[Chimera-users] presets, python and printing

Daniel Gurnon danielgurnon at depauw.edu
Sun May 9 07:51:59 PDT 2010

Hello everyone,
My colleague and I are planning to incorporate 3D physical models into the
introductory biochemistry course at our university, and I want students to
use Chimera in the design of models. I've seen the technotes on 3D models
made by the uPrint printer (
http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/Outreach/technotes/uprint.html). We'll hopefully be
collaborating with the folks at MSOE on this, using their Z-corporation
printer. They use RasMol to design models, but the file read by the printer
is in .stl format.

Here are my questions:
1) Has anyone used Chimera to create models to be printed on a Z-corp
printer? (if yes, I'll have many more questions for you...)

2) Is it possible to define a user preset in Chimera with Python? I know
this isn't currently possible with chimera commands, and I am *just* getting
into Python now. Because students have difficulty jumping in to a project
like this if they first have to learn to enter commands at a prompt, I want
to make some presets that apply settings compatible with a 3D model; bond
thickness, colors, etc.

3)If one knew Python, would it be possible to design a simplified user
interface for Chimera? Even as simple as a pop-up window that contained the
key features I want students to have access to right away?

4) Probably the biggest drawback to using Chimera with undergrads is the
lack of an "Undo" button.  I'm guessing this is extremely difficult to
implement because of all 3rd party extensions incorporated into Chimera?
What about an option to autosave every five or ten minutes?



Daniel Gurnon, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
DePauw University
Greencastle, IN 46135

p: 765-658-6279
e: danielgurnon at depauw.edu
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