With the winter break at the university, I have been able to program a bit. Working on another project I ended up upgrading to Java 7 on my Mac. Then, going back to my Java3D program, I found that everything compiles and runs under 7, but there appear to be problems with the border layout manager. All subprojects are compiled with the (new) default 1.7. The Java3D window shown below on the right illustrates the problem - the canvas does not position properly, it overwrites the bottom (SOUTH) panel. The same code, but with the startup stub set to Java 1.6 runs just fine as shown below, left.
Above left - code running on Java 1.6, right - on Java 1.7
Here is the initialization code for the canvas and graphics controls: