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.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3552056 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 5, 1971
Filing dateDec 13, 1967
Priority dateOct 19, 1967
Publication numberUS 3552056 A, US 3552056A, US-A-3552056, US3552056 A, US3552056A
InventorsMeates Kevin F
Original AssigneeMeates Kevin F
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connecting element for connecting slotted structural elements in toy construction kits
US 3552056 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

7 Jan. 5, 1971 K. FQMEATES CONNECTING ELEMENT FOR CONNECTING SLOTTED ELEMENTS IN TO! CONSTRUCTION KIT STRUCTURAL S Filed D60. 13, 1967 N VENWR FIG.8

KEVIN Fknum HEHTES United States Patent O CONNECTING ELEMENT FOR CONNECTING SLOTTED STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS IN TOY CONSTRUCTION KITS Kevin F. Meates, 6 Clifford Ave., Christchurch 1, South Island, New Zealand Filed Dec. 13, 1967, Ser. No. 690,327 Claims priority, application New Zealand, Oct. 19, 1967, 150,420 Int. Cl. A63h 33/10 US. Cl. 46-29 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Connecting means adapted to engage frictionally in slots formed in the ends of elongated rectangular structural elements provided in the toy construction kits, so as to interconnect two, three, four, or up to ten such structural elements. Circular disc connectors may have radial slots bridged by cubiform portions for joining the elongated members in either radical or perpendicular relation to the disc.

The invention relates to connecting means for use in toy construction kits comprising a plurality of structural elements formed at their ends with slots whereby they can be connected together. A toy construction tkit comprising structural elements of this type is described in the specification of my United States Patent application No. 681,372 filed Nov. 8, 1967.

Structural elements of the type hereinbefore described have the disadvantage that any two structural elements cannot be connected together without either offsetting or turning one element relative to the other.

The general object of the present invention is the provision of means for connecting structural elements of the type hereinbefore described, which do not require the structural elements to be either offset or turned relative to one another.

Particular objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description.

According to the invention, means for connecting structural elements of the type hereinbefore described comprises an element formed with a thickness adequate to engage frictionally in the slots provided in the said structural elements, and further formed on at least one side with upstanding ribs disposed so as to engage frictionally the sides of the said structural elements adjacent the slots.

Preferably, the element is formed with symmetrically disposed upstanding ribs on both sides. 1

Several embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of means for connecting up to three structural elements of the type hereinbefore described which are shown in the drawing to facilitate an understanding of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view thereof;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of means for connecting up to four structural elements;

FIG. 4 is a plan view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation of means for connecting up to ten structural elements;

FIG. 6 is a plan 'view thereof;

FIG. 7 is a plan view similar to FIG. 2, which shows a modification applicable to the means for connecting up to three structural elements; and

FIG. 8 is a plan "view similar to FIG. 6, which shows a modification applicable to the means for connecting up to ten structural elements.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, means indicated generally at 10 for connecting up to three structural elements 11 formed at their ends with slots 12, comprises a rectangular element 13 formed with a thickness adequate to engage frictionally in the slots 12 in the structural elements 11, and further formed on both sides with symmetrical upstanding ribs 14 disposed so as to engage frictionally the sides-of the structural elements 11 adjacent the slots 12. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the ribs 14 do not extend unbroken from end to end of the element 13, but are interrupted at the central portion of the element 13 to provide symmetrical gaps of a width equal to the thickness of the structural elements 11. Thus, when two structural elements 11 are connected end to end by the connecting element 13, a third structural element 11 can be connected so as to intersect the adjacent ends of the other two elements 11 at right angles, in the manner shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the ends of the ribs 14 on each side of the said gaps then frictionally engaging the sides of the said third element 11 adjacent to the slot 12 therein.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, means indicated generally at 15 for connecting up to four structural elements 11 comprises a cross-shaped element 16 formed 'with a thickness adequate to engage frictionally in the slots 12 in the structural elements 11, and further formed on both sides with symmetrical upstanding ribs 17 disposed so as to engage frictionally the sides of the structural elements 11 adjacent the slots 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, means indicated generally at 18 for connecting up to ten structural elements 11 comprises a disc-shaped element 19 formed with a thickness adequate to engage frictionally in the slots 12 in the structural elements 11, and further formed on both sides with symmetrical upstanding ribs 20 disposed so as to engage frictionally the sides of the structural elements 11 adjacent the slots 12. The element 19 is also formed in the centre with a hole 21 whereby the element 19 can be rotatably mounted on a shaft (not shown).

Referring now to FIG. 7, the connecting means 10 may be modified by forming two symmetrically disposed notches 22 in the rectangular element 13, the portion of the element 13 between the notches 22 being adequate to engage frictionally in the slots 12 in the structural elements 11, and the width of the notches 22 being adequate to engage frictionally the sides of the structural elements 11 adjacent the slots 12.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the connecting means 18 may be modified by forming slots 23 and rectangular holes 24 in the disc-shaped element 19, the slots 23 and the holes 24 being arranged so that the portion of the disc-shaped element 19 between each slot 23 and the adjacent hole 24 is adequate to engage frictionally in the slots 12 in the structural elements 1.1. The longitudinal axes of the structural elements 11 can then be disposed either radially or parallel to the axis of the hole 21 in the connecting means 18.

