Project Process

First, install the TERapidPrototypingTool.exe onto your desktop computer. You will have the option to add a desktop shortcut. Once that is finished installing, open the application and begin creating your Tangible Engine application!
Rapid Prototyping Tool user interface.

Creating a New Project

From the home screen, or from the editor, select “New Project”. This will open a blank editor and allow you to start working on your project.
Rapid Prototyping Tool's new project user interface.
The editor has text that will prompt you to add a new tangible to the scene to get started. This can be done by pressing the tab with the + sign on it. Since the default Ideum tangible set comes with 9 different patterns, the editor will allow for 9 tangibles to be created per project.
Rapid Prototyping Tool user interface.
As the next text prompt states, you can hover your mouse over different parts of the tangible to reveal specific editors, allowing each tangible to be as custom as possible.

Utilizing the Editors

Each tangible contains four different types of editors to allow all parts of the tangible to be customized to your liking. They can be opened by selecting different parts of the tangible layout. The editors are as follows:

Tangible Editor

Rapid Prototyping Tool's tangible editor user interface.
The Tangible Editor will open when the top left section of the tangible is clicked. This editor is to define the tangible, give it a name, a font, font size, font color, and decide on a background color or background media piece. The dimensions of this area are 405 x 95 pixels.

Ring Editor

Rapid Prototyping Tool's ring edittor user interface.
The Ring Editor will open when the central ring (or tangible) is selected. Here you can decide on a ring color, glow color, fun animation for the ring/glow, and what design you’d like to connect all of the content together.

If you prefer not to have the connecting lines, simply open the connecting line color picker and set the alpha to none (move the slider all the way to the left).

Section Editor

Rapid Prototyping Tool's section editor user interface.
The Section Editor opens when a specific section is selected. There are a total of 5 sections (left hand side), each with the ability to hold up to 4 pieces of media and text (right hand side). This means that each tangible can hold up to 20 pieces of content. 

If you don’t want to use all 5 sections, just leave the ones you don’t want to use blank and they will be removed in play mode. Same goes for the section media: if you don’t want to include 4 pieces of content, leave them blank and they will be hidden during play mode. 

Header and Body text will show up on the right hand side in the semi-transparent gray box underneath the selected media. If there isn’t any header or body text, the text box will hide in play mode.

Whole Sections Editor

Rapid Prototyping Tool 's section editor's user interface.
The Whole Sections Editor will open when the background area of the left hand side sections is selected. This editor allows you to update the fonts for all sections plus the right hand side text. This editor also allows you to select colors for when a section is selected, versus deselected, along with a background color or piece of media. 

Sections can be re-ordered by clicking the “Reorder Sections” button and dragging the reorder icons next to each section until the section sits in the place you’d like it to move to. When ready, release the reorder icon and watch as the section pops into the new location. The old section will swap places with the new section. 


Fonts in the font dropdowns are pulled at runtime from the installed system fonts. If there is a font you would like to use that isn’t in the list, simply install that font on your machine and reopen the application. 

Any font used in the project is copied over to the project’s media folder when the project is saved, just in case the project is moved to a machine that doesn’t already have the font installed.

Adding Media

Media can be uploaded to a variety of places in the Rapid Prototyping Tool, and those are indicated by a drag and drop media box (exception is the background and start up image since those are in Settings).
Add media user interface.
The media box will describe the expected resolution and file types expected for that section of the tangible UI, so the user knows exactly what to upload.

Media can be in the following forms:
  • jpg / jpeg
  • png
  • gif
  • mp4
  • mov
Each section of the application that allows media to be uploaded requires a specific resolution of media for the best results. Those resolutions are as follows:
  • Tangible Editor background: 405 x 95 pixels
  • Section Background Editor background: 405 x 445 pixels
    = 405 x 540 pixels (3:4 ratio)
  • Right side: 960 x 540 pixels (16:9 ratio)
  • Background and Start Up background: 3840 x 2160 pixels (fullscreen resolution)


Gifs and videos will only play when in Deploy Mode or Executable Mode.

Project Settings

Rapid Prototyping Tool's project settings user interface.
Project Settings can be opened by clicking on the gear icon in the top menu bar.
Wheel icon.
The settings include enabling simulated tangibles, using our larger set of beverage tangibles versus the standard size tangibles, background and start up media, adding a drop shadow to your tangibles to make them stand out from the background, and showing tutorial text when the application is first opened. 

Tutorial text can be used to help users understand what they need to do to interact with the application, or can be something fun that sets the tone of your project.

Some examples of tutorial text:
  • Place a tangible on the table to begin!
  • Welcome to a unique experience!
  • Learn more about ____ by placing a tangible on the table
Once a tangible has been placed down, the tutorial text and startup overlay will fade out and allow the users to play with the rest of the application.

Saving a Project

To save a brand new project, click on the save button in the top menu bar. A file explorer popup will open and ask you to select your destination folder. Once selected, you’ll be asked to give your project a name.

Your project can be named whatever you’d like it to be, but it cannot contain spaces. Spaces will be replaced with underscores.Your project will be saved as a JSON file in the directory you selected, and a Media folder will accompany it. Any media saved in the project will be copied over to this Media folder and referenced the next time that project is opened. 

Any changes after saving a project will cause a green star indicator to show next to the save button to let the user know that they have unsaved changes.
Floppy disk icon.
Saving an already existing project will update that project’s timestamp and will overwrite the existing JSON file for that project.

Opening an Existing Project

To open an existing project, or even import an existing project, click the “Open Project” button from the main menu or the Editor. A popup window of saved projects will open and show the names of the existing projects already loaded into the application.
A folder icon.
To open a project from the list, either double click the name, or select that name and click the checkbox button.
Rapid Prototyping Tool user interface.
To import an existing project that isn’t in the list of saved projects, click the “Import Existing Project” button. A file explorer popup will open and ask you to select the project’s JSON file.
File selection computer window.
Once selected, click “Open”. If the JSON file chosen is valid, a new button will appear with the name of the imported project.
Rapid Prototyping Tool user interface.

Deploying a Project

“Deploy Mode” exists so that users on a desktop computer can test to see what their application will look like when it’s finished and it’s placed on an Ideum touch table. Deploy Mode does not require the use of any physical tangibles because it utilizes Tangible Engine v3’s in-editor simulated tangible experience.  

To use Deploy Mode, make sure you have at least one tangible created in the editor. Then, select the Deploy Mode button in the top right hand corner.
Deploy mode user interface button.
The application will transform to fit your monitor, scaling all items with it.

If “Enable Simulated Tangibles” is checked in the settings, then a white box with a plus sign will appear in the top left corner of the screen, allowing you to add simulated tangibles. 

If “Use Beverage Tangibles (5.25)” is checked in the settings, then the UI around the tangible will scale up and adjust itself to fit around the larger sized tangibles. 

The ID of the simulated tangible corresponds to the tab of the tangible, but starts at 0 instead of 1. So an ID of 0 will show tangible number 1, and so on.
Rapid Prototyping Tool user interface.
If “Enable Simulated Tangibles” is not checked, then the Tangible Engine service will be used instead and physical tangibles are expected. Make sure to have Tangible Engine v3 running on the machine before enabling Deploy Mode.

Exporting a Project

When your project is finished and you are ready to export it into its own portable application, save your project, and click the export button in the top menu bar.
Upload icon.
A popup will open and ask where you’d like to place your exported installer. Once a location is selected, the exporting process will begin and could take a few minutes to process. 

When finished, a button will appear that will open file explorer to the directory where the installer was saved. 

If there is an issue, an error will be displayed instead of the finished button, and will direct you to view the application logs. These logs can then be sent to Ideum support for troubleshooting.

Logs can be found here: C:\Users\{YOUR USER HERE}\AppData\LocalLow\Ideum\TERapidPrototypingTool

The final product will be an executable called “YourProjectName_Installer.exe” and can be run and installed on any Windows 10 and above machine. That machine will need to also have Tangible Engine v3 installed and running to get your tangibles to show up when a puck is placed on the machine / Ideum touch table.
Last Updated: 5/13/2024