Crystallography Open Database meets Axidraw (https://shop.evilmadscientist.com/productsmenu/846), drawing the structure of the latest addition to the COD on a sheet of paper.
Crystallography Open Database is an open access collection of crystal structures of organic, inorganic, metal-organic compounds and minerals, created and maintained by scientists who wanted to make this data accessible for all. As of 2018-02-12, there were 391176 entries at the COD. It is an example of vast scientific databases whose entries are rarely, if ever, seen by human eyes. I wanted to demonstrate the expansion of human knowledge in an immediate, physical way, rendering the quiet and hidden labour of science visible.
Huge thanks to Saulius Gražulis, @KaMykolas and ffwd for their help with crystallographic software, Axidraw and sed respectively.
The script is pretty self-explanatory. You will need Jmol, ImageMagick, axibot and potrace to run it.
Created during Science Hack Day Vilnius 2018.
An example of a random structure:
Same picture, inverted and converted to black and white using ImageMagick:
Vectorised output (using potrace):