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Publication numberUS3699709 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 24, 1972
Filing dateNov 15, 1971
Priority dateNov 17, 1970
Also published asDE2152341A1, DE2152341B2, DE2152341C3
Publication numberUS 3699709 A, US 3699709A, US-A-3699709, US3699709 A, US3699709A
InventorsOtto Schmidt
Original AssigneeOtto Schmidt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rods having means for direct cross-connecting, combined with separate elements for connecting same
US 3699709 A
Abstract
A structural toy which comprises a plurality of flat rods equipped with grooves along the longitudinal edges having widths corresponding with the thickness of the flat rods and depths corresponding with a quarter of their width. The flat rods have first perforations disposed along their longitudinal axis, adapted for receiving the ends of crosswise connectable further flat rods. The first perforations comprise three at least partly circular sections passing into each other and having diameters and center spacings corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods. The flat rods have circular second perforations at a distance from their ends corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods which have a diameter corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods for the reception of coupling members, and the coupling members have at least one projection adjusted to the diameter of the first and second perforations in the flat rods.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Schmidt 5] Oct. 24, 1972 [54] RODS HAVING MEANS FOR DIRECT CROSS-CONNECTING, COMBINED WITH SEPARATE ELEMENTS FOR CONNECTING SAME [72] Inventor: Otto Schmidt, Schwindstrasse 16,

Hamburg, Germany v 22 Filed: Nov. 15, 1971 211 Appl.No.: 198,560

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 17, 1970 Germany ..P 20 56 384.2 Oct. 21, 1971 Germany ..P 21 52 341.1

[52] US. Cl ..46/29, 46/28 [51] Int. Cl. ..A63h 33/08, A63h 33/10 [58] Field of Search....; ..46/28, 29, 30, 23, 26, 25

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,855,206 10/1958 Haviland ..46/25 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 207,086 2/ 1909 Germany ..46/28 383,585 11/1932 Great Britain ..46/29 670,756 l/ 1939 Germany ..46/23 Primary Examiner-F. Barry Shay Attorney-Ernest G. Montague [5 7] ABSTRACT A structural toy which comprises a plurality of flat rods equipped with grooves along the longitudinal edges having widths corresponding with the thickness of the flat rods and depths corresponding with a quarter of their width. The flat rods have first perforations disposed along their longitudinal axis, adapted for receiving the ends of crosswise connectable further flat rods. The first perforations comprise three at least partly circular sections passing into each other and having diameters and center spacings corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods. The flat rods have circular second perforations at a distance from their ends corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods which have a diameter corresponding with one half of the width of the flat rods for the reception of coupling members, and the coupling members have at least one projection adjusted to the diameter of the first and second perforations in the flat rods.

5 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures RODS HAVING MEANS FOR DIRECT CROSS- CONNECTING, COMBINED WITH SEPARATE ELEMENTS FOR CONNECTING SAME The present invention relates to a structural toy with flat rods having marginal recesses and perforations and complementary coupling elements. The basic concept of the present invention is disclosed in the German Pat. Nos. 207,086 and 670,756 which represent the status of the prior art, in which the individual possibilities of playing are already inviting, yet still comparatively limited. This applies also for several variations of the structural toy disclosed in the mentioned German Pat. No. 207,086.

It is one object of the present invention to provide a structural toy, in which the possibilities of playing of the known systems are combined together and are extensively expanded by flat rods designed in accordance with the present invention, as well as by the addition of coupling elements adjusted to the flat rods and by complementary parts.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a structural toy which is characterized essentially by the combination of the following features which are partly known:

a. The flat rods are equipped with grooves in the longitudinal edges, the width of which corresponds with the thickness of the flat rods and the depth of which corresponds with about a quarter of the width of the flat rods.

b. The flat rods are equipped with perforations disposed on their longitudinal axis for the reception of the ends of cross-wise connectable further flat rods, which reception is brought about by insertion and rotation. The further flat rods have preferably three partly circular sections which extend into each other with diameters corresponding with about the half of the flat rod width and center distances.

c. The flat rods contain circular perforations at a distance from their ends corresponding with about the half width of the rods and with diameters corresponding with about the half width of the flat rods for the reception of coupling elements, which have at least one projection adjusted to the diameter of the perforations in the flat rods.

