US 3234683 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb- 15, l966 G. K. cHRlsrlANsEN 3,234,633
TOY BUILDING ELEMENT INCLUDING A ROTA'I'ABLE BUSHING Filed April 6, 1962 006g@ o@ o o Mmma, @mf/m Feb- 15, 1956 cs. K. CHRISTIANSEN 3,234,583
TOY BUILDING ELEMENT INCLUDING A ROTATABLE BUSHING' Filed April 6, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 United States Patent O 3,234,683 TOY BUILDING ELEMENT INCLUDING A ROTATABLE RUSHING Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, Billund, Denmark, assignor to Interlego A.G., Zug, Switzerland, a company of Switzerland Filed Apr. 6, 1962, Ser. No. 185,690
Claims priority, application Denmark, Oct. 19, 1961,
4,151/61 3 Claims. (Cl. i6-25) This invention relates to toy building set elements of the type comprising an open box-shaped hollow body having top, side and end walls and no base and having upwardly extending studs for engagement with other elements of the set; and the object of the invention is to provide an element of this type which will enable rotatable spindles to be incorporated in the assembly of constructional models such as vehicles, windmills, merrygo rounds, and other devices having rotating members.
According to the invention this is achieved by providing a building element which is characterized in that its cavity forms a bearing housing for a bushing, and that a spindle extending through a hole in a wall of the element is held by friction in the bushing.
Thus a particular technical effect is achieved as the bearing housing thus formed in accordance with the invention is included as a standard element in the set and may be built into an assembly in any desired position. Furthermore, it is a characteristic feature of the invention that the said bushing serves a dual purpose by forming an external bearing surface which provides a low friction engagement with the fixed, plane surfaces inside the housing, and, at the same time, acting as a stop for the spindle which is held by friction inside the bushing.
In addition, a number of advantages are obtained in respect of the construction and assembly of the individual elements as well as their application as part of a set.
Other particular features and details of the element of the invention will be described in the following part of the specification with reference to the drawing in `which FIG. 1 is a plan view of an embodiment of the invention showing the top surface of the element,
FIG. 2 is an internal view of the cavity of the element of FIG. 1 as viewed from below,
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line III-III in FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a plan view of an insert for the element of FIGS. 1-3,
FIG. 5 shows the insert of FIG. 4 as viewed from below,
FIG. `6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line VI-VI in FIG. 4,
FIG. 7 is a vertical, transverse cross-sectional view of the element with the insert taken along the plane indicated by line VII-VII in FIG. 5,
FIG. 8 shows in a vertical, longitudinal section another embodiment of the element of the invention,
FIG. 9 shows a transverse vertical section of the embodiment of FIG. 8,
FIG. 10 is a side elevation, partly in section of the ernbodiment of FIGS. 143. and shows a circular element or wheel rotatably mounted in the bearing housing formed inside the element,
FIG. 11 shows the face of the wheel of FIG. 10,
FIG. 12 shows a cross-sectional view of yet another embodiment of the element,
FIG. 13 is a sectional view of a suitable wheel and spindle for the element of FIG. 12, and
FIGS. 14, 15, and 16 show another embodiment of a wheel for an element according to the invention, FIG. 14 showing a front view of the wheel face and FIGS. 15 and 3,234,683 Patented Feb. 15, 1966 ice 16 sectional views taken along the lines XV-XV and XVIXVI in FIG. 14, respectively.
Referring to the drawing, FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 7 show a building element in accordance with the invention, and this element is characterized in that a channel or channels are formed in the element cavity for receiving a bearing bushing journalled therein, the outer diameter of the bushing being slightly less than the width of the channel and the end or side walls of the element having holes disposed in central alignment with the channels, each of said holes adapted to permit the free passage of a spindle held by friction in the bushing.
In order to provide the desired exibility and interchangeability with other elements of a toy building set, more especially the blocks or bricks disclosed in my prior Patent No. 3,005,282, the basic construction of the external top face of the element preferably does not differ from such other elements. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the element is rectangular with a unit width w and a length 2W, having on top wall eight external assembly studs 5, arranged in two parallel rows and in transverse pairs so Ithat the studs are uniformly spaced apart in both longitudinal and transverse directions. The height and diameter of these studs likewise preferably -conforms to the dimensions of the external studs of the blocks or bricks comprising other elements of the set.
Such arrangement of external studs `having these dimensions permits the assembly of the element of this invention with other elements in the same manner as the latter elements are assembled, that is by insertion of the external studs into the cavity of said other element in clamping engagement with the internal primary projections and inner faces of the end and side walls, as disclosed in said patent.
The element differs, however, from the known types in the particular formation of the cavity of the element which is a, characteristic feature of the invention shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 7. The element cavity defined by side walls 2 and end walls 3 has two longitudinal channels 8 along the longitudinal axis and one transverse channel 9 along the transverse axis. These channels are formed on the internal face 1b of the top plate 1 by ribs 6 and 7 respectively, which ribs, according to the invention, are arranged in pairs with a spacing slightly greater than the outer diameter of the bushing 15 and a height which is less than that of the internal side and end walls 2 and 3 of the element, but slightly greater than the diameter of said bushing.
According to the invention, the channels 8 and 9 of the illustrated embodiment have a square cross-sectional area defined by four walls comprising the inner face 1b of the top plate 1, a pair of ribs 6 and 7 respectively and a fourth wall formed by the top surface of the insert shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6. This arrangement provides a socket in which the bushing 15 is freely rotatable without excess play.
