Download the vHelix plugin for Autodesk Maya

The plugin is available for the 64-bit versions of Autodesk Maya 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 under Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. It is currently not available for other versions of Maya and not for the 32-bit versions. The plugin need to be compiled in order to work with other versions of Maya. If you are interested in using the plugin with another version of Autodesk Maya, you will need to download the source from and compile it for your system.

The plugin is hosted The files hosted there are updated regularly with fixes and new features, but might also suffer from regression. Downloads on this page are directly linked to the executables hosted on GitHub.

Installation instructions at the github repository are given in the given on the first page of the repository at or directly at The instructions contain a brief description of the organization of the files and how to enable Autodesk Maya to use the plugin. The links below point directly to the binaries required. Along with the binary versions below are some brief installation instructions as well.


The windows build are compiled using Microsoft Visual Studio 2013. This requires that you install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package (x64) available at or as an optional software update on Windows/Microsoft update. A debug version of the software (requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 to be installed) is available on the github page. Release versions:

Download: Maya 2012 Windows x64 | Maya 2013 Windows x64 | Maya 2014 Windows x64 | Maya 2016 Windows x64 | Install Instructions



The linux build was compiled under Ubuntu 13.10 64-bit using gcc 4.8.1

Maya 2014 Linux x64 | Documentation


social_windows_button.pngMac OS X

The Mac OS X build was compiled using gcc 4.2 targeted at 64-bit Mac OS X 10.8 and newer.

Maya 2013 Mac OS X x64 | Maya 2014 Mac OS X x64 | Maya 2016 Mac OS X x64 | Install Instructions


vHelix comes from the lab of Björn Högberg at Karolinska Institutet. Design by Björn Högberg and Johan Gardell, programmed by Johan Gardell.


Automated DNA nanostructure design from polyhedral meshes 

vHelix is developed to be used in conjunction with the method reported in the paper [Benson et. al “DNA Rendering of Polyhedral Meshes at the Nanoscale” Nature (2015) DOI 10.1038/nature14586].


The process starts with the design of a polyhedral mesh in a 3D computer graphics software and exporting it in the PLY format.  The mesh is then run through the BSCOR software to generate a scaffold path and relaxed physical DNA representation of the mesh. BSCOR can be downloaded and run on your local machine (recommended for performance). Alternately, we offer an online version of BSCOR where the mesh processing is performed on our server. This process produces a file in the .rpoly format that can be imported to vHelix for staple design.   

The BSCOR software package for converting polyhedral meshes into DNA nanostructure designs can be downloaded here. The package consists of a scaffold routing algorithm and a spring relxation software. This package also supports the routing of open 2D meshes as described in DOI: 10.1002/anie.201602446

The scaffold routing algoritm was developed by the Orponen group at Aalto University, the source code is available on

The spring relaxation was developed by the Högberg lab and the source code is available from

Please wach our tutorials below for an introduction on how to use the design paradigm on your own. 

If you have any trouble running the software, please contact erik.benson [at]


vHelix tutorial 1 

DNA nanostructures from polyhedra meshes 1 

vHelix tutorial 2

DNA nanostructures from polyhedral meshes 2 

Example mesh bases structures


Citing vHelix

Please use this reference when citing vHelix:

Benson et. al “DNA Rendering of Polyhedral Meshes at the Nanoscale” Nature (2015) DOI 10.1038/nature14586