Tuesday, April 25, 2006

nanoENGINEER-1, alpha 7 release

The Nanorex team is proud to announce the release of nanoENGINEER-1 Alpha 7, the seventh major release of nanoENGINEER-1. This is the first major release since Alpha 6 was announced on August 17, 2005. Alpha 7 has many improvements and new features.


Alpha 7 now includes a new Undo/Redo system making it easy to undo accidental changes to models.

Simulator/Minimizer Improvements

The nanoENGINEER-1 simulator and minimizer have undergone major revisions since Alpha 6. A7 introduces our new and improved molecular force field. We have expanded the list of parameters from our initial testing set to include more atoms and bond types from among the main group elements. It is our intent to have all possible bond types for the first three rows of the main group of the periodic table (B-F, Al-Cl, Ga-Br, and H with all chemically possible combinations of single, double, and triple bonding) accounted for with the completion of the simulator work, except for bond torsion terms, which are planned for Alpha 8. Once this initial set is complete, we will welcome requests for other bond types.

To ensure the accuracy of the minimizer and, consequently, our new molecular force field model, we are developing tests which compare the minimizer output to quantum mechanical results performed at the same high level of theory (B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p)) as the force field itself. These tests have been run on a variety of small structures to cover as many of the force field parameters as possible.

Improved Modeling Interface

Making nanoENGINEER-1 easy to learn and use is one of our highest priorities. With Alpha 7, building models has never been easier and more intuitive. Chemists using commercial molecular modeling programs such as Chem3D, Spartan or Accelrys will find nanoENGINEER-1 a breeze and enjoy its ability to manipulate large chemical species just as easily as small molecules. Mechanical engineers experienced with traditional CAD programs like SolidWorks or Pro/ENGINEER will feel right at home creating and viewing models even though their knowledge of chemistry may be limited.

Wiki-based Help

A new Wiki web site for nanoENGINEER-1 hosts a set of on-line Help pages that can be accessed by pressing the F1 Key while the cursor is hovering over objects in the nanoENGINEER-1 user interface. Users are able (and encouraged) to create a Wiki user account and add or edit the Help pages themselves. We anticipate that over time the Wiki will become an invaluable resource for users of nanoENGINEER-1.

Improved Graphics

Graphics quality and POV-Ray support has been improved significantly. We’ve included animation when switching between views, specular highlighting and improvements to the general graphics and lighting control system that give nanoENGINEER-1 a professional luster it lacked in previous versions.

Nano-Hive Support

nanoENGINEER-1 can serve as a general purpose molecular modeling front-end to Nano-Hive, a nanospace simulator written by Brian Helfrich. Working together, nanoENGINEER-1 allows users to interactively define, calculate and visualize 2D electrostatic potential (ESP) images of molecular models. To see an example of this new capability, check out the ESP Image jig in the nanoENGINEER-1 Gallery.

Mac OS X

Alpha 7 does not yet work on Intel-based Mac systems. We are working on this and hope to support Intel-based Mac systems in the coming weeks. We also just discovered a problem plotting nanoENGINEER-1 simulation trace files using GNUplot on Mac OS X. We will be fixing this problem in the next day or two and posting a new MacOS install package in the Download Area.

1 comment:

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