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Publication numberUS3682479 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 8, 1972
Filing dateMay 11, 1970
Priority dateMay 11, 1970
Publication numberUS 3682479 A, US 3682479A, US-A-3682479, US3682479 A, US3682479A
InventorsMiller Edmund S, Miller Nancy W
Original AssigneeMiller Edmund S, Miller Nancy W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Three dimensional puzzle
US 3682479 A
Abstract
A three dimensional puzzle formed of several, similarly or differently colored, stacked layers of interlocked puzzle segments with each layer containing one or more voids through which portions of the layers beneath it and the interior surface of a supporting tray are visible to produce a pleasing visual effect.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Miller et a].

[ 1 Aug.8, 1972 [54] THREE DIMENSIONAL PUZZLE [72] Inventors: Edmund S. Miller; Nancy W. Miller,

both of 127% N. Main Street, Urbana, Ohio 43078 [22] Filed: May 11, 1970 [21] Appl. No.: 36,119

[52] US. Cl. ..273/157 R [51] Int. Cl. ..A63f 9/12 [58] Field of Search ..273/157 R, 157 A [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 636,319 11/1899 I Campm, ..273/157AUX 1,964,007 6/ 1934 Parks ..273/157 R Matthews ..273/157 R UX 1,789,782 1/1931 Shockley ..273/157 R 1,415,245 5/1922 Kennedy ..273/157 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 635,724 9/1936 Germany ..273/157 A 419,311 11/1934 GreatBritain ..273/157R Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle AIt0mey-Marechal, Biebel, French & Bugg ABSTRACT A three dimensional puzzle formed of several, similarly or differently colored, stacked layers of interlocked puzzle segments with each layer containing one or more voids through which portions of the layers beneath it and the interior surface of a supporting tray are visible to produce a pleasing visual effect.

12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUB 81972 3.682.479

saw 1 OF 3 UVVE/VTORS EDMUND s. MILLER a NANCY w. MILLER g g g ATTORNEYS PATENTEDAUB 81912 SHEET 2 [IF 3 PATENTEB 8 sum 3 BF 3 FIG4 50 62 40 30 FIG-6 THREE DIMENSIONAL PUZZLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The most common type of jigsaw puzzle is the two dimensional type in which a series of complementarily configured interlocking puzzle segments are assembled to produce a planar surface which is usually imprinted with a pictorial representation. While this type of puzzle is undoubtedly the most widely used, it will be apparent that the decorative effects obtainable with the completed puzzle are limited to two dimensional images. Additionally, more experienced puzzle assemblers may feel a lack of challenge with a two dimensional puzzle since the principal way of increasing the complexity of the puzzle is to increase the number of puzzle segments.

US. Pat. No. 2,987,318 shows a second type of puzzle in which the puzzle segments are curved so that upon attachment to a core member a three dimensional object is formed. While this approach provides more interesting images, it will be seen that again, only the surfaces of the puzzle segments are actually used.

A third type of jigsaw puzzle is shown in US. Pat. No. 1,964,007. In puzzles of this type, layers of puzzles are stacked to produce three dimensional objects. Of course, only the top surface of the uppermost layer and the outermost edges of the underlying layers are visible and the uppermost surfaces of the lower layers add nothing to visual effect obtained.

SUMMARY or THE INVENTION The present invention provides a three dimensional puzzle in which layers of interlocked puzzle segments are stacked in superimposed relationship in a supporting tray having a base and upstanding side walls. Each of the layers is provided with one or more voids of geometric or irregular shape which relate to the voids contained in the other layers to produce a pleasing or stimulating visual effect.

It will thus be seen that a puzzle is provided which, through the use of multiple layers having interrelated voids formed therein, not only provides more interesting visual effects but presents a greater challenge to more experienced puzzle assemblers.

Of course, if it is desired to render assembly less difficult various aid to assembly may be provided. For example, each of the segments in each layer may be provided with identifying markings to distinguish it from segments of other layers. Additionally, a series of starter frames may be provided for each layer with the openings through each frame of progressively larger size toward the top of the stack.

It will be seen that by forming voids through the puzzle layers, a more intricate design is produced than where merely the top surface of one layer and the edges of underlying layers are utilized, and the decorative effects obtained by positioning portions of the underlying layers beneath the voids formed in the layers same time, for less experienced puzzle assemblers, the puzzle can also be simplified to some extent.

