US 2776521 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 8, 1957 E. ZIMMERMAN ,7
CONSTRUCTION TOY Filed Oct. 27, 1954 I N VEN TOR.
United States Patent CONSTRUCTION TOY Elmer L. Zimmerman, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Application October 27, 1954, Serial No. 464,980
1 Claim. (Cl. 46-25) This invention relates to construction toys.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a construction toy wherein the basic units are simple, flat, geometrical figures, such as squares or equilateral triangles which are adapted to be joined to each other to form three-dimensional figures.
'It is another object of the present invention to provide a construction toy of the above type wherein the basic units are provided with identical edges adapted to mesh to form a hinge and allowing for a vast number of configurations to be assembled, including many regular three-dimensional geometric shapes.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a construction toy of the above type which may be used as an educational aid, for example to illustrate the method of development of a particular surface, or to serve as a model for a perspective drawing.
Other objects of the present invention are to provide a construction toy bearing the above objects in mind which is of simple construction, inexpensive to manufacture, has a minimum number of parts, is easy to assemble and entertaining in use.
For other objects and a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of one of the basic units of the invention, shown alone;
Fig. 2 is a top plan view thereof;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary front elevational view showing the interlocking adjacent edges of a pair of basic units in assembled relationship;
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 44 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken along the line 66 of Fig. 2; and
Fig. 7 is a perspective view showing an assembled, complete tetrahedron as formed from the basic units.
Referring now more in detail to the drawing, there is shown in Fig. 1 a basic unit of the invention indicated generally at 10 and here for illustrative purposes shown in the form of an equilateral triangle, although it will be readily understood that other geometrical figures may be employed, for example squares, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. As shown in Fig. 1, the basic unit 10 includes a triangular, relatively thin body portion 11 integrally formed around its periphery with the thickened portions 12, the outer edges of the thickened portion 12 being flared together, as at 13. Each of the sides of the thickened portions 12 are integrally formed with a pair of laterally spaced female hinge elements 14 near one end and .a male hinge element near the other end adapted to cooperate with corresponding male and female hinge elements provided on the adjacent edge of a similar basic unit. The tapered portions 13 intermediate each pair of female hinge elements 14 and on each side of each of the male hinge elements 15 are provided with the recesses 16 (Fig. 6) adapted to receive therewithin the corresponding male and female hinge elements of an adjacent basic unit and to allow a wide angle of swing of the hinge after it is assembled.
The male hinge elements 15 on opposite sides thereof are provided with the beads 17 adapted to be snapped into the corresponding grooves 18 provided on the adjacent faces of the female hinge elements 14, the material of the units being semi-rigid to allow the hinge elements to snap into position.
The central portions 11 are integrally formed with Y-s'haped ribs 19 for reinforcing purposes.
Thus, a complete hinge is formed by bringing the hinge elements 14, 15 of any two basic units together (Fig. 3), and by bringing further basic units together the complete tetrahedron of Fig. 7 may be formed. Due then to the identical edge design, any two edges of any of the basic units will mesh to form a hinge, this feature allowing for vast numbers of configurations including any regular three dimensional geometric shape, depending on the configuration of the basic unit itself. The units may be prepared in a variety of colors in order to emphasize a particular part of a figure as well as to add visual appeal when used as toys. Also, while in the drawing, the basic units have been shown in the form of equilateral triangles, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that various other geometrical figures may be employed, for example squares, without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
While various changes may be made in the detail construction, it shall be understood that such changes shall be within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claim.
What I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent of the United States is:
A construction toy unit comprising a relatively flat thin body of semi-rigid material, said body being provided with a thickened portion formed integrally therewith and extending around the periphery thereof, the outer edges of said thickened portion being flared together, a female hinge element and a male hinge element laterally extending from each of the sides of said unit and formed integrally therewith, said hinge elements being adapted to cooperate with correspondingly positioned complementary male and female hinge elements provided on the adjacent sides of a similar unit in mating relation, the
flared edges of said sides being recessed to permit tne mating engagement of complementary hinge elements to thereby position flared edges of adjacent units in close contiguity with each other to thereby form a substantially continuous wall therebetween, beads formed on the walls of one of said hinge elements and complementary grooves formed in the walls of the other of said hinge elements adapted to receive said beads, the material of which said unit is formed being of suificiently resiliently yielding character to permit the introduction of said beads into said grooves with a snap action to thereby form a secure hinge connection between adjacent units, said grooves being formed to completely encompass the extending body of said beads whereby a multiplicity of said units may be articulate-d during assembly to form a complex geometric figure.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Hake Oct. 9, 1951