MLM 3D is a young enterprise for scientific visualization.
Since my first encounters of large biological molecules rendered in popular science magazines I was mesmerized by their complexity and beauty. At the same time personal computers became available with monochrome screens and rudimentary graphic capabilities. I remember watching a wire mesh representation of the space shuttle turning in 3D over and over again on my father’s Apple II.
I studied biochemistry with a focus on physics and crystallography and did my thesis on the large machinery that degrades the cells proteins – the proteasome. Later I worked on the structure of the even larger machinery that builds all proteins in the cell – the ribosome – using 3D cryo electron microscopy.
Though my fascination for macromolecules and computer graphics is still growing I decided to start MLM 3D. I have helped fellow scientists occasionally with graphical work and animations during my spare time but now I can offer professional services to the science and biomedical community.
Still I devoted the night time to CGI ‘research’ – to ray trace algorithms and global illumination solutions and the never ending struggle with data formats and data conversion. My primary tools are Cinema 4D and Softimage combined with a broad spectrum of additional rendering systems.
And no, there is still no rendering solution that fits for all situations. Whether you are aiming for a surface with real life glass qualities or a cartoon like representation of a structure you have to use different tools to get convincing results.
Recently I focused on 3D scanning and 3D printing techniques. The manufacturing of 3D models from thermoplastic materials is developing very fast. Hopefully it will make the nano-scale world with its beautiful complex structures accessible to a broader audience.
Maybe in 2020 every one could have the opportunity to hold a 3D model of a bio-membrane or the essential molecular machines working in our cells in his hands. My children are already used to see the ribosome or the proteasome standing in a line with the ‘Venus de Milo’ or the ‘Venus of Willendorf’