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OrthoBlocks

Toy blocks that snap together on all sides.
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Legos are great, but the problem with them is you can only attach them in certain configurations. Why not have building blocks that can snap together pretty much any way you want?

The basic blocks would be cubes that have radial depressions and protrusions coming out from the center of each face, with 90-degree rotational symmetry. So you can snap any two faces together at the four different orthogonal angles. Of course, there could be other blocks that hinge or rotate or with 45-degree faces for special functions.

I haven't seen anything like this, but I'm not totally up on my toy blocks. I know there's a set of toy blocks that's covered in little prongs that mesh together, but those didn't seem to work as well as legos; they were always losing prongs and they were'nt precisely aligned.

omnilynx, Sep 28 2006

Wikipedia: Stickle Bricks http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Sticklebricks
And related toys - "a set of toy blocks that's covered in little prongs". Not it. [jutta, Sep 29 2006]

My block http://img242.image...2/8448/blockcs1.png
OK, here's a quick sketch of what I'm talking about. [omnilynx, Sep 29 2006]

[link]






       Why not use velcro instead? Then you would not be restricted to square (or, limited degrees of) overlaps but could join them any which way and make more interesting shapes. They could also experiment with concepts such as center of gravity and counterweights with much finer control.
d, Sep 29 2006
  

       I'm going to have to disagree [d]. Velcro does not stick together well as legos or "snap together" like blocks. Too much moving around and stuff. I find the lack of precision in velcro to be the very bane of my existence in situations that require lego usage.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 29 2006
  

       Thanks for the link, jutta, and yes, both those and velcro share the problem of being too imprecise in my opinion. It's true velcro would be useful for arbitrary angles; perhaps that could be a specialty block?
omnilynx, Sep 29 2006
  

       I'm liking the cube drawing. Makes my eyes hurt, very cool. For better locking potential have the projection. slightly taper in a bit.   

       For a smooth outer surface for finished constructions have a sheet with the locking patterns on one side and smooth or even textured for the other.   

       Nice. +
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 29 2006
  

       So, where does the actual snapping take place? That is, if I push two blocks together, and hold the upper one, what keeps the lower one from falling?
jutta, Sep 29 2006
  

       Actually military grade velcro has rigid plastic hooks for both sides and has almost no play. You might look into that. There is no wiggle at all, and is suprisingly (read scary) strong.
johnwun, Sep 29 2006
  

       Jutta: well, like NotTheSharpestSpoon said, the projections would taper slightly so they're bigger at the tip than the base (and the depressions would be vice versa). That way they'd snap together. It's the same way Legos stay together.
omnilynx, Sep 29 2006
  
      
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