US 3486268 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 30, 1969 A. FISCHER TOY CONSTRUCTION KIT 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 6.. 1966 IN V EN TOR.
BY ARTUR FISCHER 17/ 46 a; (fi /Mr Dec. 30, 1969 A. FISCHER V 3,486,268
TOY CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed April 6 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR.
BY ARTUR mscnzx Dec. 30, 1969 A. FISCHER 3,486,268
TOY CONSTRUCTION KIT Filed April 6,. 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 1 I l I I F 1 Q I Q3 2 l l 2U I I 2 IN VEN TOR.
ARTUR FISCHER 3,486,268 TOY CONSTRUCTION KIT Artur Fischer Tumlingen, kreis Freudenstadt, Germany Filed Apr. 6, 1966, Ser. No. 540,775 Claims priority, application Germany, Apr. 9, 1965, F 45,784; May 20, 1965, F 46,108 Int. Cl. A63h 33/08 US. CI. 46-16 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A toy construction kit includes a socket member of plate-shaped configuration having two substantially parallel major surfaces and a third surface inclined to both of them and extending from one to the other. The socket member is provided with at least one recess which extends inwardly from the third surface and which has a portion extending from the remainder of the recess to one of the major surfaces. The portion decreases in cross-sectional area in the direction towards this one major surface and has an end section located adjacent to the third surface whose cross-sectional area is greater than the cross-sectional area of the remainder of the portion. An auxiliary element has a male coupling portion of a cross-sectional area so configurated that it can be introduced through the recess portion into the recess for coupling the auxiliary element to the socket member.
The present invention relates to a construction kit. More specifically, the invention relates to a construction kit of the type in which structural members are secured together by means of push-pull-type connections. Still more specifically, the invention relates to a socket member in such a construction kit to which auxiliary elements can be secured in the above-mentioned manner.
In my copending application, filed Nov. 8, 1965, Ser. No. 514,165 and entitled, Assembly Kit, I have described a kit for assembly of various structures, such as houses, toy vehicles and the like, in which the respective structural elements are joined by insertion of a connecting head provided on one of the elements into a groove provided on another element, which groove is so configurated that the head can be inserted and removed only in axial direction of the groove and maintains the elements connected together against disengaging forces operative at an angle with reference to the axis of the groove. This arrangement is highly satisfactory in that it enables the connection of two or more structural elements with one another without the use of auxiliary fastening elements such as screws or the like, but with great reliability against accidental disconnection of the elements.
However, what I have set forth in the abovementioned copending application are structural elements in form of building blocks, that is square, rectangular or prismatic shapes. If a structure of any size is to be erected with the use of only such members, this will require an inordinately large number of these blocks to construct, for instance, the base or foundation of a house or of a similar structure, such as the bed of a fiat-bed car. It is therefore desirable to provide a means for spanning larger distances, for providing a large-surfaced support, and generally for enabling the securing of such blocks at spacedapart points without the interposition and connection to such blocks of additional blocks serving to connect the whole structure together.
Accordingly it is a general object of the present invention to provide a. construction kit possessed of the abovementioned requirement.
A more specific object of the present invention is to nited States Patent ice provide a base or socket member to which individual structural auxiliary elements can be secured.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide such a socket member to which auxiliary elements can be secured by the insertion of male connecting portions provided on either the socket member or the elements into complementary recesses provided on the respectively opposing element.
Yet an additional object is to provide a socket member which is highly versatile in that auxiliary elements can be secured thereto in a variety of different positions, locations and manners.
A further object of the invention is to provide a socket member as outline above which is also usable, individually or together with auxiliary structural elements secured thereto, as a pulley or for similar purposes.
Finally, it is an object of the invention to provide such a socket member, and indeed a construction kit incorporating such a socket member, which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture and in which deviations from established manufacturing tolerances are of little or no consequence for the reliable joining of the respective members and elements.
In accordance with one feature of my invention I provide a construction kit which comprises a socket member having two major surfaces. The socket member further has a third surface which extends from one to the other of the major surfaces and is provided with at least one recess extending inwardly and having a portion extending a portion extending to at least one of said aforementioned major surfaces. My construction kit further comprises an auxiliary element provided with a male coupling portion which is receivable in the recess of the socket member for coupling the auxiliary element to the latter.
The novel features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the invention in a top-plan view;
FIG. 2 is a section taken on the line IIII of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partially sectioned elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, taken on the line III-III thereof;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view, partly sectioned, of a further embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 5 is a partly sectioned side-elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a front-elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a top-plan view, partly in section, of yet a further embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, partly sectioned.
