US 3789562 A
A building structure with a plurality of strut members forming a geometric configuration having a plurality of vertices. A joint member joins the strut members at each of the vertices and a plurality of panel members bridge the strut members. Each of the panels is connected at its edge to a strut member under spring-like action providing frictional engagement with the strut member.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 De Chicchis et al.
[ Feb. 5, 1974 1 BUILDING STRUCTURE  Inventors: Antoni De Chicchis; Barry C.
Fennell, Jr.; David M. Schwartz, all of Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Assignee: ARK-Environmental Research, Inc.,
22 Filed: Aug. 10, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 279,635
 US. Cl 52/648, 52/81, 287/54 A  Int. Cl E04h 12/10  Field of Search 52/81, 648, 492, 496, 497,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,343,324 9/1967 Gordon 52/81 111,453 l/1871 I-lirsh 287/125 1,444,491 2/1923 Baldwin 52/DIG. 10 856,838 6/1907 Bell 287/54 2,662,744 12/1953 Leadbetterr. 52/492 2,736,406 2/1956 Johnson 52/492 2,846,167 8/1958 Walsh 52/586 3,083,793 4/1963 Broat 52/648 3,344,565 10/1967 Nye 52/81 3,660,952 5/1972 Wilson 52/81 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,476,749 4/1967 France 287/54 A 1,201,640 l/1960 France 798,604 10/1956 Great Britain ..52/497 Primary ExaminerI-Ienry C. Sutherland Assistant Examinerl-lenry E. Raduazo Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Buell, Blenko & Ziesenheim 57 ABSTRACT A building structure with a plurality of strut members forming a geometric configuration having a plurality of vertices. A joint member joins the strut members at each of the vertices and a plurality of panel members.
bridge the strut members. Each of the panels is connected at its edge to a strut member under spring-like action providing frictional engagement with the strut member.
2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BUILDING STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND PRIOR ART A number of existing truss networks employ various geometric configurations. Many of them are bulky and cumbersome and have a number of parts, such as nuts and bolts, which must be aligned for assemblage. In the present invention, a number of varying geometric configurations can be enclosed using sandwiched panel members with such materials as polyurethane foam sandwiched between plastic outer layers and held together at the strut members by plastic semi-polygonal edges which engage the strut under friction with a spring-like action. Adjacent panels with similar interfaces can form a seam with the corresponding panel member and can be welded forming a sealed outer skin.
The structure is useful for building any type of structure for sheltering humans, animals or other objects or the structure can be used as a creative toy, in the building of small models to demonstrate building structures and other uses.
We provide a building structure comprising a plurality of strut members forming a plurality of geometric configurations with a plurality of vertices; means joining the strut members at the vertices; a plurality of panel members bridging the strut members; and means joining the edges of the panels to the strut members under spring-like action for frictional engagement with the strut members. We preferably provide that the strut members have a polygonal cross section and that means joining the edges of the panels to the strut members comprises a semi-polygonal member formed around a cylindrical strut with an angular extension from the semipolygonal member which is used to form a joint with an opposite corresponding extension from FIG. 3 is a sectional view through a strut member showing two adjacent panels.
Referring to the above figures, FIG. I shows a geometric configuration of the building structure comprising two tetrahedra alternating with two half octahedra. It is comprised of strut members which have a plurality of vertices 12 with a polyhedral member shown in FIG. 2 generally as 14. Bridging each of the strut a semi-polygonal member adjoining an adjacent panel I to the same strut member. The semi-polygonal member frictionally engages the cylindrical strut, the panel member maintains the friction. We provide that the means joining the strut members at the vertices comprises a poly-hedral member having a plurality of holes; a threaded stud corresponding to each strut member is inserted into one of the holes in the polyhedral member; and a threaded plug engages each threaded stud, an opposite end of the threaded plug is threaded into an end of each strut member. We provide a building structure wherein the geometric configurations includes a tetrahedral-octahedral matrix and an orthogonal matrix.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS AND EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION Other details, objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent as the following description of the present preferred embodiment proceeds.
In the accompanying drawings, we have shown a present preferred embodiment of the invention in which:
FIG. 1 is a geometric configuration showing the building structure which is composed of two tetrahedra alternating with two half octahedra;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view showing the components of the vertices joining the strut members;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view showing a panel bridging three struts; and
members 10 are panel members 16 which are formed by a sandwiched-type construction with a stressed skin sandwiching a lower density core.
FIG. 2 shows an exploded view for joining one of the strut members 10 to the vertices 12. The strut members are polygonal in cross section and a polyhedral member 14 has a plurality of holes 18 to receive a stud member 20 which is threaded and is inserted into one of the holes 18. Threaded to the stud member 20 is a plug 22 which is also threaded and has a greater outside diameter than the stud 20 but a smaller outside diameter than the strut 10. The plug 22 threads into the strut member 10. These threaded members have the advantage of adjusting the length of the struts 10 between vertices 12. The polyhedral member 14 also has the advantage of giving the precise angulation of the various strut members with respect to each other. The type of angulation and the distances between the center axis of each of the holes 18 depends upon the type and size and the geometry required for the particular structure frame desired. The threaded members which include the stud 20 and the plug 22 can be pre-inserted in the strut 10 and then those members adjusted individually to place the desired tension or compression in the struts 10 so that they are properly stressed with respect to each other.
FIG. 4 shows the type of assemblage and joint which is used to join adjacent panel members about the struts 10 and provide an outer seal. FIG. 4 shows a top end view of a panel 26 and a top end view of an adjacent panel 28. These panels are comprised of a stressed skin 32 and a lower density core 30. The edge of the panels 26 and 28 have semi-polygonal members 34 and 35 each having an extension 36 and 38 angularly extending from them. The extensions abut each other at 40 and form a seam which can be welded and thereby providing a seal with surfaces 42 and 44 of the panel members 28 and 26 respectively. The semi-polygonal members 34 and 35 as shown in FIG. 4 frictionally engage the cylindrical struts I0 and extend the entire length of the panels 28 and 26. It is understood that variations of this condition about the semi-polygonal members 34 and 35 about the strut 10 can be angled so that the adjacent panels can be at any angle with respect to each other.
1. A space enclosing building structure comprising:
a. a plurality of strut members joined at a plurality of vertices forming a plurality of geometric configurations giving a space grid structural frame;
b. means at each vertex joining the strut members at each vertex and for making distance between the vertices adjustable which includes:
1. a polyhedral member having a plurality of holes;
2. a threaded stud corresponding to each strut member inserted into one of the holes in the polyhedral member;
3. a threaded plug engaging each threaded stud, an opposite end of the threaded plug threaded into an end of the strut member; and
responding extension from an adjacent panel edge. 2. A building structure as recited in claim I wherein the geometric configurations formed includes a tet rahedral-octahedral matrix and an orthogonal matrix. l
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent N 3.789.562 Dated February 5, 1974 Inventofls) Antan j De Qhj ggbj 5 Harry Q, Ejgnnell Jr. and
David M. Schwartz i It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Under the heading "FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS", British Patent No. 798,604", should read -758,604--.
Column 1, line 36, "semipolygonal" should read -semipolygonal--, line 43, "'poly-hedral" should read -polyhedral--.
Column 2, Claim 1, line 64, "pol-yhedral" should read --polyhedral--.
Signed and sealed this lhth day of May 19714..
" EDWARD I-I.FLETCTER,JR. C. MARSFALL DANN Abtesting Officer Commissioner of Patents (169) U SCOM M-DC OOS'IG-PBO I 5' GOVERNIPIT PRINTING OFUCE I I D-JI-SSI'