US 3148477 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 15, 1964 A. BJQRN ETAL 3 148377 BUILDING BLOCK HAVING FLEXIBLE RIBS T0 ENGAGE A SIMILAR BLOCK Filed Feb. 3, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 4 Q 5 \w NW 7 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 A. BJZRN ETAL BUILDING BLOCK HAVING FLEXIBLE RIBS TO ENGAGE A SIMILAR BLOCK Filed Feb. 3, 1961 Sept. 15, 1964 INVENTORS ACTON BJORN S/Gl/ARD BERNADOTTE' United States Patent Office Patented Sept. 15,, 1954- 3,143,477 BUTLDING BIJQCK HAVKNG FLEXIBLE RES T9 ENGAGE A SEMTLAR BLGCK Acton Ejprn and igvard Bernadette, Copenhagen, Denmark, msignors to Irma Fabrilrerne A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark, a Danish limited company Filed Feb. 3, 19b1, Ser. No. 86,889 Claims priority, application Denmark Feb. 5, 1960 3 Claims. (Cl. 4625) The invention relates to a model building element.
More particularly the invention relates to a model building element having side walls which extend downwardly from a substantially rectangular horizontal plate member along the sides of said plate, the side walls being adapted to be clamped on ribs projecting upwardly from the plate.
It is known in the art to provide rigid ribs on the plate member and since the said ribs are rigid, the resilience necessary for the clamping is provided by the downwardly extending walls. Customarily these walls are slotted and these walls cannot therefore be connected with each other to form a building element having a continuous surface around the side walls. This is a drawback since the use of such building elements is of maximum versatility when they have four integral side Walls.
it is an object of the invention to provide a model building element in which all four side walls can be engaged with the model elements in interfitted relation. This is accomplished by providing the upwardly directed ribs as being relatively thin and resilient and wherein each rib is much shorter than the adjacent plate side. t is a feature of the invention that the ribs extending along the long sides of the element are independent of one another and collectively extend a distance approximately between the end walls of the model element. It is a further feature of the invention that at least one or more of the ribs extending along the long side of the element are when taken as a whole substantially equal in length to the distance between the long side walls whereby said at least one or more ribs can engage the inside surfaces of the long side walls when two of said blocks are arranged in a perpendicularly related manner, as illustrated in the lower left corner of FI URE 3. The resilience necessary for clamping similar building elements together is thus obtained solely by the upwardly directed ribs which are thin and whereby the clamping is obtained along all four sides of the element.
To provide an increased number of possibilities for assembling the building element it may be formed with ribs of known design extending on the outer side of one or more of the side walls. The latter ribs are so formed that two elements can be assembled in end-to-end relation. The possibilities of assembly may be further increased by spacing the side ribs to engage the ribs on either of the opposite ends of a corresponding building element for clamping the elements in end-to-side relation. Furthermore, by appropriate spacing of the ribs on opposite side surfaces, engagement of the building elements to side-to-side relation is permitted.
In the building element according to the invention the assembly members provided along all of its side surfaces are thus capable of cooperating with the difierent types of assembly members provided on other elements of identical or similar kind.
The drawing shows various embodiments of the model building element according to the invention. In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view, partly in section, of a single building element.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of a larger building element having vertical side ribs,
FIGURE 3 is a model building made of elements of the lastmentioned type, and
FIG. 4 shows in section the interengagernent of two building elements when they are placed on top of one another;
FIG. 5 is a plan view showing building elements in side to side engagement, in end to end engagement and in end to side engagement;
FIG. 6 is an elevation view showing the elements in end to top engagement; and
FIG. 7 is a plan view showing the elements one atop the other and extending at right angles.
The building elements shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 may be of plastic or other suitable material. The elements are hollow and open at their lower end, but they may also be solid and have downwardly extending Walls 1 with an undercut inner surface.
By means of the said undercut walls 1 the element can seize a number of ribs 2 or a ribbed section 3 provided on the upper side of other elements, the said ribs or ribbed sections being undercut on their outward side. This can be clearly seen in FIG. 4.
To ensure that the said ribs or ribbed sections have resilient qualities, they are not connected by transverse ribbed sections. The row of ribs is interrupted at the corners 4, whereby each ribbed section 3 becomes rectilinear. In order that downwardly extending parts 1 of elements with smaller base may be attached on top of the element involved, the row of ribs has also other interrupted parts 5.
