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Introducing Brabosphere

Brabosphere is an OpenSource program for the 3D visualisation of molecular systems and their properties. Its name is derived from the quantum mechanical program package BRABO (developed at the Structural Chemistry Group of the University of Antwerp) for which it acts as a graphical frontend. It can also be used for the analysis and visualisation of the data resulting from this type of calculations. In that respect, results from some other quantum mechanical applications will also be accepted. For quick viewing of molecular structures, the program CrdView is being developed, acting as a replacement for Xmol and allowing command line conversion between a multitude of coordinate file formats.

Some of the most important features (See the complete list):

  • Multiplatform: Brabosphere and CrdView run on Windows, Linux, Unix and MacOS (See the complete list). Additionally they are presented using the native interface on each platform (See the screenshots for examples).
  • The use of OpenGL accelerated graphics allow high speed rendering of the molecules using features like shading, highlights and transparancy.
  • Inclusion of the OpenBabel library allows Brabosphere and CrdView to load and save in a multitude of coordinate file formats (See the complete list).
  • Molecules can be built from scratch using absolute or relative cartesian and internal coordinates.
  • Electron densities can be visualised in 2D and 3D. The 2D mode allows a detailed analysis of the resulting density map.
  • Distribution of the program and its sources is actively encouraged by releasing it under the GNU Public License.

Be sure to check out this website for more information not mentioned above, like: compilation and installation instructions, the complete annotated source code, the mailing list, the forums, submitting bugs, feature requests and support requests.


  • 19/05/2006: After almost four years of (sometimes very slow) development and a few internal-only releases, the first version of Brabosphere is finally available. Download it at the project's page at SourceForge! A binary version is currently only available for Windows. For other operating systems the source code has to be compiled. Don't forget to download the basis set files when building from source if you want to be able to carry out calculations with BRABO.

Help me out

The foundations for Brabosphere have been laid out and now you, the user, comes into play. I have heaps of inspiration (check out the roadmap), but I don't know what features are most important and should be implemented first. I could also use some help with the inevitable bug hunt. For these reasons bug reports and feature requests can be submitted. Please use these! You would help me out tremendously with my aim to make this a package of outstanding quality.


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