Discussing now the drawing in detail, and firstly FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that there is shown therein a round socket member or first member in form of a plate 1, which is provided in its peripheral surface 1c with radially inwardly extending recesses 2 which are open over part of their entire length to one or the other, or else to both major surfaces of the plate 1. Inwardly of one or both of the major surfaces 1a, 1b of the plate 1, the cross sectional areas of each of the recesses 2 increases; in other words, the recesses 2 are of the undercut type so that adjacent each of the major surfaces there are provided one or two ridges 20 extending partly across the width of the recess 2. Those portions of the respective recess 2 which are located adjacent the periphery of the plate 1 are free from these ridges or projections 2a, in other words, the cross sectional area of the portions in question is not decreased because from these portions the projections 2a are absent.
The auxiliary elements or second members 3, which correspond substantially to those disclosed in my abovementioned copending application, are provided with male connecting portions or heads which are joined to the respective elements 3 by a neck portion 5a of a cross-sectional area which is smaller than that of the connecting portions 5. The cross sectional area of the necks 5a corresponds to the cross-sectional area of the recesses 2, measured between corresponding cooperating ridges 2a on one or the other of the major surfaces of the plate 1. The heads or male connecting portions 5 may, as also described in my copending application, be of cylindrical configuration or, alternately and as shown for example in FIG. 1 of the present application, they may be provided with a flattened surface facing away from the respective auxiliary element on which they are carried. If the configuration of the heads 5 is cylindrical, then only one of the heads 5 will fit into each one of the recesses 2. If, however, the heads have a configuration such as is shown in FIG. 1, and if the recess is open to both major surfaces of plate 1, then it is possible to secure two of the auxiliary elements to the plate 1, abutting against the opposite major surfaces thereof, by inserting the respective heads 5 together into a single one of the recesses 2. Of course, care must be taken that the distance between the surface of the auxiliary element carrying the head 5 and the flattened face of such head is at most half of the cross-sectional area of the respective recesses 2. Such a connection is shown in FIG. 3, where the heads are indicated with reference numeral 5.
Of course other connecting elements, such as cylindrical rods 4 and the like, can also be inserted into the respective recesses 2 (see FIG. 2) and it will be understood that the portion of widened cross sectional area adjacent the periphery of the plate 1 is provided in each of the recesses 2 so as to make the introduction of the respective coupling or connecting element or portion easier.
Along at least one side of the recesses 2, and preferably along both sides, the plate is advantageously formed with through-going slots 6 which, since the plate is to be made from a plastic material such as polyamide, enable readier yielding of the material of the plate to thereby compensate for tolerance variations occurring in the manufacture both of the recesses 2 with their associated ridges 2a and of the connecting elements or coupling portions.
The utility of the socket member or plate 1 can be still further enhanced by providing it with blind or throughgoing bores 9 so that, if desired, several of the plates 1 may be joined together in form of a stack or may even be vertically spaced from one another by inserting connecting rods through the respective bores 9 of the various plates 1.
The auxiliary elements 3 may similarly be provided with bores or passages and such connecting rods 4 may also be received in the bores or passages of the auxiliary elements so that in this manner, also, these auxiliary elements can be secured to the plate 1 if for any reason this type of securing is preferred or required.
A further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 4-6 and it will be seen that the socket member or plate in this case is of rectangular configuration. Again it is provided with the recesses 2 extending inwardly from the periphery of the plate. In this case, however, the recesses 2 are spaced about the periphery and do not extend radially as is the case in the embodiment of FIG. 1. However, it will be noted that in FIG. 4, as
Well as in FIG. 1, the recesses are spaced equi-distantly, although this also need not necessarily be the case. The axes of the respective recesses 2, which are each again provided with the ridges 2a as described with reference to FIG. I, extend parallel to one another and the axis of the recesses extending along one side of the plate may be, but need not be aligned with the axes of the recesses extending along the other side of the plate. Slots 6 are again provided on one or both sides of the respective recesses 2 to provide for elastic deformation of the material of the plate if such should be necessary. The arrangement of the recesses leaves free a center portion of the plate extending over the length thereof intermediate the respective side edges and the inwardly extending recesses 2 associated with these side edges. This center portion is designated with reference numeral 7a and, when the auxiliary elements 3 are secured to the plate by being moved inwardly from the periphery towards the portion 7a as shown in phantom-lines by way of a single exemplary element 3, the center portion 7a can be bridged by means of additional connecting members 8 shown in FIG. 6. This means that to all intents and purposes the entire area of both major surfaces of the plate can be covered with auxiliary elements which are rigidly secured to the plate. This is of particular importance in erecting certain structures, for example vehicles where one side of the plate must carry the elements constituting the walls of the vehicle whereas the opposite side of the plate must carry elements to which axles and wheels are to be secured.
