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Open Source 3D DNA Origami

DNA origami is a powerful method for constructing DNA objects. It involves taking a long, single-stranded DNA backbone (usually about 7000 bases in length) and forcing it to adopt an arbitrary shape using hundreds of short, single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (each usually 20 to 50 bases long).


caDNAno is open-source software based on the Adobe AIR platform for design of three-dimensional DNA origami nanostructures. It was written with the goal of providing a fast and intuitive means to create and modify DNA origami designs. You can learn how to use it, download a copy of the program and some example designs, or even modify the source code.

The software makes heavy use of several fantastic open-source libraries and resources, especially Papervision3D for 3D rendering, Michael Baczynski‘s AS3 data structures and tutorials, the Tango Desktop Project for icons, and the Blueprint CSS framework for this website.


  • No programming required
  • Integrated 2D and 3D interfaces
  • Visual cues to aid design process
  • Export formats: SVG, X3D, JSON
  • Platform independent
  • Open source (MIT license)

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