Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Getting to Know Materials at the Molecular Level and Loving It

without comments

I made silicone!  Ok, I made virtual silicone, but it’s still exciting to me.  It was a work thing, so I hesitate to go into the details of the particular need, but the exciting part is that Marvin Sketch really is as cool as I thought it was, and I was able to draw out the individual atoms of a silicone polymer chain and produce a 3D model of that chain.  And after working for years with varying kinds of silicones and studying their properties, that was just really cool for me.  I’ve never really known the chemistry side of all of these materials I’ve been working with.  I mean, I have notes somewhere about long polymer chains producing a different effect than the short ones (without looking it up, I want to say that the short ones were more brittle), but I really think that I could understand that so much better now with all the exposure to chemistry I am getting.

Oh drat, I wanted to show an image of the simple illustration you get out of Marvin Sketch, but it seems that the recent security hazards in allowing Java on a Mac (maybe this hits PCs too, I’m not sure), have my Java access shut down here at home for the time being.  Anyway, I remain enthusiastic about this tool.  And I’ll have it working from home again soon.  And here, I’ll grab an image from Custom Silicone Rubberparts to give you an idea of what I mean.  Hopefully they won’t mind because I am linking to them.

 

But yeah, we get to create models like that, which make me think about what it would take to literally make materials like that.  It all starts with the knowledge, right?

And in the meantime I shake my fist at all those hackers and spammers out there that keep mucking up perfectly good tools for the rest of us.  Java is a good tool.  There’s no reason to mess with that.  And all the spam comments I get here and even worse on my photo site, not cool.  But making silicone, virtually, or for really really real, very cool.  And all you real people who sometimes leave comments here, absolutely cool.  🙂

Written by Sara

May 22nd, 2012 at 8:54 pm

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