It will also be seen that the voids through the layers may be so formed as to provide in the assembled puzzle one or more display compartments for mounting any of a variety of objects such as gems and other stones, insects, or other articles. Thus, the'puzzle of the present invention may have a utilitarian as well as an entertainment and decorative aspect.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a puzzle assembled and utilized as a display case;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of typical layer of interlocked puzzle segments, the uppermost layer being shown for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the supporting tray, layers of puzzle segments and a transparent cover member; I

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 4--4 of FIG. 6; 9

FIG. 5 is a partial bottom plan view with portions of superimposed layers broken away for purposes of clarity; and

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the puzzle layers and supporting tray.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to FIGS. 3 and'4, it will be seen that a three dimensional puzzle in accordance with the thereabove may be enhanced by suitable color compresent invention includes a supporting tray 10 having a planar base 1 1 and upstanding side walls 12. Mounted within the tray 10 in stacked, laminar relationship are a plurality of layers of interlocked puzzle segments. Bottom layer 20, formed of puzzle segments 21, only some of which are shown, is mounted in the lowermost position immediately upon the base 1 l of the tray 10. Layer 20 is provided with a series of voids 22 which, as shown, may be of rectangular configuration and through which a pattern 23 imprinted on portions of base member 11 situated beneath the voids 22 is visible. Any desired pattern may be utilized and one simulating an interlocked puzzle design is shown for purposes of illustration.

Immediately above layer 20 a second layer 30 is positioned with layer 30 being comprised of a series of interlocked puzzle segments 31. Voids 32, which are of different configuration than voids 22 are formed in layer 30 and cover a greater area than the voids 22 so that portions of layer 20 are visible through the voids 32.

Superimposed on layer 30 are a third layer 40 and a fourth layer 50, each formed of a plurality of interlocked puzzle segments 41 and 51, respectively, and provided with voids 42 and 52 therethrough. Openings 42 are larger than and concentric with openings 32, while openings 52 are larger than and concentric with openings 42, so that portions of each underlying layer are visible through the voids in the layers thereabove. While the openings 32, 42 and 52 are shown as of substantially the same configuration, it will be apparent that they may be varied to obtain the particular aesthetic effect desired as well as the particular con figuration of display case if the assembled puzzle is intended for this use.

Superimposed on the uppermost layer 50 is a cover sheet 60 of transparent material and, as seen in FIG. 1, the entire assembly may be mounted in a suitable frame 61. With continued reference to FIG. 1, it will be seen that not only is the patterned portion 23 of the base 11 visible through the openings 22 but portions 24 of layer 20, portions 33 of layer 30, and portions 43 of layer 40 are also visible.

To enhance the decorative effect obtained with the three dimensional puzzle of the invention, the various layers may be differently colored to produce blends or contrasts between visible portions of adjacent layers. For example, a cathedral effect might be obtained through the use of alternating layers of black and white. Additionally, both surfaces of each layer may be colored, for example, one side black and one side white, or any desired combination, so that the puzzle may, at the option of the assembler, be assembled with either side up.

It will also be noted from FIG. 1 that the puzzle of the present invention may have utilitarian as well as decorative and entertainment aspects. Thus the voids formed in the superimposed layers may be utilized for display purposes for exhibiting gems and other stones, insects, jewelry and the like. For purposes of illustration insect shaped jewelry, as at 62, is positioned in the upper portion of the puzzle, and this may be accomplished by adhesively securing the display item to the tray surface, as at 63 (FIG. 4), or by providing the item with a mounting pin, as at 64 (FIG. 1) which may be inserted in the edge of any one of the layers to further enhance the three dimensional effect.

As noted above, the degree of complexity obtainable with a puzzle produced in accordance with the present invention should readily satisfy even the most experienced puzzle assembler. However, if it is desired to provide a puzzle of a lesser degree of difficulty, various modifications may be made as an aid to the assembly process. Thus, as seen in FIG. 5, the bottom surface of each of the layers may be provided with some means for identifying the layer in which each puzzle segment should be positioned in the final assembly. This may take the form, for example, of color coding or any other convenient indicia for identifying the segments from each layer, such coding or indicia being diagrammatically represented by the cross hatching 25, 35, 45 and 55 shown on the lower surfaces of the segments 20, 30, 40 and,50, respectively. With this assembly aid provided, the assembler merely segregates the segments formed from each layer into separate groups and thus appreciably narrows the number of pieces being worked with at any one time.

