Windows 10 Installation

Installation Overview:

The current installation procedure for Windows 10 requires installing 2 packages (Blender and Perl) and then installing additional files to augment and replace a subset of the Blender files. These steps are summarized here for anyone who might be familiar with the process. Additional step by step details are given below to clarify the process.

These are the 5 general steps needed to install CellBlender/MCell/MCellR in Windows 10:

  1. Download and install Blender 2.79b from (86M)
  2. Download and install Strawberry Perl from (98M)
  3. Change permissions on "Program Files/Blender Foundation" to allow writing
  4. Download and copy the CellBlender "patch" installation files over the files in Blender
  5. Add Blender and Blender/2.79/python/bin to the System PATH environment variable

Step by Step Installation Details:

This section gives step by step installation instructions for installing CellBlender/MCell/MCellR in Windows. There are a lot of pictures here, but most of them are just a single click. The images are shown at a reduced size. If you need to see any of these in more detail, most browsers support right clicking to bring up a menu to show them at full resolution (such as "View Image" in FireFox).

  1. Download and install Blender 2.79b from (86M)
    1. Start with Windows 10:
    2. Open a web browser to
    3. Click the blue "Download Blender 2.79b" button
    4. Click the green "Download Blender" button
    5. Click "Save File"
    6. Click to run the downloaded file
    7. Click to "OK" running the file
    8. Click "Next"
    9. Accept and click "Next"
    10. Click "Next" to install everything
    11. Click "Install" to start the installation
    12. Click "Yes" to approve of the installation
    13. Allow the installation to proceed
    14. Click "Finish" to complete the installation
  2. Download and install Strawberry Perl from (98M)
    1. Open a web browser to
    2. Click the recommended version of Strawberry Perl and click "Save File"
    3. Open your "Downloads" folder and double click on the strawberry-perl file
    4. Allow the program to "Run" as needed
    5. Click "Next"
    6. Click "Next" to approve licensing
    7. Click "Next" to install in the default location
    8. Click "Next" to begin the actual installation
    9. Click "Yes" to approve the installation
    10. Wait for the installation to complete
    11. Click "Finish"
  3. Change permissions on "Program Files/Blender Foundation" to allow writing
    1. Open a file browser, right click on "Blender Foundation" (in C:\Program Files), and click "Properties"
    2. Click the "Security" tab
    3. Select "Users (Desktop...)" and click "Edit"
    4. Click checkboxes to allow both "Full Control" and "Modify" permissions
    5. Click "OK" to set the permissions.
  4. Copy the CellBlender "patch" installation files over the files in Blender
    1. Open a new web browser and go to ""
    2. Click the download link in the "May 6, 2019: CellBlender for Windows 10 Release" panel
    3. Click the CellBlender "patch" link to download the zip file
    4. Download the CellBlender "patch" and save it in "Downloads"
    5. Right click on the patch file and click "Extract All..."
    6. Click "Next" to extract to the default location in "Downloads"
    7. Allow the files to be extracted
    8. Drag (or copy) the "Blender" subdirectory to replace the "Blender" folder in "C:/Program Files/Blender Foundation"
    9. Click the "Replace the files in the destination" button
    10. Click continue to allow the files to be copied into Blender's folder
    11. Close all windows
  5. Add Blender and Blender/2.79/python/bin to the System PATH environment variable
    1. Type "environment variables" into Windows search box and click "Edit the system environment variables"
    2. Click the "Environment Variables" button
    3. Select the "Path" variable in the lower ("System Variables") section
    4. Click the "Edit" button to add new locations to the "Path"
    5. Click the "New" button to add a new entry
    6. Enter C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender into the new entry
    7. Create a second "New" entry and enter C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\2.79\python\bin
    8. Click "OK" to close the path editor window
    9. Click "OK" to close the "Environment Variables" window
    10. Click "OK" to close the "System Properties" window

Running examples:

    1. Close any remaining windows and double-click the "Blender" icon on the desktop
    2. Click "File" and "User Preferences" in Blender
    3. Click the "Addons" tab across the top of the dialog box
    4. Select "Cell Modeling" selection on the left side of the dialog box
    5. Click the check box for "Cell Modeling: CellBlender" to enable CellBlender itself
    6. Click the "Save User Settings" button (bottom) and then close the "Blender User Preference" dialog
    7. Click the "CellBlender" tab on the left to open CellBlender
    8. Click the "Initialize CellBlender" button
    9. Make the left panel wider by dragging the mouse along the border (double arrow cursor)
    10. Click the "Examples" button in the top left corner of the CellBlender panel
    11. Click the "FCERI MCell Rules" button near the bottom
    12. Zoom to get a good view of the model objects
    13. Click the "File" and "Save As..." menu items to save the project before running
    14. Choose a location and name (such as "fceri.blend") to save the project
    15. Click "Save As Blender File" to actually save the file
    16. Click the "Run Simulation" panel button and click "Export & Run" button to start the simulation
    17. The panel below the "Export & Run" button should show the simulation running
    18. When the run has completed, click the "Reload Visualization Data" button to see the results
    19. Zoom in and drag the cursor in the "time line" to see the results of the simulation
    20. Try other examples (such as the "Simple Coil MCell Rules" model
  • News and Events

    June 22-26, 2020: Cell Modeling Workshop

    The 2020 Cell Modeling Workshop will be held as a virtual workshop from June 22nd-26th, 2020.

    May 6, 2019: CellBlender for Windows 10 Release

    CellBlender for Windows 10 is available to download for the upcoming 2019 Cell Modeling Workshop.