US 3464145 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 2, 1969 P. c. MARTIN 3,464,145
SET OF BLOCKS FOR GENERATING DESIGNS Filed Aug. 12, 1966 i l I IZ I3 x3 mum} W I 4 22 J4 2/ 2 5 3 V30 40% 22 I; r
mm W mm mm L" mm [4 g 1 w W PM" 3 (q W WWW efafifwwm United States Patent 3,464,145 SET OF BLOCKS FOR GENERATING DESIGNS Patricia C. Martin, 1804 Augusta Drive, Champaign, Ill. 61820 Filed Aug. 12, 1966, Ser. No. 572,125 Int. Cl. A6311 33/00, 33/22 US. Cl. 46-17 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to a device for generating a plurality of designs and particularly to a set of blocks for generating designs.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a set of blocks enabling the formation of a variety of designs.
Another object is to provide an intellectual and creative amusement device or game with which the operator or player creates designs by arranging various blocks.
Briefly, these objects are accomplished with a unique set of blocks, each block of the set havind designs on its various faces. One face of each block is used in creating an over-all design formed by all the blocks of the set.
Three different types of blocks, distinguishable from each other by the designs on their faces, make up the entire set. The block designs of each particular type have certain common characteristics which enable their combination to form an overall design which exhibits symmetrical properties. The common characteristic of a first of the three types of blocks, the corner block, is that the design variations along at least two adjacent edges of the block faces are identical. The common characteristic of the second type, the side block, is that the design variations along at least two opposite edges of the block faces are identical with each other and with the design variations along the above mentioned adjacent corner block edges. The third type is the center block. There is only one center block in the set and its designs may vary greatly. It is desirable that the center block design have a symmetry at least as great as the remainder of the design.
A more detailed description of the present invention will be given with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric diagram showing one embodiment of a set of blocks constructed according to the present invention; and
FIGS. 2 through 4 are diagrams of various designs used on the blocks constructed according to the present invention.
In the embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 1, a plurality of blocks 10, here eighty-one, each constructed according to the present invention, are arranged to form one of a variety of possible designs. The various blocks may be made of any suitable material, for example, wood or molded plastic, and may be any desired size. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the blocks are cubic, and therefore each has six faces. This, however, is not a necessary construction. An alternative construction, for example, might be a thin, two-face, block or title. It is preferable that the block faces used to form the over-all design be square. A suitable device 11 may be employed to contain the various blocks.
The faces of each of the blocks contain designs which enable the combining of the blocks to form the over-all design. Three different types of blocks, distinguishable from each other by the designs on their faces, make up the entire set. These three different types will hereinafter be referred to as (l) the corner blocks 12 which are located along the diagonals of the over-all design, (2) the side blocks 13 which appear between the corner blocks, and (3) the center block 14 which appears at the center of the over-all design.
The basic characteristic of the designs on the faces of the corner blocks 12 is that the design variations along at least two adjacent edges of each face on a block are identical to each other. This characteristic is illustrated by FIG. 2 which shows the six faces of each of the corner blocks of FIG. 1. Each of these six faces includes a design formed by a first white area 20 and a second black area 21, the black being indicated by crosshatching. Here the design variation along two adjacent edges 22 of each face is a transition from white to black occurring at the midpoint of each edge. Thus, for each of the faces shown in FIG. 2 the change from white to black occurs at the midpoint of at least two adjacent edges on each face. It is not necessary that the design variation be a change from one color to another or that it occur at the midpoint of the edges. It is only necessary that the design variation be the same along the adjacent edges. It would, for example, be possible to provide faces where the design change occurred, for example, one-third the distance along adjacent edges of each face.
It is desirable that the design variations along the other two adjacent edges 23 of each corner block face also be identical with each other, although they need not and generally will not be identical with the variations along the first two adjacent edges 22. In each of the faces shown in FIG. 2 there is no design variation along these other adjacent edges 23, i.e., these edges are all one color. If the black portion 21 were extended to intersect the edges 23, however, then, preferably, the design variation resultingfrom the intersection would be the same along both edges 23.
FIG. 3 shows the six faces of each side block employed in the FIG. 1 embodiment of the present invention. The basic difference between the side block design, which again is black and white, and the corner block design is that here the design variation is identical along at least two opposite edges 30 of each face. Also, the design variation along each of the opposite edges 30 is identical with the design variation along the above-mentioned first adjacent edges 22 of the corner block. When a corner block face is positioned adjacent an edge block face the designs should meet along the edges of the two blocks. Thus, if the design variation is from white to black at the midpoints of the corner block edges 22, then the transitions from white to black along the side block edges 30 should also occur at the midpoints of the edges. Or, if the blocks are designed so that the transitions from white to black along the corner block edges 22 occur, for example, one-third the distance along the edges, then the transition from white to black on the edges 30 of the side blocks should also occur one-third the distance along those edges.
The design variations along the other two opposite edges 31 of the side block faces are preferably identical with each other and with the corresponding adjacent edges 23 of the corner block faces. This construction permits continuity of design from corner block to side block along these two edges.
The six faces 40 of a typical center block used in the present invention are shown in FIG. 4. The faces 40 of the center block may have essentially any symmetric design thereon. The symmetry of the center block design, however, is preferably compatible with that of the remainder of the design. Also, the design variations along the center block edges 41 are preferably identical with each other and with the design variations along the side block edges 31 which contact the center block edges 41. It should be here noted that the center block need not necessarily be included in the entire design, although it is included in the design shown in FIG. 1. Four corner block faces may be combined in a square to form the center of the design with the remainder being built around these four.
All of the block designs illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4 are of the two-area-pattern type, i.e., the design on any one face is formed by combining two distinct patterns over certain areas of the block faces. Thus, the illustrated block designs are formed by a first white area pattern and a second black area pattern. These patterns of course need not be plain colors. Any two distinct patterns might be employed. For example, one area pattern might be a series of dots and the other a plain color.
While the two-area-pattern designs have been described in detail, it should benoted that many other designs may be employed. The only limiting factors in the choice of designs are those which dictate identical design variations along certain edges of the blocks as discussed above.
In using the set of blocks as a tool to create designs or as a game, the blocks may be arranged generally as shown in FIG. 1 with the corner blocks 12 arranged along the diagonals of the over-all design, the side blocks 13 arranged between the corner blocks and the center block 14 at the center. The operator or player can create a vast number of different over-all designs by selecting various faces of the blocks. The most symmetric designs are obtained when blocks equally distant from the center exhibit the same faces. Thus, in the design shown in FIG. 1 each of the four corner blocks having a point contacting the center block exhibits the same face. Similarly, each of the '4 edge blocks contacting the center block exhibits the same face. It is not necessary, however, that equidistant faces be identical. Also, as noted above, the set may be used without the center block.
What is claimed is:
1. A plurality of blocks, each having a plurality of square faces with different designs on difierent faces thereof, wherein the designs on each of the faces of a first group of said plurality of blocks are two-area-pattern designs with the two patterns meeting at the midpoints of at least two adjacent edges of each of the faces, and wherein the designs on each of the faces of a second group of said plurality of blocks are two-area-pattern designs with the two patterns meeting at the midpoints of the opposite edges of each of the faces whereby a plurality of designs can be created by arranging faces on blocks of the first group along the diagonals of the design and arranging faces on blocks of the second group at the nondiagonal portions of the design.
2. A plurality of blocks as claimed in claim 1 and further including a third block with a plurality of square faces, each of the faces having a design diflFerent from the design on the faces of blocks in said first and second groups whereby said third block may form the center of the design.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 161,423 1/1951 Claflin 273l56 1,260,541 3/1918 Holland 273--l56 1,973,564 9/1934 Graham 273l56 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner ROBERT F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 273--157