A downloadable tool for Windows

A VR Molecular Builder

Narupa Builder allows you to build, design and edit molecules in VR.

Any bugs or issues should be reported to the issue board on the gitlab repository, where you can also find the source code under the GPLv3.0 license.

This is the second iteration of Narupa Builder, built by Jae Levy, Alex Jamieson-Binnie,  Mike O'Connor and Mark Wonnacott, on top of the previous work by Lidia Teleoaca, Paul Chirculescu.

Key Features

  • Build molecules and export structures in the MOL2 format.
  • Draw from a built-in library of common molecular fragments (rings, amino acids, etc.) for composing large structures quickly, or import your own custom fragments.
  • Run energy minimisation inline (via OpenBabel) to easily adjust hand-aligned structures to stable conformations.
  • Import reference images to aid construction of complex structures.

Installing OpenBabel

In order to run minimisations, you must download OpenBabel separately and install it on your system. For Windows users, they may simply run the OpenBabelGUI installer. In order to avoid permissions errors, you should run Narupa Builder as an administrator.

Adding Custom Fragments

You can add your own custom fragments by placing *.mol2 files in the Narupa Builder_Data/StreamingAssets/UserFragments folder. They will then appear in the User Fragment section of the Build Fragment tool.

Adding an Image

You can add an image (for example, to build a structure from a paper) by placing a *.png file in the Narupa Builder_Data/StreamingAssets/Image folder. This will then appear when the Toggle Image tool is used.

Install instructions

Requires either HTC Vive, Valve Index, or Oculus Rift VR headsets.

Requires an install of SteamVR.

Energy minimisation requires OpenBabelGUI and running Narupa Builder as administrator.


Narupa Builder 27 MB
User Guide.pdf 46 kB


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Does this support the HTC Vive Cosmos controller? Tried the app with new HTC Cosmos, unfortunatelly it doesn't work. I can't do anything with the Cosmos controller. Really want to get this working, any help would be very appreciated!

Hi, thank you for your interest! We don't currently have an HTC Cosmos or support it, but would be happy to try to get it working with you. Please create an issue over at our gitlab repository and we'll try to help!