With reference to FIG. 6, a further aid to assembly will be described. As seen in FIG. 6, in addition to the superimposed layers 20, 30', 40' and 50, a series of stacked frames 70, 71, 72 and 73 are provided. Preferably, each frame has an opening therein smaller than the opening in the frame immediately thereabove and having internal dimensions complementary to the external dimensions of the layer of puzzle segments received therein in coplanar relationship therewith.

Thus, when utilizing the frames, preferably in connection with the identifying means shown in Fig. 5, the

first-frame 70 is inserted in the tray with its periphery engaged by the upstanding side walls 12 of the tray and the first layer 20' of puzzle segments is assembled within the frame. Upon completion of the layer 20' the second frame 71 having a slightly larger opening therethrough, is stacked on top of the frame and the second layer 30' is assembled within the opening in the frame 71. The same process isv then repeated with frames 72 and 73 to provide the completed puzzle,

substantially as shown in FIG. 1.

From the above it will be apparent that a three dimensional puzzle according to the present invention not only provides a puzzle for entertainment purposes, the degree of difficulty of assembly of which may be varied to provide a challenge to assemblers of varying degrees of experience, but through the use of variously colored, superimposed layers having voids of geometric or irregular configuration, a pleasing decorative effect is produced which may also serve the utilitarian purpose of a display case.

Turning now to FIG. 2 of the drawings, it will be noted that the puzzle segments 51, that is, those segments located at the periphery of a void, are provided with straight edges coinciding with this periphery. This illustrates one method by which the formation of small irregularly sized pieces, which could be easily lost. can be avoided in cutting the puzzle. Of course, in some instances an irregularly shaped void might be desired, in which case this expedient would be unnecessary.

While the forms of apparatus herein described constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise forms of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A multi-layer three dimensional unit comprising:

a. a plurality of planar layers of interlocked puzzle segments, each of said layers being of substantially the same size and shape and having substantially planar upper and lower faces and substantially continuous peripheral edges,

c. said layers being assembled in laminar relationship to each other with their peripheral edges substantially continuous and forming a stack having a substantially continuous peripheral edge defined by said peripheral edges of said layers,

d. at least the layers above the lowermost layer in said stack having portions defining voids therethrough,

. each of said voids being positioned wholly within the boundary of the layer in which it is formed in non-intersecting relationship to the peripheral edge thereof, and

f. said voids being of progressively decreasing area from the uppermost layer toward the bottom of said stack,

g. said voids in each layer being positioned with respect to the voids in the other layers such that each void and a portion of the layer in which'it is located are visible from the top of said stack when said stack is fully assembled; whereby a pleasing visual effect is thereby obtained.

2. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein:

a. said visible portions of a layer are a different color than visible portions of an adjacent one of said layers.

3. The puzzle of claim 1 further comprising:

a. a tray supporting said layers of puzzle segments,

b. means defining a void through said lowermost layer, and

c. portions of said tray being visible through said void in said lowermost layer.

4. The puzzle of claim 1 further comprising:

a. means associated with each of said puzzle segments for distinguishing segments of each layer from other puule segments.

5. The puzzle of claim 4 wherein:

a. said distinguishing means comprises color coding.

6. The puzzle of claim 4 wherein:

a. said distinguishing means comprises identifying indicia.

7. The puzzle of claim 4 wherein:

a. said distinguishing means is applied to the lower surface of said puzzle segments.

8. The puzzle of claim 1 wherein:

a. opposite sides of each puzzle segment are differently colored.

9. A multi-layer, three dimensional unit comprising:

a. a plurality of layers of interlocked puule segments,

b. each of said layers having substantially planar upper and lower faces and substantially continuous peripheral edges, r

c. a plurality of frames of substantially thesame exterior configuration each having means defining an opening therethrough,

d. each of said layers being positioned in an opening in one of said frames with the boundaries of a frame and the periphery of the layer associated therewith complementary,

e. each associated layer and frame being assembled in laminar relationship to the other associated layers and frames,

f. means defining voids in said layers positioned wholly within the boundaries of the layers in nonintersecting relationship to the peripheral edges of the layers,

g. said voids being of progressively decreasing area from the uppermost layer toward the bottom most layer,

h. said voids in each layer being positioned with respect to the voids in the other layers such that each void and a portion of the layer in which it is located are visible when said layers and frames are assembled to provide a pleasing visual effect.

