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.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2776521 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 8, 1957
Filing dateOct 27, 1954
Priority dateOct 27, 1954
Publication numberUS 2776521 A, US 2776521A, US-A-2776521, US2776521 A, US2776521A
InventorsElmer L Zimmerman
Original AssigneeElmer L Zimmerman
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Construction toy
US 2776521 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 8, 1957 E. ZIMMERMAN ,7


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

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1691728 *Apr 29, 1927Nov 13, 1928Homeland Mfg CoMiniature or toy fence section
US2057942 *Jan 29, 1935Oct 20, 1936Fay Marc Aurele AlfredToy construction unit
US2570341 *Jul 24, 1948Oct 9, 1951Hake George HHinger for containers
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2865124 *Jan 11, 1957Dec 23, 1958Du PontAdvertising exhibit device
US3000049 *Aug 4, 1958Sep 19, 1961American Plastics CorpPlastic hinge and method of making the same
US3412519 *Dec 3, 1965Nov 26, 1968David L. BrettingenBuilding block structure
US3417505 *May 24, 1965Dec 24, 1968Darald R. SchultzSpace panels
US3662486 *Feb 4, 1970May 16, 1972Edward J FreedmanPolyhedral amusement and educational device
US3777359 *Mar 31, 1972Dec 11, 1973E BardotMethod of making skeletal tetrahedrons
US3868798 *Apr 8, 1974Mar 4, 1975Spica Joseph PModules for through- and under-drawing flooring
US3871143 *Jun 27, 1973Mar 18, 1975Kreske Walter JBuilding element for beach and play structures
US3998004 *May 27, 1975Dec 21, 1976Ehrlich Brent HGeometric construction kit
US4012872 *May 11, 1976Mar 22, 1977Roger Mitchell StolpinGeodesic dome-like panels
US4055019 *Jan 19, 1973Oct 25, 1977Edward Henry HarveyConstructional toy and element therefor
US4073105 *Aug 30, 1974Feb 14, 1978Daugherty Charles RTemporary structure
US4090322 *Oct 28, 1976May 23, 1978David F. HakeGeometric amusement set
US4133445 *Apr 5, 1977Jan 9, 1979Isidore MandelbaumPill dispensing and storage device
US4170082 *Feb 28, 1977Oct 9, 1979Calvin FreedmanModular connectors for cylindrical elements
US4253268 *Sep 12, 1979Mar 3, 1981Mayr August APlaytoy building block set
US4309852 *Dec 7, 1979Jan 12, 1982Stolpin Roger MKit for assembling geodesic structure
US4556394 *Jul 31, 1984Dec 3, 1985Chen Chen TsungToy building block set
US4606732 *Jun 15, 1984Aug 19, 1986Ronald LymanInterlocking toy building blocks with interconnecting, releasable hinges
US4637180 *Jun 10, 1985Jan 20, 1987Zeigler Theodore RichardClip for self-locking collapsible/expandable structures
US4731041 *Sep 19, 1986Mar 15, 1988Ziegler James TConnectable polygonal construction modules
US4792319 *Jul 8, 1987Dec 20, 1988Svagerko Daniel EBuilding blocks
US4886477 *Jun 7, 1988Dec 12, 1989Novation Design Ltd.Connectble polygonal construction modules
US4896900 *Oct 13, 1988Jan 30, 1990Hsin Yu Album Enterprise Co., Ltd.Loose-leaf photo album
US4911672 *Jun 13, 1988Mar 27, 1990Harry EricksonConstruction apparatus
US5046982 *Oct 20, 1989Sep 10, 1991Arlington-Hews, Inc.Construction apparatus
US5104345 *Mar 9, 1990Apr 14, 1992Lyman Ronald LToy construction set formed from plural building blocks
US5183430 *Mar 27, 1989Feb 2, 1993James SwannGeometric toy construction system
US5259803 *Apr 9, 1991Nov 9, 1993Lyman Ronald LToy construction set featuring gears and radiant connectors
US5433929 *Mar 10, 1994Jul 18, 1995Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., Inc.Sterilization and storage cassette
US5472365 *May 13, 1994Dec 5, 1995Engel; Richard J.Polygon attachment system for constructing polyhedra
US5745953 *May 24, 1995May 5, 1998Western Design CorporationHinge assembly, platform and method of making same
US6116980 *Mar 3, 1997Sep 12, 2000Trigam S.A.Set of elements articulated to each other
US6186855 *Apr 12, 1999Feb 13, 2001Trigam S.A.Set of elements articulated to each other
US6925770 *Dec 19, 2003Aug 9, 2005Sorensen Research And Development TrustInterlockable element for structure assembly set
US6935075 *Jun 4, 2002Aug 30, 2005Brian James ShermanTriangular stackable building wall module and method
US7118442 *May 30, 2003Oct 10, 2006Universite LavalConstruction members for three-dimensional assemblies
US7588476 *Apr 8, 2005Sep 15, 2009K'nex Limited Partnership GroupHinged connector for multi-part construction toy
US7648407 *Jul 14, 2005Jan 19, 2010Soren Christian SorensenToy-building elements having sidewall grooves formed between outwardly extending flexible ridges
US7807247Jan 29, 2008Oct 5, 2010Bromley Robert LFlexlock with headed pintle and conical buttressing
US7972549 *Feb 24, 2003Jul 5, 2011Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L.Direct forming of non-textile fabric elements from plastic pellets
US8187050 *Dec 4, 2009May 29, 2012Soerensen Soeren ChristianToy-building elements having sidewall grooves formed between outwardly extending flexible ridges
US8197922Oct 5, 2010Jun 12, 2012Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L.Flexlock with headed pintle and conical buttressing
US8443566 *Feb 28, 2011May 21, 2013Paul WennbergBuilding structured material using cell geometry
US8444419Aug 24, 2010May 21, 2013Shannon DriskellPolygonal device for kinesthetic learners
US8464476 *Mar 27, 2008Jun 18, 2013Matthew William Lewis RobertsModular construction elements
US8491979Jun 12, 2012Jul 23, 2013Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L.Flexlock with headed pintle and conical buttressing
US8557160Jun 28, 2011Oct 15, 2013Samsonite Ip Holdings S.A.R.L.Direct forming of non-textile fabric elements from plastic pellets
US8678388 *Sep 3, 2010Mar 25, 2014Co And Co Communication Reklam Es Hirdetesszervezo KftGame accessory, especially dice
US20100058676 *Mar 27, 2008Mar 11, 2010Matthew William Lewis RobertsModular construction elements
US20120161392 *Sep 3, 2010Jun 28, 2012Nagy RichardGame accessory, especially dice
DE2356930A1 *Nov 14, 1973May 15, 1975August MayrBauelementensatz fuer spielzwecke
EP0109181A1 *Oct 12, 1983May 23, 1984Brannelly, David GeorgeToy/model building system
EP0121433A1 *Mar 30, 1984Oct 10, 1984Novation Design Ltd.Interconnectible polygonal construction modules
EP0357282A1 *Aug 15, 1989Mar 7, 1990Novation Design Ltd.Folding polygonal toy construction element
WO1989000068A1 *Jul 8, 1988Jan 12, 1989Daniel E SvagerkoBuilding blocks
U.S. Classification446/115, 446/116, 52/DIG.100, 16/370, 16/227, 446/124, D21/489, 16/255, 16/DIG.130
International ClassificationA63H33/06
Cooperative ClassificationY10S52/10, A63H33/065, Y10S16/13
European ClassificationA63H33/06E