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Features of DRAWxtl


DRAWxtl produces a screen display of a crystal-structure diagram in real time, and also produces output files in the Virtual Reality Modelling Language (VRML) or Persistence of Vision (POV-RAY) ray-tracing formats. The openGL display can be rotated with the current view always in the generated files. In V5.0 and later, parameters of the diagram can be modified using a graphical-user interface. The VRML format can be viewed locally or across the Internet, and the viewer can rotate and/or zoom the drawing in real time. The user can generate either VRML V1.0 or VRML97 (V2.0) format. In the latter form, it is possible to automate drawings as shown in the 'wrl' files included in the distribution.

VRML97 Examples - do NOT try to display these objects unless your browser plugin is VRML97 complient.

vrml2.wrl demonstrates a self-rotating object
fcctobcc.wrl shows some of the features of a face-centered cubic to body-centered cubic phase transition
shearing.wrl shows a shear-type phase transition between edge- and corner-shared octahedra. Note: at present, DRAWxtl does not generate any of these 'live' events automatically.

The POV-RAY form, which is used to make high resolution pictures for publication, matches the orientation of the openGL and VRML objects.

DRAWxtl can make ball-and-stick diagrams with spheres or thermal ellipsoids. Anisotropic coefficients can be input as Uij, Bij, or betaij.

DRAWxtl can also make polyhedral diagrams with polyhedra of any desired shape, not just tetrahedra or octahedra. The zeolite and clathrate sample diagrams demonstrate these complex polyhedra. Note that the faujasite drawing shows not an anion polyhedron about a cation, but the 'polyhedron' of tetrahedral ions about the center of the cages. Polyhedra and ball-and-stick pictures can be combined.

The program can read structural input from CIF, CSD (the Cambridge Structure Database), GSAS, SCHAKAL, SHELX, and WIEN2K formats, as well as its own native format. In this way, the crystallographic data for complicated structures do not have to be retyped.


This program is written in highly portable C++ (V5.1) or C (V4.2) and can be built to run on a wide variety of machines including 386-based PC's, high-end workstations, and VMS systems. The only requirements are a floating-point coprocessor for PC's, a suitable compiler, and a windowing system, such as Windows 9X, XP, NT or 2000, or X Windows under Linux, Unix or Mac OS X. For PC amd Mac users, a precompiled executable is available. If you wish to run on a computer without a windowing system, a compile-time option will configure V4.2 for such a setup.


DRAWxtl is open-source software, and is free to anyone. We hold copyright on the code, and like any other piece of intellectual property, we ask that you respect our rights.

Please send comments to Larry Finger, Martin Kroeker, or Brian Toby.