10. The puzzle of claim 9 wherein:

a. the opening through each of the uppermost frames is larger than the opening through the frame beneath it.

1 l. The puzzle of claim 9 wherein:

a. said layers are colored, and

b. each of said frames are the same color as the layer with which it is associated.

12. A three dimensional puzzle comprising:

a. a tray having a planar base and upstanding side walls,

b. a plurality of frames of contrasting colors stacked in said tray,

c. each of said frames having an opening formed in a central portion thereof with the opening in each of the lowermost frames being smaller than the d. a gy e r gf iiii rfo k d pi fzl eginents positioned in each of said frame openings with each of said layers being of substantially the same thickness and color as the frame in which it is positioned,

e. means defining a void of geometric shape through each of said layers,

f. portions of each of the lowermost layers underlying the area defined by the void in the layer immediately thereabove,

g. means imprinting a simulated, interlocked puzzle segment design on a portion of said planar base underlying the area defined by the void in the lowermost one of said layers, and

h. means associated with the lower surface of .each segment in each layer for identifying the layer in which each segment should be positioned.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US636319 *Nov 1, 1898Nov 7, 1899Paul R CampTransparent picture.
US1071358 *Jan 23, 1913Aug 26, 1913Stephen C MatthewsEducational device.
US1415245 *Apr 26, 1920May 9, 1922Kennedy James JPicture puzzle device
US1789782 *May 21, 1930Jan 20, 1931Shockley Bernard WPuzzle display device
US1964007 *Apr 20, 1933Jun 26, 1934Parks Walther AMultiple jigsaw puzzle
DE635724C *Dec 11, 1932Sep 29, 1936Hans KnotheZusammensetzspiel
GB419311A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4469331 *Sep 29, 1982Sep 4, 1984Rinker James KThree dimensional jigsaw puzzle
US4815742 *Nov 20, 1987Mar 28, 1989Augustine Lee AMulti-layered puzzle
US4874176 *Mar 31, 1987Oct 17, 1989Seymour AuerbachThree-dimensional puzzle
US5362054 *Sep 10, 1993Nov 8, 1994Businesship International, Inc.Multi-layered educational and entertaining device including a plurality of independent layers
US5577728 *May 19, 1995Nov 26, 1996Tenyo Co., Ltd.Jigsaw puzzle
US5763025 *Dec 30, 1996Jun 9, 1998Jones; LazettaPersonal accessory and method of making same
US5791647 *Jun 9, 1997Aug 11, 1998Rose Art-Warren IndustriesMultilayer three dimensional puzzle
US6685186Jul 24, 2001Feb 3, 2004Linda WilsonMulti-layer puzzles
US8074988 *Jun 19, 2009Dec 13, 2011Shaun Sunt SakdinanPuzzle with three dimensional representation of geographic area
US8113518Oct 9, 2009Feb 14, 2012Rosen Lawrence IMulti-dimensional puzzle
US8628088 *Jun 17, 2010Jan 14, 20142307450 Ontario LimitedPuzzle with three dimensional representation of geographic area
US20060156604 *Jan 20, 2005Jul 20, 2006Lawrence Santa HJigsaw puzzle holding frame
US20070007724 *Oct 6, 2005Jan 11, 2007June KesslerPuzzle assembly
US20100090400 *Oct 9, 2009Apr 15, 2010Rosen Lawrence IMulti-dimensional puzzle
US20100320686 *Jun 19, 2009Dec 23, 2010Shaun Sunt SakdinanPuzzle with three dimensional representation of geographic area
US20130320620 *Jun 4, 2013Dec 5, 2013Amanda SHIELDSShape only
EP0696464A1 *May 19, 1995Feb 14, 1996Tenyo Co., Ltd.Jigsaw puzzle
EP2453996A1 *Jun 17, 2010May 23, 20122307450 Ontario LimitedPuzzle with three dimensional representation of geographic area
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/157.00R
International ClassificationA63F9/06, A63F9/10, A63F9/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63F9/12, A63F2009/0615, A63F2009/1083
European ClassificationA63F9/12