The means provided by the invention for connecting structural elements of the type hereinbefore described enable a far greater variety of toys to be constructed from the said structural elements than is possible by use of the structural elements by themselves, as hitherto.

I claim:

1. For use in a toy construction kit comprising a plurality of structural elements formed at their ends with slots whereby they can be connected together, connecting means comprising a connecting element formed on opposite sides thereof with two parallel plane faces, the thickness of the connecting element between its said faces being such that the connecting elements can be frictionally engaged in said slots; the connecting element formed with ribs projecting from its said faces, the connecting element having the form of a fiat circular disc, the opposite circular faces of which constitute said plane faces of the connecting element, said ribs formed on said circular faces in a plurality of radially disposed pairs of parallel ribs, the ribs of each said pair being parallel to the ribs of a corresponding said pair of ribs on the opposite face of the connecting element so as to provide a plurality of symmetrical sets of four parallel ribs disposed two on each of the said circular faces, and rectilinear radial portions of the connecting element being positioned between the four parallel ribs of each said set, said rectilinear radial portions of the connecting element being formed with a rectangular slot and a rectangular hole separated from each other by a cubiform central part of each said radial portion, said rectangular slots extending inwardly from the circumference of the connecting element, and said rectangular holes being disposed between said cubiform parts and the central portion of the connecting element, the slotted end portions of said structural elements being frictionally engageable on said cubiform parts of the connecting element both when the longitudinal axes of the structural elements are disposed radially to the center of the connecting element and when the said longitudinal axes are disposed parallel to the central axis of the connecting element.

2. In a toy construction kit comprised of a multiplicity of longitudinally extending structural elements and connecting elements for interconnecting such structural elements, wherein the improvement comprises said structural elements each having a pair of spaced parallel faces, each of said structural elements having a slot extending from at least one end thereof in a longitudinal direction of said structural element with the slot extending through said structural element between its parallel faces, said slot being of a uniform dimension between its opposed longitudinally extending sides, each said connecting element being arranged to interconnect at least a pair of said structural elements in a longitudinally aligned relationship, each said connecting element comprising a discshaped circular element having a pair of oppositely disposed circular faces arranged in spaced parallel relationship, rib means formed on and extending outwardly from each of said circular faces, said rib means comprising a plurality of radially disposed pairs of parallel ribs, said ribs of each said pair being parallel to the ribs of a corresponding said pair of ribs on the opposite circular face of said connecting element for providing a plurality of symmetrical sets of four parallel ribs disposed in pairs on each of said circular faces, the thickness of said discshaped circular element between its circular faces being substantially equal to the uniform dimension between the opposed faces of the slots in said structural elements so that the slotted end portions of said structural elements are frictionally engageable on the portions of said connecting elements which are disposed between the four parallel ribs of each said set, the spacing between the facing surfaces of each said pair of parallel ribs being substantially equal to the spacing between said pair of spaced parallel faces of said structural elements so that said ribs on said connecting element are frictionally engageable with the surfaces of said faces on said structural element, said portions of said connecting element positioned between said four parallel ribs of each said set are each formed with a rectangular slot and a rectangular hole extending at right angles to the circular faces of said connecting element and are separated from each other by a cubiform central part of said portion, said rectangular slots extending inwardly from the circumferential periphery of said connecting elements, and said rectangular hole being disposed between said cubiform parts and the central portion of said connecting elements and said cubiform parts having a dimension extending in the radial direction of said connecting elements equal to the uniform dimension between the sides of said slots in said structural elements so that the slotted end portions of said structural elements are frictionally engageable on said cubiform parts of said connecting element both when the longitudinal axes of the structural elements are disposed radially to the center of said connecting element and when the longitudinal axes are disposed parallel to the central axis of said connecting element.

3. In a toy construction kit, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the said disc-shaped circular connecting element has a central hole therethrough between its oppositely disposed circular faces whereby said connecting element can be rotatably mounted on a shaft.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,288,226 12/1918 Schrader 4629 1,553,810 9/1925 Gibbney 4629 1,707,691 4/ 1929 Sweet 4629 2,027,885 1/ 1936 Schwartzbach 4623 2,722,772 11/1955 Steanes 46-29 2,783,046 2/1957 Lien 4617X FOREIGN PATENTS 1,183,331 1/1959 France 4628 165,187 11/ 1905 Germany 4629 440.423 12/1935 Great Britain 4629 F. BARRY SHAY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 287-2, 54

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4115608 *Nov 22, 1977Sep 19, 1978Glass Carl ROrnamental sunburst hub
US4376351 *Aug 18, 1981Mar 15, 1983Peter LarwsWheel
US4637193 *Mar 15, 1985Jan 20, 1987Interlock Structures International, Inc.Connecting apparatus
US4775258 *Jan 15, 1987Oct 4, 1988Interlock Structures International, Inc.Connecting apparatus
US4861307 *Jul 13, 1987Aug 29, 1989Palimondial S.A.Wheel for a modular assembly system
US5078534 *Dec 19, 1990Jan 7, 1992Samson Truss CorporationFlush nut connectors
US8147162 *Jul 9, 2010Apr 3, 2012Sauder Woodworking Co.Coupling
US8206054Aug 11, 2010Jun 26, 2012Sauder Woodworking Co.Furniture coupling assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/126, 403/174, 403/292, 446/114, 403/300
International ClassificationA63H33/04, A63H33/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/06
European ClassificationA63H33/06