Crystallography and X-ray diffraction techniques are essential topics in geosciences and other solid-state sciences. Their fundamentals, which include point symmetry groups, are taught in the corresponding university courses. In-depth meaningful learning of symmetry concepts is difficult and requires capacity for abstraction and spatial vision. Traditionally, wooden crystallographic models are used as support material. In this paper, we describe a new interactive tool, freely available, inspired in such models. Thirty-two PDF files containing embedded 3D models have been created. Each file illustrates a point symmetry group and can be used to teach/learn essential symmetry concepts and the International Hermann-Mauguin notation of point symmetry groups. Most interactive computer-aided tools devoted to symmetry deal with molecular symmetry and disregard crystal symmetry so we have developed a tool that fills the existing gap.© 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
- Point groups