A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 12 in which the bushing 15 is disposed vertically at a right angle to the top surface 1a, and the spindle 19 is inserted through a hole 16a in this top wall.
i According to the invention the insert shown in FIGS. 4-6 comprises a plate 10 having the same outline as the internal face 1b of the top wall 1 of the element and having, on its upper face, wedge-shaped clamping ribs 11 extending upwardly so that when the plate is inserted into the element, these ribs engage the ribs 7 defining the side walls of the cavities, so as to clamp the insert into position in the element.
Thus the insert may be readily clamped into the cavity of the element by the engagement of the clamping ribs 11 with the ribs 7. If desired, this engagement may be made permanent by bonding together the abutting surfaces of these ribs in a suitable manner.
The invention, of course, is not limited tol the provision of channel defining ribs 6 and 7 on the inner face 1b of the element and the clamp-ing ribs 11 on the upper, or inner, face of insert 10. vIf desired the positions of the ribs may be reversed, that is the channel ribs may be formed on the inner face of insert 10, and the clamping ribs lformed on the inner face of the element.
Also, according to the invention, the downward facing outer surface of the insert is provided with engagement studs 14, as shown in FIGS. -7. These studs are preferably tubular, conforming in size and location to the internal projections of the basic elements described in my Patent No. 3,005,282. This arrangement of inner studs permits the assembly of the element with an adjacent element by clamping engagement of studs 14 with the external studs 5 of the adjacent element.
FIGS 8 and 9 show a modied form for an element according to the invention, in which the bushing is journalled in a transverse cavity of the element and that this cavity has a width slightly greater than the outer diameter of the bushing and a depth representing the sum of (a) The height of the supporting studs 181 extending inwardly from the top Wall of the element.
(b) The outer diameter of the bushing, and
(c) The height of the engagement studs 5 extending externally from the top wall of the element.
As a result of this construction of the element, the insert 10, FIGS. 4-6, may be substituted by the engagement studs 5 of an adjacent element and consequently the bushing 15 may be journalled in the housing formed by the normal engagement of two elements during their assembly. In such assembly the bushing preferably would be somewhat longer, to t between the side Walls, and with two internal cavities, 16, 17, Afor insertion of spindles 19 at each end, substantially as shown.
FIG. 10 shows a wheel 20 with `a xed spindle 19, inserted through the hole 13 in the end wall of the element and held by friction in the internal bore of the bushing 15 cradled between the ribs 6, the inner surface 1b of the top wall and the top surface of the insert 10. This circular element may also be provided with a groove 21, as shown, in the rim, to permit use as a pulley.
FIG. 1l shows a fro-nt View of the wheel 20 with four engagement studs 5 arranged symmetrically about the wheel center. This arrangement permits the wheel to be used as a connector for linking a stationary construction of building elements to one which is rotating, for example the sails of a windmill.
The toy building element of this invention enables a building set which has hitherto been limited to the construction of stationary models, such as houses, bridges, representations of animals, etc., to be used for building up models with rotating or pivoted parts such as ma chines, cranes, etc. To further increase the number of assembly possibilities, it is also contemplated that the circular element may be made in larger Sizes, as in FIGS. 14, 15 and 16, with a correspondingly greater number of engagement studs 5.
What is claimed is:
1. A toy building element comprising a rectangular block having top, side, and end walls defining a cavity and at least one pair of projections within said cavity,
an insert fitted into said cavity comprising a plate having the same outline as the internal face of the top wall of said block and on its inner face at least one pair of projections providing a clamping engagement with the projections of said block, said projections, top, and insert forming a channel within said cavity transverse toy opposing walls of said block adapted to receive a bushing, and a bushing rotatably disposed Within said channel, at least one of said opposing walls having an aperture therein aligned with said bushing and adapted to receive a spindle for insertion in said bushing.
'2. A hollow rectangular toy building element having a top and four side walls at right angles thereto, at least one pair of parallel projections on the inner face of said top within the cavity of said element, a separable insert within said cavity, said insert being prallel to said top and in contact with said projections toy define a housing therewith, a cylindrical bushing rotatably disposed Within said housing, an aperture in at least one of said walls transverse to sai-d housing, said aperture being aligned with said bushing and of such diameter as to receive a spindle extending therethrough for frictional engagement in said bushing, and means for holding said insert in clamping engagement with said projections.
3. A toy building element comprising an open boxshaped hollow building block having top, side and end walls, b-ut no base, and having a plurality of studs extending outwardly from said top wall, at least one pair of parallel ribs extending from the internal face of said top wall into cavity of said block and arranged symmetrically with respect to a median plane thereof, the height of said ribs being less than that of the side and end Walls of said block and substantially equal to the distance between the ribs, and insert fitted into the cavity of said block and comprising ra plate having the same outline as the internal face of the top wall of the block and provided at its inner face with clamping means which extend upwardly into the block and engage the ribs in the cavity thereof, the upper face of said plate abutting the lower ends of said ribs so as to define a channel of square cross section extending transverse to two opposing walls of said block, said plate having on its outer face means for a clamping engagement with the outwardly extending studs of another such clock, and a cylindrical bushing rotably disposed with said channel, -the said two opposing walls each having an opening therein in axial alignment With said bushing and channel.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 318,649 5/1885 Patrick 308-237 A 1,712,074 5/ 1929 Fridolph. 2,223,518 12/ 1940 Heuberger 308-237 A 2,940,211 6/ 1960 Kelley. 2,972,833 2/ 1961 Grutta 46-25 3,005,282 10/1961 Christiansen 46-25 3,032,919 5/1962 Amsler. 3,120,719 2/1964 Sirnonds 46-17 FOREIGN PATENTS 615,304 6/1935 Germany.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner. DELBERT B. LOWE, Examiner.