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 numberUS3148477 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 15, 1964
Filing dateFeb 3, 1961
Priority dateFeb 5, 1960
Publication numberUS 3148477 A, US 3148477A, US-A-3148477, US3148477 A, US3148477A
InventorsActon Bjphirn, Sigvard Bernadotte
Original AssigneeIrma Fabrikerne As
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Building block having flexible ribs to engage a similar block
US 3148477 A
Previous page
Next page
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

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US319764 *Sep 15, 1884Jun 9, 1885 westcott
US1894061 *Apr 8, 1931Jan 10, 1933Sanders Reginald EToy construction block
US2472363 *May 22, 1944Jun 7, 1949Douglas G B HillBuilding block
US2565823 *Apr 1, 1946Aug 28, 1951Clarence PoolToy building blocks and base
US2699128 *Sep 21, 1950Jan 11, 1955Johnson Donald MBuilding construction unit
US2800743 *Mar 8, 1955Jul 30, 1957Edward R RenoufToy building brick
AU128398B * Title not available
GB633055A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3456413 *Dec 1, 1966Jul 22, 1969Artur FischerStructural element
US3488881 *Dec 6, 1965Jan 13, 1970Holzer WalterKit with components made of severably joined identical units
US3513588 *Jan 9, 1968May 26, 1970Artur FischerToy assembly kit
US3577671 *Feb 26, 1969May 4, 1971Woollett Roy PerryConstruction kits for toys and models
US3644008 *May 11, 1970Feb 22, 1972Overby Robert RModular cabinet construction
US3657838 *Feb 10, 1970Apr 25, 1972Hanning KunststoffeBuilding game system
US3852909 *Dec 23, 1970Dec 10, 1974Viebcke HBlocks with detachable cap plates having additional mating connecting means
US3867784 *Oct 9, 1973Feb 25, 1975Lange HelmutToy brick and combination of toy bricks
US3876185 *Apr 2, 1973Apr 8, 1975J Lynn WelchVehicle energy absorbing device
US3894354 *May 17, 1973Jul 15, 1975Crawley Thomas BFoldable play building blocks
US4003144 *Jul 11, 1975Jan 18, 1977Damon CorporationEducational block with replaceable chip
US4019293 *Jan 27, 1975Apr 26, 1977Eduardo Santana ArmasBuilding modules and structure embodying such modules
US4091746 *Oct 18, 1976May 30, 1978James Alvin KimbroughArticle of furniture
US4233778 *Jul 19, 1978Nov 18, 1980Lemelson Jerome HModular toy
US4516364 *Sep 30, 1982May 14, 1985Heider Richard MInsulating block and a wall thereof
US5014480 *Jun 21, 1990May 14, 1991Ron ArdesPlastic forms for poured concrete
US5970673 *Mar 25, 1998Oct 26, 1999Fisher; Myles A.Construction block system
US5987829 *Jul 14, 1998Nov 23, 1999Fisher; Myles A.Construction block
US6050044 *Jul 29, 1998Apr 18, 2000Kitsilano Industries Inc.Building block
US6547487 *Aug 29, 2001Apr 15, 2003Won-Hoi YangWave dissipating blocks for constructing a seawall
US6571525 *Aug 1, 2001Jun 3, 2003J. David ColemanConstruction block
US7997041Feb 15, 2006Aug 16, 2011Seven Trent Water Purification, Inc.System method for interlocking support blocks
US8069630 *Mar 27, 2007Dec 6, 2011Severn Trent Water Purification, Inc.System and method for interlocking support blocks
US8382548 *Dec 23, 2009Feb 26, 2013Mattel, Inc.Toy building blocks
US8424261 *Apr 16, 2009Apr 23, 2013Peter CollierComposite building block having moisture barrier and insulation element
US8453414Nov 12, 2004Jun 4, 2013Conxtech, Inc.Quick-set, full-moment-lock, column and beam building frame system and method
US8715030 *Dec 22, 2011May 6, 2014Hsiao-Chieh ChinToy building block
US20100210173 *Dec 23, 2009Aug 19, 2010Mattel, Inc.Toy building blocks
US20120137864 *Aug 11, 2011Jun 7, 2012Massachusetts Institute Of TechnologyArticulating protective system for resisting mechanical loads
US20130165013 *Dec 22, 2011Jun 27, 2013Hsiao-Chieh ChinToy building block
WO1991019865A1 *Jun 19, 1991Dec 22, 1991Reddi Form IncImprovements in plastic forms for poured concrete
U.S. Classification52/591.2, D21/500, 446/106, 52/591.3, D25/113, 52/79.13
International ClassificationA63H33/08, A63H33/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/082
European ClassificationA63H33/08D