The element shown in FIGURE 2 has vertical ribs 6 at each short side Wall and a number of vertical ribs 7 distributed along each long side Wall.
The said ribs 6 and 7 are raised from the surface of the building element to form undercut surfaces. The ribs do on one end wall are spaced apart a distance which is less than the distance between the ribs 6b on the opposite end wall so that the end walls of similar building elements can be joined to one another by interfitting the ribs 60 of one end wall within the ribs 6b of another end wall. The spacing of the ribs on the side surfaces correspond alternately to the spacing of the ribs on the end surfaces. Furthermore, the spacing of the ribs on opposite side surfaces of one element correspond respectively to the spacing of the ribs on the end surfaces so that it is possible to engage the side surfaces of the building elements with one another as Well as to engage the end wall of a building element with the side wall of another building element. The elements are simply pressed against each other, whereby the undercut surfaces of the ribs engage each other and keep the elements assembled until they are Withdrawn from each other manually.
FIGURE 3 shows a multi-story model building made exclusively of elements of the kind shown in FIGURE 2. The uppermost story of the building is made of two elements 8 placed on end, the ribs of their end Walls engaging the ribbed sections 3 on the upper side of other elements 9. FIGS. 5-7 show in detail the various ways that the building elements can be assembled.
The elements may have a single color or they may be given different colors by means of adhesive strips of a Width corresponding to the height of the individual element. The elements may have windows and doors etc. painted on them and also the adhesive strips may have corresponding drawings. When the side walls of the element have ribs 6 and 7, the adhesive strips may be adapted to be affixed to the outer surface of such ribs, but it may also be sufficient to cover the side walls proper e of the element with an adhesive strip, the strip being divided into rectangles of a size conforming to the spacing between the ribs 6 and 7.
What we claim is:
1. A building block comprising a flat surface, a plurality of walls extending from said flat surface and connected together to provide a box-like member having a hollow space with an opening, a plurality of distinct flexible independent ribs on said flat surface projecting in a direction away from said walls, said ribs extending along a boundary path which is complementary to the outline of the walls defining the opening of the hollow space such that two building blocks can be connected together in self-engaged locked fashion by inserting the ribs of one block into the hollow space of the other of the blocks to cause the ribs to be resiliently deformed and hold the blocks together, said ribs including undercut outward facing surfaces, the inside surfaces of the walls of said block including undercut inward facing surfaces Which interengage with the undercut surfaces of the ribs of another block after insertion thereof and after having elastically deformed the same.
2. A building block as claimed in claim 1 wherein said walls form a space having a substantially rectangular opening with a longer and shorter side, said ribs being arranged to define a rectangular boundary and wherein a plurality of said ribs extend along the longer side of said rectangular boundary.
3. A building block comprising a hollow box-like member of elongated cubical shape having a rectangular base surface and wall elements extending from said base surface and defining a rectangular opening, a plurality of thin flexible elongated ribs in spaced arrangement on said base surface cooperatively defining a rectangular outline corresponding to said opening, said rectangular base surface having a first pair of equal longer sides and a second pair of equal shorter sides, each of the longer sides of the base surface having a plurality of spaced ribs extending therealong, one or more of which ribs taken as a whole is equal in length to the distance between the Wall elements which extend along the longer sides of the base surface, whereby said one or more of which ribs can engage the inside surfaces of the long side walls when two of said blocks are arranged in a perpendicularly related manner, said flexible ribs also being engageable with the wall elements of a second identical building block to resiliently connect the blocks together in self-engaged fashion when a pair of said blocks are arranged one on top of the other and in an identically oriented manner, said ribs including undercut surfaces facing outwardly from the block, ribs on the wall elements extending perpendicular to the ribs on the base surface, said ribs on the wall elements each including an undercut surface facing an opposite undercut surface on an adjacent rib, the latter said ribs having a spacing which permits ribs on the wall elements to engage and grip the ribs extending along the longer sides of the base surface.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 319,764 Westcott June 9, 1885 1,894,061 Sanders Jan. 10, 1933 2,472,363 Blackinton June 7, 1949 2,565,823 Pool Aug. 28, 1951 2,699,128 Johnson Jan. 11, 1955 2,800,743 Meehan et al. July 30, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 128,398 Australia July 19, 1948 633,055 Great Britain Dec. 12, 1949