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Best Molecular Model Kit for Chemistry

CressidaCressida Posts: 139Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2008 in Parents Forum
I am looking at the molecular model kits used for Organic and other chemistry classes. There are several makers like Molymod, Princton Hall, Darling, Adams and Bacon, etc.

I have not seen or used these kits and wondered if there is one that is considered better than the others?

I don't know if size, ease of assembly, or what should be the determining facture but if any of you are into Chemistry or have used these models I'd like to find out which kit you prefer or recommend.

Also, I've found what appears to be 3D software for modeling - (maybe this is the modern version of modeling?) if anyone has used this I'd like to see any feedback on it too:

ACD/Free Stuff: ChemSketch 10.0 Freeware
Post edited by Cressida on

Replies to: Best Molecular Model Kit for Chemistry

  • rocketman08rocketman08 Posts: 1,194Registered User Member
    One isn't necessarily better than another, they're just different so it comes down to personal preference. Some have a more 'ball and stick' model with the atoms represented by large balls and bonds by different types of sticks that attach to the balls. Other models are like little tubes with an atom represented by different shapes of sticks (for example a carbon atom is a tetrahedron shaped stick figured since it has four bonds). I guess my reccomendation would be to search google for pictures the different types and then see which one looks best.

    There are computer programs available, but I don't think they can replace the old fashioned plastic models. There's just something about being able to build something and then hold it in your hand that can't be replaced by a computer screen. There are, however, some programs that will draw stuctures on the screen for use in writing reports and other documents. These are essential when writing documents since about 5 mins of trying to draw anything in Word is enough to go crazy. There is one called ISIS Draw that is, I think, free and easy to use.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Posts: 15,453Registered User Senior Member
    Cressida, are you looking for a model kit for high school classes? Depending on your level of familiarity with molecular modeling, here are several computer programs you can utilize for this purpose without paying huge $$:

    1. Check ChemDraw by Cambridgesoft - it is a chemistry drawing program and an add-on to it allows 3-D renedering of organic molecules, both space-filled and ball-and-stick that makes molecules look like those plastic kits. There should be a free trial download available and academic pricing, too.

    2. Ages ago, when I was in grad school, I bought one of the first versions of HyperChem (may be even the first version) - a neat 3-D modeling software for Windows-based PC (in those days, most programs for modeling run on very expensive Silicon Graphics computers).

    HyperChem > Home ( DNN 4.3.5 )

    HyperChem is still around, and now it can be run on a Mac, too. It might be a bit too complex for what you are trying to do.

    3. I had some good experience with ACD Labs' software in the past, too. I have not used it in years, but it might fit the bill perfectly for your use since it is supposed to be very simple to use.

    4. The plastic modeling kits can be obtained from Aldrich or any other scientific supplier:

    Molecular Models

    MolyMod molecular models

    Frankly, I have not touched a plastic model in ages, so I can not be of much help here.
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