JavaGami is based on an older software system called HyperGami, a programmable design environment for paper sculpture built upon the MacScheme system (LightShip Software) between 1993 and 1997. The user chooses from a number of starting polyhedra (we’ve shown one of several available palettes with the cursor selecting an icosahedron). The selected polyhedron appears in the ThreeD window (bottom left) and a corresponding “folding net” appears in the TwoD window (bottom right).
The user can employ both built-in features and the embedded programming language to customize the polyhedron. For example, he may (among other operations) stretch or shrink the polyhedron along its axes, truncate it at vertices, or add pyramidal caps to faces. Once the user is done customizing his new shape, the system will attempt to generate a folding net for it. The user may then work with a variety of paint tools to decorate the folding net; finally, he can print out the decorated net on a color printer, and assemble it into a paper model.
HyperGami runs only on legacy Macs running OS9 or earlier — it will not run on Windows machines. The HyperGami environment offered more functionality than JavaGami (many of our sculptures featured in the gallery were designed with HyperGami rather than JavaGami), however, use of the software requires knowledge of Scheme programming.