Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20100264584 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/386,529
Publication dateOct 21, 2010
Filing dateApr 20, 2009
Priority dateApr 20, 2009
Publication number12386529, 386529, US 2010/0264584 A1, US 2010/264584 A1, US 20100264584 A1, US 20100264584A1, US 2010264584 A1, US 2010264584A1, US-A1-20100264584, US-A1-2010264584, US2010/0264584A1, US2010/264584A1, US20100264584 A1, US20100264584A1, US2010264584 A1, US2010264584A1
InventorsPaul Thomas Maddock
Original AssigneePaul Thomas Maddock
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Toy block cube filling puzzle
US 20100264584 A1
Abstract
Toy block cube filling puzzle using transparent cube containers and using 8 tetrahedron blocks as a first group and 32 one eighth of octahedron blocks as a second group. When the blocks from the first group are assembled with one vertex of each block meeting at the center of the cube the second group can be used to completely fill the cube without voids. When 8 blocks from the second group each share a vertex at the said center the remaining 32 blocks can completely fill the cube again. When using a cube filled with one block from the first group and four from the second and each having different colors and paired up with a mirrored adjacent copy of this assembly, 2 blocks are given color change to give 7 colors. Additional pairs can be arranged to form infinite sized shapes in perfect order in three dimension and color.
Images(10)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(10)
1. A cube filling puzzle comprising a cube transparent container and 2 groups of geometric parts having planer surfaces with a first group being 8 parts of equal size and shape with each having 4 equal size faces, with a second group being 32 parts of equal size and shape with one face being equal to the face of a part in the first group, the total 40 parts from both groups being able to completely fill the cube container without voids other than sliding fit tolerances by using 2 different assembly arrangements, first by using 8 parts from the first group and having one vertex from each of the said parts meet together at the center of the cube container and second by using 8 parts from the second group being abutted together each having a vertex meeting at the center of the cube container with the remaining 32 parts being able to completely fill the said cube container in both arrangements.
2. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 1 wherein 8 parts of the said second group are divided into a group of four parts of a first color and a second group of four parts using a second color to form a two colored octahedron, wherein the said first group being 8 parts are divided into 4 parts of a third color and 4 parts of a fourth color to form two tetrahedrons of different color in the shape of an eight pointed star, wherein the remaining 24 parts are split into groups of 8 parts using a fifth, sixth and seventh color to completely fill the cube without voids showing three different colored axes.
3. A cube filling puzzle comprising a pair of equal size cube transparent containers each filled without voids with geometric parts having planer surfaces with one part of a first shape having four equal size faces and four second shape parts all being equal in size and shape with each having one face being equal to the face of the first shape part, wherein two cubes are paired together each having one face abutted to each other, wherein the first cube containing one part of the said second shape using a first color and the second cube containing a mirrored copy of the said part using a second color and forming a quarter section of a regular octahedron, wherein one part of the said first shape is abutted with a matching face of the said one part in the first cube using a third color and a mirrored copy of the said part of the first shape added to the second cube using a fourth color, wherein the three remaining parts of the said second shape are given a fifth, sixth and seventh color to completely fill the first cube without voids and a mirrored copy of said three parts added to the second cube to produce a filled pair of cubes with seven colors, wherein three copies of the cube pair are rotated about the centre point of the said octahedron at 180 degrees in the three polar axes to form a larger cube containing the four of the said cube pairs, wherein the said larger cube made up of 8 cubes being completely filled with a total of 40 parts showing three different colored axes.
4. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 3 wherein the said larger cube completely filled with a total of 40 parts being copied in the three polar axes forming an infinite array of two color octahedrons in the said first and second color enclosed by two regular tetrahedrons of different color in the shape of an eight pointed star using the said third and fourth color and regular octahedrons each having separate colors using the fifth, sixth and seventh colors about three axes.
5. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 4 wherein the arrays of cubes forming larger cubes having splitting planes to form larger planer geometric shapes but keeping the same splitting planes of a the original cube arrangement.
6. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 3 wherein the said one part of a first shape having four equal size faces and four second shape parts each being split into two equal portions, the said portions forming diagonal faces inside the said cube.
7. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 1 and claim 3 wherein two tongues and two lips being provided around the four edges of the opening of transparent cube container, wherein each lip is provided with an aperture to receive the tongue of an additional cube to secure the two cubes together snugly, wherein the bottom of each transparent cube is also provided with four apertures to receive the tongues and lips of additional cubes when place on top of each other ensuring a seating in the desired orientation.
8. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 1 wherein 6 grommets are be used to support more securely in position the parts of the octahedron in correct orientation for display inside of the cube container.
9. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 1 wherein a cuboctahedron can be assembled by using 8 parts from the first group and 24 parts from the second group.
10. A cube filling puzzle as claimed in claim 1 wherein support means are used to accommodate the 2 cube containers that are provided with grooves to receive tongues located on the said support means, wherein the said support means is provided with a location for accommodating a DVD containing easy to follow instructions.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Similar inventions have been made in the past U.S. Pat. No. 4,461,480 shows the octahedron made of one eighth sections and describes a configuration using 8 cubes stacked together to form a larger cube assembly of pieces. It also describes some of the pieces being coupled together. U.S. Pat. No. 1,471,943 shows a thin wall cube and a removable top to be made of any material for containing a toy block assembly. U.S. Pat. No. 5,660,387 shows blocks inside a transparent housing such as a cube but do not show a 40 block assembly as described in the following invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a simplified toy block cube filling puzzle containing a total of 40 blocks (also called geometric parts or pieces) with 32 blocks equal in size and shape which are to be called OCTA pieces and 8 blocks equal in size and shape to be called TETRA pieces. The blocks called OCTA pieces are each a one eighth portion of regular octahedron, this polyhedron shape is sized to easily slide into a thin wall transparent cube container with each of the 6 vertices meeting perfectly at the centre of each of the inside surfaces of the said cube container with the top surface removed for an opening. By slicing through 4 vertices of said octahedron in each of the X, Y and Z axis the 8 OCTA pieces are produced that are perfectly equal in size and shape and this combination of pieces have a sliding fit to the inside surface of the cube. By starting with an octahedron assembly inside the cube we are now able to size a block to form a tetrahedron this is done by forming a tetrahedron with each of its 4 faces equal in size to the triangular face of the octahedron which gives us the TETRA piece. It is now possible to form a regular tetrahedron to fit perfectly with a sliding fit to the inside of the cube by adding 4 TETRA pieces to the 2 opposite faces of the lower half of the octahedron and its 2 opposite faces of the upper half rotated 90 degrees. There are 4 faces of the octahedron unused these are to be a different color to the 4 faces already used so as to be easier for children to follow the easy steps. Now a dual-tetrahedron can be formed by adding 4 more TETRA pieces with a different color to the 4 unused faces of the octahedron and a perfect 8 pointed star can be formed with each of the 8 points aligning perfectly to the 8 vertices of the inside surface of the cube container and having a sliding fit. There are now 4 spaces around each of the X, Y and Z axis between the 8 pointed star and the inside surface of the cube, these spaces may be accommodated by 24 more OCTA pieces using 8 OCTA pieces for each axis and be of 3 different colors to show balance and beauty. We shall call this 40 piece cube arrangement as a PLATO cube arrangement as it reveals the octahedron and 2 tetrahedrons which are platonic solids.

