Construo Tutorial Version 0.2.0

Welcome to the Construo Tutorial Version 0.2.0. This short tutorial or manual should give you an overview about what Construo can do and how to use it.

The Display Target

The first step to start construo is to select the correct display target for you, at the moment there are both X11 and Glut (OpenGL) versions of Construo available. The X11 version looks sharper and as good fonts, while the Glut one provides anti-aliased lines and OpenGL hardware acceleration when available. Best is you simply try both and pick the one that works better for you, since both are compatible with each other you can switch from one to the other without a problem.

The Workspace

If you start up Construo you will be placed directly onto the workspace. At the left you have load, save, quit, undo and redo buttons, together with the run, slowmotian, actioncam and hidedot buttons. While on the right you have the tool buttons (insert, select collider, zoom), which controll what your mouse will do on the work space. At the top you can see all the keyboard shortcuts available and at the bottom you can see position, frames per seconds and other statistics about your model.

The Buttons


Probally the most important button, since it will start the simulation, letting forces act on your model, letting it break or bend. Note that you can even in simulation mode use all the modeling functions, so you can remove springs and dots and see what happens.

Slow Motion

This button simply turn the simulation into slow motion mode, giving you more time the see what is happening.

Hide Dots

The Hide Dots button simply hides all dots, so that they are invisible, this might not be something you want to use in the modeling, but it will speed up the drawing a bit in the simulation, it also leads to diferent visuell results.


Undo's the last action, like removal of a spring or dot, it also reverses the model to the state before running the simulation. Unlimited numbers of undo are provided.


Redo will simply undo an 'Undo' command, thus bringing the model into the state before the undo.


This will bring you to the file dialog, it is a graphical dialog where you simply click on the thumbnail to have the model loaded. Construo uses its own virtual filesystem, which will lock you into ~/.construo/, so if you want to load a model that you downloaded from the internet copy it to your ~/.construo/ directory first or load it from the command line.


This is similar to the load button, but instead of bringing you to the load dialog it will bring you to the save dialog. The ..:: Save to new file ::.. button will allow you to save to a new file, while clicking onto a thumbnail will save over the thumbnail. Construo generates filenames on its own, so you don't have and at the moment can't give one.


The quit button, does what it always does, it closes the application. The quit button closes without confirming if you havn't saved, but don't worry, since it saves automatically the last model on the workspace no data-loss will happen. Once you start construo again you will see the model that you had on your workspace as you quitted. Note: Undo steps are at the moment not saved, so there is still the possibility of data-loss if you quit while running the simulation. See the appendant bug report.

The Toolbox

Construo provides at the moment 4 tools, the insert tool, the select tool, the collider tool and the zoom tool.

Insert Tool

The insert tool allows you to insert dots and springs. A single click into empty space will insert a dot and connect a spring to it, which will be connected to a second dot if you click again with the left mouse button. If you don't like the spring, simply click the right button to chancel it. If you click onto an already existing dot you will not create a new one, but connect a spring to the dot, which you than can connect to another spring or again chancel with the right button.

Select Tool

The select tool is used to select groups of dots and allows you to move them arround by simply clicking on a dot in the selection and dragging it around. Using the right button will allow you to rotate the selection and pressing 'v' will set the velocity of the dots (indicated by the blue lines).

Collider Tool

The collider tool allows you to place fixed blocks onto your workspace. These blocks don't react on forces, but simply provide a collision object where your spring construction can stand on, basically like the ground. To place a collider simple click&drag a rectangle of the wished size. Click&drag on an already existing collider will allow you to move it and right clicking will you allow to delete existing colliders.

Zoom Tool

The zoom tool allows you to simply zoom into areas of your workspace, left click drags a rectangle of the area you want to zoom into and a right click zooms you out.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Nearly every function in Construo is available via a keyboard shortcut, the context sensitive help at the top of the screen list them all.

Constructing Something

Ok, now that we have the manual part behind us, start with constructing something and once you done with it, don't forget to send in any interesting stuff you have created.