By the design of the flat rods in accordance with the feature (a), it is brought about, that the flat rods can be united together merely by gripping into each other with their marginal grooves, whereby the flat rods inserted into the grooves are disposed higher for about a half width of the flat rods, than the first flat rods. Due to the design of the flat rods in accordance with the feature (b) either one, two or three flat rods can be joined in equal height at a right angle into a fourth rod by insertion and rotation for 90. The circular perforations at the ends of the flat rods, in accordance with the feature (c), permit, jointly with the perforations in accordance with the feature (b), to connect together simultaneously up to five flat rods in the same direction or at a right angle to each other with the assistance of the complementary coupling elements.

In an advantageous embodiment of the structural toy designed in accordance with the present invention the coupling elements comprise joint bars with a projection capable of being caught resiliently snapper-like in the circular perforations of the flat rods and a circular perforation with a diameter equal to that of the perforations in the flat rods, whereby the projection and the perforation have a center spacing corresponding with about the double spacing of the end perforations in the flat rods. This manner of using the coupling elements always in pairs results due to double joint bars a particularly stable connection of the flat rods, first of all in the direction cross-wise to the plane of the flat rods, yet is also particularly well suitable for the reception of tie forces in the longitudinal direction of the rod axis.

Due to the snapper-like resilient formation of the projections, the coupling elements can be easily inserted and released again without resorting to any tool. In addition four of these coupling elements can unite together three or four flat rods such, because they are inserted at a right angle towards each other.

For many connection places coupling elements suffice, however, in form of joint bars to be used individually only with two projections capable of being caught resiliently snapper-like in the circular perforations of the flat rods, which projections have a center spacing corresponding with the double marginal distance of the end perforations in the flat rods. This embodiment of the connection parts can be applied or released, and in particular in a still simpler manner, as the above described double joint bars, since only one coupling element is required for one connection.

The grooves and perforations, as well as the projections on the flat rods, coupling elements, supplementand connection-parts in accordance with a raster system.

In a further development of the present invention, advantageously, also supplement-flat rods of the same width and strength, however with deviating lengths, which correspond the multiple of the raster measure, and with a different arrangement of the marginal grooves and perforations are used. In particular a rod with half of the length of the basic flat rod is suitable, both pairs of grooves have half of the normal distance. The ends of the flat rods can form a right angle, yet can be designed also of half-circular shape. While the rectangular ends permit only straight or a right angle connection of further rods by means of the coupling members, rods with round ends result in the possibility of connections at any chosen angles, as well as in swingable connections.

Finally, it is within the scope of the present invention to provide connection parts with the same strength of the flat rods, which are formed as junction members with three or more circular perforations with diameters corresponding with the half width of the flat rods and with marginal spacings corresponding with the half width of the flat rods. By means of such junction members flat rods can be built to frames and frameworks with a great carrying capacity.

It is to be' understood that the structural toy in accordance with the present invention can be supplemented by the use of round rods or tubes as axes and shafts, running wheels, gears and the like, in order to create also movable models of any type, whereby the possibilities of playing are multiplied. As a further advantageous possibility of design, the flat rods can be used as ties for railway systems.

With these and other objects in view, which will become apparent in the following detailed description,

the present invention, which is shown by example only, will be clearly understood in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a flat rod designed in accordance with the present invention with two complementary coupling elements provided one-sided at the ends, whereby one coupling element extends in the axis of the rod and the other coupling element extends at a right angle to the axis of the rod;

FIG. 2 is a section along the lines lI ll of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of coupling elements to be used in pairs in a position for connection of the ends of two flat rods;

FIG. 4 is a section along the lines IVIV of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of two flat rods, which are connected perpendicularly toward each other by insertion of the end of one flat rod into the center recess of the other flat rod and following rotation for 90;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of three flat rods connected by insertion and rotation of the end of two flat rods in both lateral sections of the center recess of the third flat rod;

FIGS. 7 to 13 are side elevations of seven different complementary flat rods of equal cross-sections, yet of different lengths and in the arrangement of the recesses and perforations; and

FIGS. 14 to 17 are side elevations of four different connection parts formed as junction members.

Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1-4, the structural toy, designed in accordance with the present invention, comprises substantially flat rods 1, l and 1" and coupling elements 5a and 5b. The flat rods 1, having the length L and the width B, are equipped in accordance with the plan shown in the drawings with grooves 2 and 2' at the distance 2A from the rod ends at the longitudinal edges, a center recess 3 with three partly circular sections 3', 3" and 3" and leading into each other and two further circular perforations 4 and 4' at the distance A from the rod ends. As it appears from the plan, all circular perforations 3', 3", 3", 4 and 4' have a diameter D which is equal with the basic measure A, and the circular perforations 3', 3", 3 have center spacings equal to A. Grooves 2 and center recesses 3 serve as connecting means for directly connecting the flat rods to one another. The grooves 2 and 2' have the same width N, as well as the rod thickness S and a depth T corresponding with the half of the measure A/2. As means for coupling of the ends of flat rods 1, 1', 1" etc. extending in the same direction or perpendicularly to each other, two differently formed coupling elements 5a and 5b are provided. The coupling elements 5a shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are designed as joint bars to be inserted from one side and equipped with two snapper-like, resilient projections 6 and 6 capable of being inserted into the circular perforations of the flat rods with a center distance 2A corresponding with the double edge distance of the perforations 4 and 4' from the rod ends. The coupling elements 5b to be used always in pairs and shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 in its operative position have however only one projection 6 capable of being inserted resiliently snapper-like into the perforations of the flat rods and has a circular recess 7 which has the same diameter (D A) as the perforations in the flat rods,

whereby the center distance between the projection 6 and the passage 7 corresponds likewise the double edge distance 2A of the end perforations 4 and 4' in the flat rods.

FIGS. 5 and 6 show in perspective views two possibilities for selective connection of either one flat rod 1' or two flat rods 1' and 1" by feeding one rod end into the center-perforation 3' to 3" and rotation with the grooves 2, 2 for either in the center part 3" or into the two outer parts 3' and 3" of the perforation 3 in the flat rod 1.

The supplementary-flat rods 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 shown in FIGS. 7l3 have all the same cross-section dimensions B and S as the flat rods 1. Their lengths correspond total multiples of the basic measure (A L/ B), while the arrangement and the number of the recesses 18 and perforations 19 with equal dimensions N and T and D, respectively, as with the flat rods'l corresponding with their special uses can deviate from those of the flat rod 1. Thus the supplementary-flat rods 7 and 8 with the heights A and 2A determined essentially for the production of individual play connections between two flat rods 1. Of the supplementary flat rods 9 and 10 with the length 4A equal with the half length of the normal flat rods 1 with the length L 8A serve the rods 9 mainly for the production of straight outer edges of walls, which consist of normal flat rods disposed standing on top of each other and set off in the unit. The supplementary-flat rods 10 permit an additional building on the free ends of two normal flat rods 1, which have entered with one end into the two outer parts 3 and 3" of a recess in a normal flat rod 1. By joining of two normal flat rods 1 and supplementary-flat rods 10 in a direction perpendicular to each other wall-like and towerlike structural works of rectangular cross-section and comparatively small distance of the longitudinal wall can be formed.

The supplementary-flat rods 11 with a different distance 2A and 4A of the grooves in both length-sides can be advantageously used for the connection of normal flat rods 1 and supplementary-flat rods 10. The supplementary flat rods 12 of l h length 12A of the normal flat rods 1 have fields disposed adjacent to each other with three adjacent partly circular perforations 20', 20" and 20" each with a diameter D and make possible thereby the rotation of up to six further flat rods extending in the same plane perpendicularly to the supplementary-rod 12. They are suitable further for the simple bridging over of smaller openings in structural bodies of any type. FIG. 13 shows by example a further supplementary-flat rod 13, the ends of which are rounded with radii R A about the center of the perforation 19 with the diameter D and thus make possible the connection with other flat rods with the use of coupling elements 5a or 5b at any angles.

In FIGS. l4-17 finally by example four connection parts having a thickness S equal with that of the flat rods and with three or more circular or partly circular perforations 21 and 22, respectively, with equal diameter D of the perforations in the flat rods and center distances 2A as well as, under circumstances a number of edge grooves 18 with equal dimensions N and T as in the flat rods 1 at locations determined by the raster dimension A. In the connection part 16 the upper two of the five perforations 21 are disposed at the center between the three lower perforations. The perforations having all equal center distances 2A in this connection part make possible the erection of frame-work units with diagonals forming triangles with equal arms. All connection parts can be inserted as point of junction between the flat rods and make possible thereby the erection of larger spacious frame-works from the flat rods 1 and under circumstances supplementary-flat rods in frameor frame-work-units with correspondingly high carrying capacity in the form of towers and doors, bridges, cranes or the like.

While 1 have disclosed several embodiments of the present invention, it is to be understood that these embodiments are given by example only and not in a limiting sense.