By removing all of the 40 blocks from the central octahedron configuration the 8 corners of the cube may be accommodated by the 8 OCTA pieces that were used for the octahedron. The 8 TETRA pieces can be added to the faces of the 8 corner OCTA pieces to make each vertex of each TETRA piece meet perfectly at the center of the cube container. This assembly will expose 6 four sided pyramid cavities on each face of the inside surface of the cube container and by adding the remaining 24 OCTA pieces 8 of the pieces in each of the X, Y and Z axis once more a complete fill of the cube can be achieved. By using separate color OCTA pieces for each axis the filled cube will show beauty and balance. If the 8 corner OCTA pieces are removed we will be left with a perfect cuboctahedron. We shall call this 40 piece cube arrangement as the BUCKY cube arrangement as Mr. Buckminster Fuller described the Cuboctahedron inside a cube with a Vector Equilibrium centre.

The color arrangement is kept simple to make it easy for children to follow the instructions. The octahedron (8 OCTA pieces) should be balanced with 4 pieces of one color and 4 pieces of a second color, two tetrahedron assemblies (8 TETRA pieces) with a separate color also, the remaining 24 blocks (OCTA pieces) to be 8 blocks of one color, 8 of another color and the remaining 8 of the last color, using a total of 7 colors all told. Support means are provided to accommodate 2 transparent cube containers with a lip provided to locate into a groove provided on 2 opposite sides of each cube container an accommodation is provided to house a DVD containing instructions. The instructions are kept very simple to follow. The cube assembly is displayed centrally and the 32 OCTA pieces are displayed to be used or unused at different steps at one side and the 8 TETRA pieces are displayed the same on the opposite side.

