A model of the crystal structure of Zn4O(BO2)6



detail of a Beevers model

Detail of a model


A molecular model of (VO)2P2O7

Crystal structure model of (VO)2P2O7



Our standard scale molecular models: "Beevers Models".


By Liam Quin - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="http://www.fromoldbooks.org/pictures-of-old-books/">Quin, Liam: “Pictures of old books” (2003)</a>, Public Domain, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1015155">Link</a>


molecular models of fullerenes and a buckytube

Applications of our models


New and bespoke molecular models and crystal structure models

New and bespoke structures



Models with extra features




Model kits

Our standard molecular models are known as "Beevers models" after their original designer, Arnold Beevers. The models are built from spheres of acrylic plastic in a wide range of opaque and transparent colours, which are individually drilled and joined by polished stainless steel rods. The scale is precisely 1cm = 1Å, a magnification of exactly 100 million (The scale for protein models is normally 1cm= 2Å).  At this scale the resulting crystal structures, mineral models, geological models and molecular models are perfectly sized for use in small-group teaching, displays, and presentations, as they provide excellent detail but in models that are still small enough to handle. If you want a larger crystal structure, containing more atoms, the resulting model can be absolutely stunning and eye-catching, but without taking up huge amounts of space (unless you want it to!). Literally any molecular structure or crystal lattice can be made in this way, with an accuracy that is impossible to recreate using standard molecular model kits. The drilling of each ball is individually calculated and processed, resulting in the most precise and accurate physical models that are routinely available.


Our catalogue, and why it's not exhaustive


Starting with the crystallographic file for the material, the drilling of each ball is individually calculated and processed, resulting in the most precise and accurate physical models that are routinely available. At the present time, we have designs for around 2000 models of all types, from mineral structures, through inorganic and organic materials and into mathematical and crystallographic models. be aware that we are able to make any crystal structure or molecule , providing either we or you have access to an appropriate crystallographic file. Please browse through our catalogue, or use our search facility to quickly locate the compounds that interest you.


We make all our models to order - so, whatever you purchase is rarely taken from a stock shelf, and we are always free to construct the model exactly as you want it made. That means that we can take a structure from a cif, xyz, or pdb file and design that exact structure, with as many unit cells represented as you want. While we have standard colours for our molecular models, you are free to have your model made in whatever colour combination you prefer. If you cannot see the material that you want listed in there, or if you want any additional features in your model, please contact us - we pride ourselves on not only giving the customer what they want, but offering them things that they never realised that they could have.


Beevers models as kits?

We are occasionally asked whether we can supply Beevers models as self-build kits for people to assemble themselves. Often this is done to try to reduce costs, occasionally because people simply want to build the model themselves. We realise that people have limited budgets and want to get as much as they can for their money so, if your budget is tight, it is always worth speaking to us to see if we can reduce the costs for your model(s).

So, does it save money to buy a model in kit form? Almost always, the answer is a resounding "no". If your motivation is to save money, we generally advise against buying Beevers models in kit or self-build form, as that almost always ends up costing more. Because they are difficult to assemble, and because it is so easy to make mistakes and to lose or break parts, this means that when we supply a kit, we have to provide more balls than we would make for ourselves. In a simple model with one type of atom, such as diamond, that's not a problem, but, in a complex mineral, it can easily mean including forty or more additional atoms just in case someone makes a mistake with one of them. That adds to the costs - sure, we can leave the extra balls out, but we can guarantee that you will need at least one or two spares, and it is much cheaper for us to make the spares at the same time as other balls of the same type. Think you won't make a mistake? Well, in some particularly difficult models, we expect to break around 10% of the balls during construction - and that's with decades of experience behind us. So, yes, you almost certainly will make a mistake and need at least one or two of those spares. The most difficult mistakes to deal with, though, are when someone misidentifies a hole in a ball, joins it to the wrong neighbour and continues to build the model. In this case, the error may only become apparent after many balls have been added, and it can be incredibly difficult to identify the offending ball. In the worst cases, people are forced to give up and ask to return the models for us to complete - frankly, it is almost always quicker for us to start again. So, you end up paying twice for one model. Just in case you think we're trying to dissuade you from buying the models in kit form in order to save money, you're right. We are - because 95% of the time, it doesn't save money.

On the other hand, we fully appreciate that you might wish to build your model for yourself for the satisfaction - it's why we work here, because seeing something stunning grow as you assemble it is undeniably rewarding. So long as you are aware that it really is not as easy as you might think, we are happy to do this, and we'll give you every support - you won't save any money, but you will (hopefully) have made the model yourself. But, until you are well practiced, you need to be prepared for stabbing your fingers with 1mm steel rods (which is incredibly painful), for breaking the acrylic balls, mis-identifying which hole is which in a ball, and all sorts of other mistakes. Beevers models are largely designed for display or teaching specific crystallographic or structural concepts, and so they are not designed to be taken apart and rebuilt, and they are nowhere near as easy to construct as normal model kits. But, if you're up for a challenge, just let us know.


a stunning molecular model of antigorite, showing the corrugations in the layers

A crystal structure model of Aluminium Nickel Yttrium alloy

Crystal structure model of the alloy AlNiY


A structural model of Cobalt Mercury Thiocyanate

Crystal structure model of Cobalt Mercury Thiocyanate


Model of epitaxial growth of GaN on Al2O3

Epitaxial growth of GaN on Al2O3