I claim:

1. A structural toy comprising a plurality of flat rods equipped with connecting means including marginal recesses as well as perforations,

at least two of said flat rods being each equipped with grooves along the longitudinal edges constituting said marginal recesses,

the width of said grooves corresponding with the thickness of said flat rods and the depth thereof corresponding with a quarter of the width of said flat rods,

said perforations including first perforations disposed along the longitudinal axis of each of said two rods, said perforations being adapted for receiving the ends of further flat rods for connection by means of said grooves,

said first perforations comprising three at least partly circular sections passing into each other and having diameters and center spacings corresponding with one half of the width of said flat rods,

said flat rods having circular second perforations at a distance from their ends corresponding with one half of the width of said flat rods,

said second perforations having a diameter corresponding with one half of the width of said flat rods for the reception of coupling elements, and

separate means for coupling said rods, said means constituting said coupling elements, each of said coupling elements having at least one projection adjusted to the diameter of said first and second perforations in said flat rods.

2. The structural toy, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said coupling elements comprise joint bars including said one projection,

the latter is snapper-like resiliently insertable into said circular perforations of said flat rods, and

said coupling elements have in addition a circular perforation of a diameter equal with that of said perforations in said flat rods, whereby said projection and said perforation has a center distance corresponding with the double edge distance of said second perforations in said flat rods.

3. The structural toy, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said coupling elements comprise joint bars including two of said projections,

the latter are snapper-like resiliently insertable into said circular perforations of said flat rods, and

said projections have a center distance corresponding with the double edge distance of said second erforations in said flat rods. I 4. he structural toy, as set forth in claim 1, which inleast three perforations with diameters cor responding with one half of the width of said flat rods and with marginal distances corresponding with one half of the width of said flat rods.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2855206 *Apr 2, 1957Oct 7, 1958Jacobs Mfg CoResilient spacer construction for plate assembly
*DE207086C Title not available
DE670756C *Aug 22, 1936Jan 24, 1939Heinz IhleSpielbaustein
GB383585A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3979855 *Mar 12, 1975Sep 14, 1976Otto SchmidtConstruction toy
US4184300 *Sep 18, 1978Jan 22, 1980Kool-Ray Ltd.Decorative building panel
US4313277 *Oct 1, 1979Feb 2, 1982Steven Manufacturing CompanyFloatable toy
US4430826 *Nov 23, 1981Feb 14, 1984Interlego A.G.Connecting device for adjustably and detachably interconnecting a plurality of elongated building components
US4731041 *Sep 19, 1986Mar 15, 1988Ziegler James TConnectable polygonal construction modules
US4740188 *Jul 31, 1986Apr 26, 1988Coster Theo M SToy construction element
US4795393 *Jan 23, 1987Jan 3, 1989Dennis MoeRectangular link construction toy
US4886477 *Jun 7, 1988Dec 12, 1989Novation Design Ltd.Connectble polygonal construction modules
US4902259 *Feb 22, 1988Feb 20, 1990Novation Design Ltd.Connectable polygonal construction modules
US5853239 *Jul 23, 1997Dec 29, 1998Dart Industries Inc.Drawer organizer
US6116981 *Oct 17, 1997Sep 12, 2000Patent Category Corp.Constructional pieces with deformable joints
US6325694 *Feb 16, 1999Dec 4, 2001Eric CleverFlexible joint construction toy
US6682385 *Jan 10, 2001Jan 27, 2004Interlego AgToy building element with transverasal openings
US6899588 *Aug 13, 1998May 31, 2005Eric CleverHermaphroditic (genderless) construction system
US7198537May 27, 2005Apr 3, 2007Eric CleverGenderless construction system
US7340868 *Aug 28, 2004Mar 11, 2008Weber Ralf DUniversal structural element
US7517270 *May 30, 2006Apr 14, 2009Minds-I, Inc.Construction system
US7736211Nov 29, 2005Jun 15, 2010Minds-I, Inc.Construction system
US8696399 *Feb 6, 2013Apr 15, 2014Innovation First, Inc.Components for rapidly constructing a user-definable apparatus
US20130149935 *Feb 6, 2013Jun 13, 2013Innovation First, Inc.Components for rapidly constructing a user-definable apparatus
WO2007142758A2 *Apr 24, 2007Dec 13, 2007Marzetta MichaelA construction system
Classifications
U.S. Classification446/113, 446/114, 206/338, 206/820, 446/121
International ClassificationA63H33/08, A63H33/10, A63H33/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/067, A63H33/101, Y10S206/82, A63H33/08
European ClassificationA63H33/08, A63H33/10C, A63H33/06R