineering students.
- Intuitive, Fast & Easy to use: Finally a software designed to be used by students with the engineering curricula in mind.
- Versatile: Create and share crystal structures online, download into your PC or have them 3D printed
- High Resolution, Photo Realistic 3D Graphics: Ideal for lectures, seminars, teaching labs, articles and posters.
- Cross-Platform: Based on WebGL, runs on PC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet or any other HTML5 capable browser.
- Open-Source: All source code and documentation is licensed under the MIT License and available to modify or extend
CrystalWalk’s key feature is its ease of use, particularly for engineering students. Different from other software, I can use the knowledge acquired from classes to create crystal structures.
With CrystalWalk I can create crystal structures and actually understand what I’m doing.
CrystalWalk has greatly improved our material science classes’ dynamics – interactive crystal structures, planes and directions are created fast and easily, leaving more time for discussions.
Main Project Team
Core technical contributors, support & codebase maintenance
- Alex Karatzaferis
- André Gomes da Silva
- Dr. Fernando Bardella
- Rafael C. L. de Moraes
- Thanos Saringelos
Research coordination & Project support
- André Gomes da Silva
- Ms. André Montes Rodrigues
- Ms. Marcos de Arruda
- Bardella, F.; Montes Rodrigues, A; & Leal Neto, R. M. “CrystalWalk: crystal structures, step by step.” Journal of Applied Crystallography 50.3 (2017)
- Bardella, F.; Rodrigues, A. M.; Leal Neto, R. M. “The use of crystallographic software as educational support to materials science and engineering curricula.” Journal of Materials Education 40 (2018). (in-print)
- Bardella, F.; Moraes, R.C.; Saringelos, T.; Karatzaferis, A.; Rodrigues, A.M.; Silva, A.G.; Leal Neto, R.M. “Architecting 3D Interactive Educational Applications for the Web: The Case Study of CrystalWalk.” Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 56.2 (2018)
- Leal Neto, R.M.; Bardella, F.; deArruda, M. “Human-Centered Design approach on Innovation, Project Management, Prototyping, and Product Development – Interview with Dr. Fernando Bardella” Drexel College of Engineering Streams (2017)
- Bardella, F., Doctoral Thesis, University of São Paulo (USP)’s Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
- Bardella, F; CrystalWalk Project Team, “GVCM/CW4P: CW4P v0.4” Computer Software
- Bardella, F; CrystalWalk Project Team, “GVCM/CWAPP: CWAPP v1.4.1” Computer Software
- Bardella, F; CrystalWalk Project Team, “GVCM/CWLY: CWLY v1.3” Computer Software
- Bardella, F; CrystalWalk Project Team, “GVCM/CWD3: CWD3 v2.2.3” Computer Software
- International Union of Crystallography (IUCR), “CrystalWalk” (IUCR)’s Crystallographic Software Database (2016)
Other Publications and Multimedia content
- CrystalWalk article on Estado de São Paulo (Estadão) a google translated version of the article can be found here
- CrystalWalk article on University of São Paulo’s Journal (Jornal da USP) a google translated version of the article can be found here
- CrystalWalk’s announcement @IPEN’s homepage
- CrystalWalk’s article @IPEN’s 60 years anniversary book
- Dr. Bardella’s seminar presentation to Drexel’s College of engineering students
- A Technical Overview of CrystalWalk’s Architecture and its main components. A more in dept CrystalWalk’s technical documentation can be found HERE
- Want to deploy your own CrystalWalk instance? Here is a step by step instructables of how to fork and configure CWLY and CWAPP
- CrystalWalk Software Requirements Specifications (insert from Bardella’s PhD Thesis in PT/BR)
- How CrystalWalk compares against other Software, based on Requirements Specifications criteria (insert from Bardella’s PhD Thesis in PT/BR)
- CWD3 is a dynamic data visualization platform built to gather insights and support the systematic review analysis of the crystallographic software. Source code and data is available at the official project page.