Notice: the ICE Office will be closed through Monday, July 13th.

Due to UW-Madison campus access restrictions the ICE office will remain closed through July 13. The ICE Online Store will reopen on July 13 but only for limited service because of the restricted access to our facilities. Beginning July 13 ICE will process and ship SMALL orders once a week. We will aim for a processing time of 5-10 business days from receipt of order to shipping, operating within the constraints of very limited access. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through a partial re-opening. If you have questions, please contact us by email at We will try to respond within 48 hours.

Solid-State Model Kit

Solid-State Model Kit

Type: D, G, I, L    |    Level: AP, Coll

It's hard to describe and understand the structure of a crystal with a two-dimensional drawing. No need to because the Solid-State Model Kit allows you and your students to easily build, examine, and study classic structural models of metals, ionic compounds, and even superconductors. See instantly how atomic packing determines physical properties, ­density, cleavage planes, and conductivity directions.

Our tried and true kit is an excellent tool that has been used for more than 20 years to present sphere packing, unit cells, coordination number, layering, radius ratios, and interpenetrating polyhedra. Radii of the spheres correspond with the radius ratio for cubic, octahedral, and tetrahedral coordination. The kit is designed for individual use, laboratory exercises, tutorials, and lectures. Using the detailed illustrated manual that comes with each kit, students can build structures one atom at a time by placing spheres on the appropriate rods as shown by a template. Each kit fits in a box that is 9" x 12" x 3.25"; a completed structure is approximately 4" x 4" x 6". 

Deluxe vs Student Versions

The kit comes in two versions: Deluxe and Student. The primary difference between the two versions is the number of spheres and rods, which ultimately affects the number and size of structures that can be made. The Deluxe Version can be used to build more than 80 different molecular structures; the Student Version can be used to build more than 60 structures (most of the more common ones). Note that since two Student Kits (when combined) have four bases between them, they can build more structures simultaneously than one Deluxe Kit. However, one Deluxe Kit can be divided to build more than one structure at a time. A detailed comparison the two kit versions provides more information. 

Another ICE kit, the Polyhedral Model Kit, uses an alternative approach to seeing molecular structures. The Polyhedral Model Kit was used to build a Salt Model for an alternate view of NaCl crystals. 

Click the ICE structure to view a comparison of the two types of kits. Those structures that require one Deluxe Kit or two Student Kits are noted.

Click the ICE structure to view the table of contents for the Solid-State Model Kit manual. The table of contents lists all the structures that can be made with the kit and notes the structures which require one Deluxe Kit or two Student Kits to build with a ②.

Click the ICE structure for sample directions on how to build H2O (s), pictured above, using the Solid-State Model Kit.

Replacement parts are available for the Solid-State Model Kit.