An alternate assembly to achieve the same results is revealed by splitting the 40 piece cube arrangements into 8 smaller cubes each of these cubes contain one TETRA piece and four OCTA pieces. This 5 piece cube is old art but it will not achieve the said 40 piece BUCKY cube arrangement and 40 piece PLATO cube arrangement unless a mirrored copy of said 5 piece cube is provided so as to make a pair. Each cube assembly of this said pair be distinguished by color and one cube is provided with 4 OCTA pieces and the TETRA piece with different colors, the second cube to form the pair having one OCTA piece with a different color and the TETRA piece of a different color, this will give each pair 7 different colors. We will call the cubes that make up a pair of 5 piece cubes as a CHICO cube and a CHICA cube as if they were a male assembly and a female assembly. It is essential that the two cubes of the pair be distinguished by color for assembly because when a 40 piece cube assembly is made out of 4 of these pairs the only indication of knowing a CHICO cube from a CHICA cube is the difference in color making up one corner being that of an OCTA piece, the TETRA pieces are hidden. When CHICO and CHICA cubes are assembled to make a 40 piece cube assembly the CHICO cube is always adjacent to a CHICA cube in any axis. It is very simple to assembly cubes together because of the one corner being distinguishable by color and it is possible with the correct assembly of CHICO to CHICA cubes to repeat to infinity and form a perfect 3 dimensional array without voids 3 separate octahedrons each made of a different color with a fourth octahedron split into 2 colors being central to 2 tetrahedrons of different color making dual tetrahedrons.

There is another advantage of this CHICO and CHICO arrangements in that cutting planes can be made in the X, Y, and Z axis and also cutting planes can be provided using the orientation of the 4 faces of the TETRA pieces. By splitting the assemblies of pieces along the faces of the TETRA pieces many very interesting shapes can be formed and some semi-regular polyhedrons also. A dual tetrahedron can be made to an infinite size when 8 forty piece cube assemblies are added to form a larger cube as long as the color arrangements are kept in the correct orientation, each tetrahedron will increase in size yet will still keep to the same color arrangement.

If it is desired to have a cutting plane diagonally from two opposite faces as may be needed for forming the faces of some semi-regular polyhedral shapes. The OCTA pieces and TETRA can be split into 2 perfectly matching halves and these pieces may be re-oriented to any diagonal face between any two opposite faces of the CHICO or CHICA cube. These smaller pieces could be used instead of the 5 pieces of the CHICO or CHICA cube assemblies but would make a more complicated puzzle, therefore just a few of these pieces may be added to a kit if desired.

The transparent thin wall cubes are also shown with interconnecting means to prevent an assembly of cubes from falling apart.

The thin wall cube container can be any size and the blocks may be made any size using wood with color or by using plastic or made magnetic. The cube container can also be located full of blocks on a support means that runs on wheels for small children to play with.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS (a) Description of FIG. 1a and FIG. 1b.

FIG. 1 a shows an illustrative view of the 40 piece cube version of the toy. The two transparent cube containers 1 a and 1 b slide into support assembly 2 which is provided with a lip 3 so as to locate into a groove 4 provided along the walls on two sides of the both cube containers to allow the cube containers to slide into the said assembly. The slot 5 is provided to accommodate a DVD with its folder 6. In the top cube container 1 a we show an octahedron assembly 7 of blocks, there are 8 blocks total 7 a and we will call them OCTA pieces. In the bottom transparent cube 1 b we show a cuboctahedron 8 it contains a total of 24 OCTA pieces 7 a and also 8 tetrahedron blocks 11 these to be called TETRA pieces. There is an opening 10 in the top of each cube. This assembly FIG. 1 a contains the total of the 40 blocks that are provided for the toy illustrated.

FIG. 1 b shows an arrangement of pairs of 5 piece transparent cube containers making up an alternate version of the toy. The cube 20 a which we have named a CHICO cube is always paired up with a cube 20 b which we have called a CHICA cube. In this illustration the arrangement of pieces 7 show an octahedron as centre which we have called a PLATO cube arrangement, the other shows a cuboctahedron arrangement 8 of which we have called a BUCKY cube arrangement.