To further enhance the utility of the plate shown in FIGS. 46 the center portion 7a thereof may further be provided with male connecting portions or heads 5 similar to those shown for instance in FIG. 1 on the auxiliary element 3, and further with circular bores 9 and elongated bores or cutouts 10 which additionally serve to secure a further auxiliary element and/or separate connecting members to the plate.
To permit connection of two or more of the plates in planar relationship with one another, the plates can additionally be provided in their peripheral surfaces with undercut grooves or even single continuous groove 11, as well as with inwardly extending bores 11' or bores 11" provided with additional frictional retaining means. Of course, the bores 11' or 11" can be provided independently of a peripheral recess 11, or all of them can be combined.
An alternate possibility is shown in FIG. 5 Where the (in the drawing uppermost) recess 2 is shown to communicate not only with the two major surfaces of the plate 7, but also directly with a peripheral surface thereof, as indicated by the phantom-line. In such case it is possible to secure simultaneously three auxiliarly elements to the plate 7, namely one from each opposite major surface and one from the peripheral surface with which the respective recess 2 communicates, provided only that the heads or male coupling members on the auxiliarly elements are suitably configurated so that the three together are receivable in the recess 2.
A final further embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, where it will be seen that the socket member is again provided in form of a circular plate 1. The provision of the recesses 2 and the bores 3 therein is identical with the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Where the embodiment of FIGS. 7 and 8 differs from that of FIG. 1 is in the provision of a peripheral recess 12 which in cross section section may be semi-circular, trapezoidal or triangular, for instance. The purpose of this peripheral recess 12 is to enable use of the plate 1, either individually or, if desired, with the additional auxiliary elements secured thereto, as a pulley or for similar purposes. It will be understood that if the plate 1 is utilized as a pulley a belt, band, or rope or similar motion-transmitting means will be received in the peripheral groove 12. The plate 1 shOWn in FIGS. 7 and 8 is additionally provided with a central aperture 13 which, in the embodiment shown, will be seen to be bounded by a serrated wall so that, if a complementarily configurated shaft is inserted into this aperture 13, relative rotational displacement between the shaft (non-illustrated) and the plate 1 is not possible.
It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of construction kits differing from the types described above.
While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a construction kit, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.
1. A construction kit comprising, in combination, a first member having two substantially parallel major surfaces and a peripheral surface inclined to the general planes of both of said major surfaces and extending from one of said surfaces to the other of said parallel major surfaces one of said surfaces of said parallel major surfaces, said first member being provided with at least one recess extending intermediate said major surfaces inwardly from said peripheral surface and having a portion extending to and decreasing in cross-sectional area in the direction of at least one of said major surfaces; and a second member having a male coupling portion receivable through said portion of decreasing cross sectional area in said recess for coupling said second member to said first member.
2. A construction kit as defined in claim 1, and further comprising complementary coupling portions provided in said recess and dimensioned for engaging said male coupling portion when the same is inserted into said recess.
3. A construction kit as defined in claim 2, wherein said complementary coupling portions are integral with said first member.
4. A construction kit as defined in claim 2, wherein said recess has an end section located adjacent to said peripheral surface and having a cross-sectional area greater than that of the remainder of said recess.
5. A construction kit as defined in claim 4, wherein said portion of said recess also extends to the other of said major surfaces.
6. A construction kit as defined in claim 1, wherein said first member is made from a synthetic plastic material.
7. A construction kit as defined in claim 6, wherein said plastic material is polyamide.
8. A construction kit as defined in claim 2, wherein said recess has an end section located adjacent to said peripheral surface and having a cross-sectional area greater than that of the remainder of said recess; and further comprising securing means provided on said first member.
9. A construction kit as defined in claim 8, wherein said securing means comprises at least one passage provided in said first member for receiving a complementarily shaped securing element.
10. A construction kit as defined in claim 9, wherein said passage extends from one of said major surfaces to the other.
11. A construction kit as defined in claim 9, wherein said passage extends inwardly from said peripheral surface of said first member.
12. A construction kit as defined in claim 8, wherein said securing means comprises at least one securing head projecting from one of said surfaces for engagement in a complementary recess of an element to be secured to said first member.
13. A construction kit as defined in claim 8, wherein said male coupling portion projects a given distance from said second member, and wherein the distance between said major surfaces is at least twice said given distance.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,233,358 2/1966 Dehm 46-25 FOREIGN PATENTS 711,869 6/1965 Canada. 1,176,368 11/195'8 France.
RUSSELL R. KINSEY, Primary Examiner R. F. CUTTING, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 41-25