Quantum nuclear effects plays a central role in determining properties of systems that contain light nuclei. For instance, the large deviation of the heat capacity of a solid from the Delong’s Petit limit and of the particle momentum distribution from the Maxwell-Boltzmann behaviour are direct manifestations of the quantum nature of nuclei. While these effects can be accurately modelled in atomistic simulations by employing the imaginary time path integral (PI) technique , the high computational cost of running PI simulations has prevented their widespread use. In this talk, I will introduce molecular dynamics based methods [2, 3, 4, 5] that substantially reduce the computational cost of PI simulations and their implementation in an open source software i-PI.  Going beyond benchmarks, I will demonstrate the relevance of these advances by studying different properties and classes of materials – such as the proton momentum distribution in water that relates to the local structure of protons in ice  and facilitates interpretation of complex Deep Inelastic Neutron scattering experiments, quantum effects that facilitate isotope separation in porous organic cages , tuning of thermal properties of metal-organic cages loaded with greenhouse gases , and quantitative estimation of quantum mechanical effects that stabilize pharmaceutically active molecular crystals  – at a fraction of the computational cost if using conventional techniques.