(b) Description of FIG. 2 and FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 shows an empty transparent cube container 1 a with an opening at the top 10 which is a complete removal of the top surface. On the left side of the cube 32 blocks 7 a are shown these are to be called OCTA pieces and are all perfectly equal in size and shape. On the right side of the cube eight blocks 11 are shown, these blocks are the shape of a regular tetrahedron and are all equal in size and shape and are to be known as TETRA pieces. Also shown are six grommets 9 which make up the total all the 46 unused pieces. FIG. 3 shows the cube container 1 a with eight OCTA pieces 7 a assembled to show a regular octahedron in a PLATO cube arrangement 7 which are made up of 4 OCTA pieces of a first color and 4 OCTA pieces of a second color which is essential for distinguishing between these 8 OCTA pieces. The 2 OCTA pieces of the same color are never adjacent and if desired can be supported in position by grommets 9. The used pieces are shown as 7 u for OCTA pieces and 9 u for used up grommets. The TETRA pieces 11 are also shown which must be 4 of third color and 4 of fourth color and will prove essential, this will be shown later. This method of illustration will make it easier to keep track of used and unused pieces of the toy.

(c) Description of FIG. 4 and FIG. 5.

FIG. 4 shows the transparent cube container 1 a with an assembly of a regular tetrahedron 12 made up of eight OCTA pieces 7 a and four TETRA pieces 11. The 4 TETRA pieces are always abutted to the 4 faces of the octahedron which have a different color to the 4 unused faces. To the left there are 8 OCTA pieces 7 u used and 24 OCTA pieces 7 a unused. The right side display shows 4 TETRA pieces 11 u that are used and 4 TETRA pieces 11 unused. The grommets 9 are now unused.

FIG. 5 shows the transparent cube container 1 a with a dual tetrahedron configuration 13 this eight pointed star is a perfect fit in the cube container formed by adding the remaining four TETRA pieces 11. One of the tetrahedrons assembled contain 4 TETRA pieces of a third color, the second tetrahedron of a fourth color. The right display of pieces now shows the 8 TETRA pieces 11 u all used and the grommets 9 unused.

(d) Description of FIG. 6 and FIG. 7.

FIG. 6 shows the transparent cube container 1 a with the eight point star 13 with an extra OCTA piece 7 a in its position. The left display of pieces shows 23 OCTA pieces 7 a unused and 9 OCTA pieces 7 u used and the right side display show 8 TETRA pieces 11 u used with grommets 9 unused. Also shown are three axes X, Y, and Z this is an indication of how 8 OCTA pieces 7 a may be used around each axis of the cube container 7 a to fill the unused spaces and completely fill the cube container 1 a as shown in FIG. 7 14. It is essential that the 8 OCTA pieces situated in the X axis are the same color being a fifth color, the 8 OCTA pieces in the Y axis of a sixth color and 8 OCTA pieces around Z axis being of a seventh color. Also shown are the OCTA pieces 7 u in the left display and TETRA pieces 11 u in the right side display totally used with just the grommets 9 unused.

(e) Description of FIG. 8 and FIG. 9.

FIG. 8 shows the transparent cube container 1 b, this cube container is shown with the blocks rearranged as shown with the eight TETRA pieces 11 positioned with each apex meeting at the center point C of the cube and forming a perfectly balanced shape 15. This cube arrangement we call the BUCKY cube arrangement. The left side display shows all OCTA pieces 7 a unused and the right side display shows all TETRA pieces 11 u all used just leaving the grommets 9 unused.

FIG. 9 shows shape 16 which is similar to FIG. 8 but also shows 8 OCTA pieces 7 a that have been added to fill the 8 corner spaces of the cube container 1 b. The OCTA pieces are arranged so that the corners with the same color are diagonal to each other. We have 6 pyramid shaped cavities 17 at each cube face. The left display of pieces shows 8 OCTA pieces 7 u used with 24 OCTA pieces 7 a unused. The right side display of pieces shows all TETRA pieces 11 u used and grommets 9 unused.

(f) Description of FIG. 10 and FIG. 11.

FIG. 10 shows the cube container 1 b completely filled with pieces 18. The pyramid shaped cavities have been filled with 4 OCTA pieces 7 a on each face. The front and back faces will each have 4 OCTA pieces of the same color being the fifth color, the left and right faces being the sixth color and the top and bottom faces using the seventh color. This arrangement is a 40 piece BUCKY cube arrangement.

FIG. 11 shows 8 cube containers 1 b with 40 piece BUCKY arrangements making up a larger cube of 320 pieces. The cubes are arranged so that each face making up the face of the larger cube has matching colors except for the corner OCTA pieces 7 a their 2 colors must always be adjacent, this is essential to ensure that the TETRA pieces which are hidden behind the OCTA pieces always keep their correct orientation and color. Eight of the 320 piece cubes can make a larger cube and so on to infinity.

