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With the publication of Uncertainty and the Management of Epidemics, we celebrate our 50th column! Since 2013, our Nature Methods Points of Significance has been offering crisp explanations and practical suggestions about best practices in statistical analysis and reporting. To all our readers and coauthors: thank you and see you in the next column!

It's Snowing in my CPU — a Snowflake catalogue

Art is scence in love.
— E.F. Weisslitz

Go ahead, meet some snowflakes.

leory
bubort
morptel
warcenc
vullan
slendtila
libline

Somewhere in the world, it's snowing. But you don't need to go far—it's always snowing on this page. Explore light flurries, snowflake families and individual flakes. There are many unusual snowflakes and snowflake family 12 and family 46 are very interesting.

But don't settle for only pixel snowflakes—make an STL file and 3D print your own flakes!

Ad blockers may interfere with some flake images—the names of flakes can trigger ad filters.

And if after reading about my flakes you want more, get your frozen fix with Kenneth Libbrecht's excellent work and Paul Gallico's Snowflake.

This page uses code contributed by Alexander Pruss to generate an STL file for any of the flakes in the catalogue. The code is now hosted here to cross-origin requests.

authentically-grown flakes for your tree

Here is the 3D printed snowflake morptel. Yes, they all have names—snowflakes are people too.

Gravner-Griffeath Snowflake Simulation by Martin Krzywinski and Jake Lever / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The physical manifestation of the snowflake `morptel`.

Snowflake to STL conversion

It takes about 10–20 seconds to generate the STL file. You are about to generate STL for snowflake morptel (shown below).

To generate STL for a different flake, browse to the flake's page and click the Generate STL file for 3D printing link in the section SNOWFLAKE FILES AND RESOURCES.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Snowflake name
Snowflake code
Diameter mm
Minimum thickness mm
Maximum thickness mm
Tendril widening distance cells
Number of levels
Resolution reduction factor




© 1999–2022 Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA