Screenshot - A pair of rubber bands in space. Current Foldit bands only allow one end in space. Double-ended bands like these are not currently available in Foldit.

Note: see Band for a more current discussion of bands in Foldit.

Rubber Bands (or just bands) are used to pull parts of a protein together or push them apart. Bands allow for more controlled movement than simply pulling on the protein.

The effect of bands is most noticeable when the wiggle tool is running. Bands also affect the action of other tools, such as rebuild and remix.

Bands always start on a segment of a protein. Bands can end on another segment or on a point in space. Bands ending on point in space are called spacebands, or bands in space.

In the original interface, bands are created by shift-click and drag. With a scroll wheel mouse, clicking the scroll button and dragging also creates a band.

In the selection interface, bands are created by shift-click and drag or right-click and drag.

Bands can start or end on the sidechain of a segment.

Band Wheel Menu

The wheel menu used to adjust bands.

Bands have several attributes:

  • enabled/disabled
  • strength
  • goal length
  • current length

All the attributes except current length can be changed by right-clicking or control-clicking the band and picking the appropriate option from the wheel menu.

Bands can be disabled or enabled individually using the wheel menu. A disabled band has no effect. Bands as a whole can disabled using the Disable Bands tool.

Bands have a default strength of 1.0. The wheel menu can adjust the strength of a band from 0.5 to 10.0. The unit of measure for band strength is not known.

Bands have two length attributes. The current length of band is the distance between the band's end points. The goal length of the band is how long the band wants to be. Both goal length and current length are measured in Angstroms.

The goal length of a band can be adjusted via the wheel menu. The "use current" option can be used to set the goal length to the current length. The goal length of a band connecting two segments is 3.5 by default. The goal length of a band from a segment to a point in space defaults to zero.

When the goal length of a band is less than its current length, the band tends to pull its endpoints together. When the goal length is greater than the current length, the band pushes the endpoints apart.

See Madde's video demonstrating working with bands.

Bands obey Hooke's law for springs, as the recipe DoBandsObeyHookesLaw1 demonstrates.