(g) Description of FIG. 12, FIG. 13 and FIG. 14

FIG. 12 shows an illustration of 8 cube containers 1 a abutted together to form an array of 8 eight pointed stars 13. The OCTA pieces have been taken away except for the central octahedrons of 2 colors which are hidden by all the TETRA pieces 11.

FIG. 13 shows an illustration of 8 cube containers 1 a abutted together to form a larger cube of eight PLATO 40 piece cube assemblies 14, they can be split along the TETRA piece 11 faces to form a different shape as shown. The new face 21 will show many different color faces 11, 7 a and when opposite sides are split similarly the arrangement of colors will match in perfection.

FIG. 14 shows an illustration of an eight pointed star 19 made of 8 cubes 1 a, the pieces have been split down into tetrahedrons 12 of one color and tetrahedrons 12 b of another color they each reveal faces 7 a of the central octahedrons. As long as the 40 piece cube arrangements are abutted together in the correct orientation and matching colors, it is possible to form many other polyhedral shapes with a balanced arrangement of color and geometry.

Description of FIG. 15, FIG. 16 and FIG. 17

FIG. 15 shows the alternative arrangement of using CHICO and CHICA cubes also shown in FIG. 1 b. In this illustration the CHICO cubes 20 a and CHICA cubes 20 b are arranged to form two BUCKY cube 18 arrangements and one PLATO cube 14 arrangement. The relationship between the two said cube arrangements can now be observed. Two little icons have been provided to illustrate each centre of the two different cube arrangements, the first being a little sphere 21, this little sphere is like the two color octahedron that forms the centre of the PLATO cube arrangement. The second icon 22 shows a small sphere indicating 12 vectors of the Vector Equilibrium as described in Mr. Buckminster Fullers work with the Cuboctahedron. Note that any corner vertex of a BUCKY cube can be a centre of a PLATO cube and any corner vertex of a PLATO cube can be a centre of a BUCKY cube arrangement of pieces.

FIG. 16 shows the pair of 5 piece cubes we call CHICO 20 a and CHICA 20 b each cube contains four OCTA pieces 7 a but we will change the number of one OCTA piece from 7 a to 7 b on the CHICO cube 20 a and one OCTA piece from 7 a to 7 c on the CHICA cube 20 b these are the two OCTA pieces that make the CHICO and CHICA cubes easy to identify and keep to the correct orientation and color display that can tessellate to infinity. The icon 21 show the centre of a PLATO arrangement that can be made if pairs of cubes 20 a and 20 b are arranged about this point, icons 22 indicating BUCKY cube centers.

FIG. 17 shows the pair of 5 piece cubes as in FIG. 16 with the 3 OCTA pieces 7 a removed from each cube to show a TETRA piece 11 a abutted to OCTA piece 7 b in the CHICO cube 20 a and TETRA piece 11 b abutted to OCTA piece 7 c in CHICA cube 20 b. It can be seen that the assembly of pieces in the CHICA cube is a mirrored assembly of the CHICO cube, the TETRA piece 11 a must be a different color to TETRA piece 11 b. The OCTA pieces 7 b and 7 c have their own color so as to make it easier for identifying between the two cubes. The remaining OCTA pieces will be made up of 3 colors with the CHICO AND CHICA cubes having opposite matching colors. The total colors of the CHICO and CHICA pair of assemblies will be seven colors.

FIG. 18 shows an arrangement of a pair of 5 piece cubes that have a diagonal split 25 this can be achieved if the OCTA pieces 7 a are made into 2 halves 23 and TETRA pieces 11 made into two halves 24. If all 5 pieces are split this way they can be rearranged for a diagonal spit in all possible orientations. This may be the solution for forming some special polyhedral shapes.

Description of FIG. 19

FIG. 19 is an illustration of three transparent cubes 25 that have been provided with interconnecting means. Each cube 25 is provided with 2 tongues 26, each tongue is provided with two lips 27, each lip is provided with an aperture 28 to receive the tongue of an additional cube 25 to secure the two cubes together snugly. The bottom of each transparent cube 25 is also provided with four apertures 29 to receive the tongues 26 and lips 27 of additional cubes when place on top of each other, forming a seating for correct orientation. These said means can help to prevent an assembly of cubes such as 8 cubes that make a larger cube from falling apart.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8181961 *Feb 5, 2010May 22, 2012Louis J. HallIn-tube puzzle
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/156
International ClassificationA63F9/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/06
European ClassificationA63F9/06