The Builder java applet is accessed through the Construction Zone and lets you build two-dimensional structures. This applet is fairly simple, but it allows a large degree of creativity. It also has fairly extensive help features, making sure that you don't mess up.
To see more of the drawing plane, click on the scroll bars in the applet.
To create a joint for your structure, double-click somewhere inside the drawing space (black).
To select a joint, click on it once.
To select a beam, first select one of the joints it is connected to. The first beam created to that joint will be highlighted. Click the back or forward arrow surrounding the word "Beam" to move backwards or forwards (respectively) through the beams, in the order they were created.
To create a beam between two joints, select one joint and then hold down the shift key while you click on the second.
Setting the two bases is a necessary part of creating a structure (these are the two points your structure rests on). Select the point you want to use as a base, then click "Base1" or "Base2".
To move a point to specific coordinates, first select the point. Then, input the x-coordinate into the left-hand box near the "Move" button. Input the y-coordinate into the right-hand box. Click the "Move" button to make it happen.
To save your structure, click the "Save" button. Be patient, saving may take a while depending on how busy the server is.
Before saving, however, you must click "Edit 'About' File". In the dialogue, you must enter a name for the structure. Optional elements include your name, your email address, and comments on the structure.
Click the "Add Joint" button to go into the Add Joint mode (click again to leave). In this mode, a single click will create a joint (instead of a double click).
Click the "Add Beam" button to go into the Add Beam mode. In this mode, clicking on one joint, then another, will create a beam between them. Clicking on joints consecutively will create beams from the first joint to the second, from the second to the third, etc. Both this mode and the previous one can be on at the same time. If they are, a single click will create a new joint and a beam from the previous joint.
To delete a joint, select the joint and then click "Delete Joint".
To delete a beam, select the beam (see above) and then click "Delete Beam".
We understand that on some systems you may have difficulty running our applets (even if your web-browser is java-capable) depending on OS/Video/memory complications. Hopefully these occasions will be rare, but if it does happen all we can suggest is
that you download the most current version of your browser and experiment with it a bit. This seems especially true for the Mac version of Netscape Navigator. Using version 3.0 has solved many problems.
If you want our technical advice on getting it to work email us with as much information about your computer as possible and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
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