Title:
MULTI-PURPOSE BUILDING BLOCKS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Block pieces are capable of combining with other, basic geometric building block pieces to form three-dimensional models. The basic building block piece has alternating offset layers of a flat, geometric member with uniform thickness, to form a plurality of ridges and grooves to enable the desired variety of connection configurations with other, basic geometric building block pieces, to form various three-dimensional structures. The variety of geometric shapes and corresponding interlocking joint surfaces provide for increased structural possibilities over the prior art. In addition, the plurality of ridges and grooves provide for unlimited combinations of slidable connecting interlocking joints. In one embodiment, completed structural forms use the various geometrically angled pieces to create unique aesthetic patterns and relationships.



Inventors:
Chungpaiboon, Vilas (Bangkok, TH)
Application Number:
11/755239
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/30/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H33/04
View Patent Images:
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20090247044Trim adjustment for toy vehicle steeringOctober, 2009Wong et al.
20040235388Moveable toyNovember, 2004Padilla
20070197126Magnetic SkateParkAugust, 2007Derrah
20090124165WIRELESS TOY SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENTMay, 2009Weston
20090286451Thimble Warrior GameNovember, 2009Bar-hen



Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe Koenig (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multi-purpose building block of various size comprising: a) a block formed by parallel stacking of a plurality of geometric shapes, each geometric shape being identical and having a uniform thickness, b) wherein the block has a plurality of groove-and-ridge interlocking joint surfaces, comprising an inner surface and an outer surface, where the inner surface forms a groove and the outer surface forms a ridge, c) wherein the plurality of groove-and-ridge interlocking joint surfaces are formed by an alternating stacking arrangement of at least 4 of the geometric shapes, d) wherein the geometric shapes are offset by a distance in both length and width, e) wherein the alternating stacking arrangement has every alternating geometric shape parallel to and overlapping each other, and f) wherein the plurality of groove-and-ridge interlocking joint surfaces enable a user to form a slidable connection of a first block to a second block, where the slidable connection is formed by interlocking the grooves from the first block with the ridges of the second block and the ridges of the first block with the grooves of the second block.

2. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a triangle.

3. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a square.

4. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a rectangle.

5. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a parallelogram.

6. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a trapezoid.

7. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a right-angled triangle.

8. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises an equilateral triangle.

9. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a pentagon.

10. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a hexagon.

11. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises an octagon.

12. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a circle.

13. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises an ellipse.

14. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a star.

15. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a cross.

16. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises a curved surface.

17. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises flattened corners.

18. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises rounded corners.

19. A block according to claim 1 wherein the geometric shape comprises both flattened corners and rounded corners.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The field of the invention is children's multi-purpose building blocks. The present invention relates to the field of toys and construction sets. More specifically, the present invention relates to a plurality of detachably connectable blocks capable of being slidably attached to one another to form geometric structures.

BACKGROUND

Many children's building block products are available today, however their appeal is limited by their restricted shapes, fixed interlocking joints, and limited interlocking joint surfaces. The inadequate variety of available shapes severely limits the child's imagination by only allowing the creation of geometric structures with a minimal choice of angles. In addition, the fixed interlocking joints further limit the positioning of the blocks where the lack of intermediate interlocking joint positions restricts the structural possibilities that call for increased precision. Finally, the inadequate number of interlocking joint surfaces unnecessarily limits the structural possibilities of the resulting formations.

SUMMARY

The invention provides basic geometric building block pieces capable of combining with other, basic geometric building block pieces to form three-dimensional models. The basic building block piece comprises alternating offset layers of a flat, geometric member with uniform thickness, to form a plurality of ridges and grooves to enable the desired variety of connection configurations with other, basic geometric building block pieces, to form various three-dimensional structures. The variety of geometric shapes and corresponding interlocking joint surfaces provide for increased structural possibilities over the prior art. For example, horizontally rotating one block 180 degrees can produce either a 1-layer or a 2-layer vertical shift incline. In addition, the plurality of ridges and grooves provide for unlimited combinations of slidable connecting interlocking joints. In one embodiment, completed structural forms utilize the various geometrically angled pieces to create unique aesthetic patterns and relationships.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

FIG. 1A is a top view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 1B is a left view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 1C is a front view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 1D is a right view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 1E is a perspective view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 2A is a top view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 2B is a left view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 2C is a front view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 2D is a right view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 2E is a perspective view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 3A is a top view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 3B is a left view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 3C is a front view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 3D is a right view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 3E is a perspective view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 4A is a top view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 4B is a left view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 4C is a front view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 4D is a right view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 4E is a perspective view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 5A is a top view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 5B is a top view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 5C is a top view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 5D is a top view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 6A is a front view of a square embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 6B is a front view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 6C is a front view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 6D is a front view of an octagonal embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the overlap orientation of each layer.

FIG. 7 is a front view of interlocking two multi-purpose building blocks.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of horizontally sliding an interlocked multi-purpose building block from a first position to a second position.

FIG. 9 is a front view of interlocked multi-purpose building blocks illustrating vertical shift variations.

FIG. 10A are perspective views of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating horizontal rotation.

FIG. 10B are front and rear views of a multi-purpose building block.

FIG. 10C are front and rear views of interlocked multi-purpose building blocks illustrating vertical shift.

FIG. 11 is a top view of a curve formed by horizontally shifting multiple square embodiments of multi-purpose building blocks.

FIG. 12A is a front view of a multi-purpose building block inclined line formation using a 2-layer vertical shift.

FIG. 12B is a front view of a multi-purpose building block inclined line formation using a 1-layer vertical shift.

FIG. 13A is a perspective view of a rectangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the number of interlocking surfaces.

FIG. 13B is a perspective view of a triangle embodiment of a multi-purpose building block illustrating the number of interlocking surfaces.

FIG. 14A is a perspective view of interlocking rectangular embodiments of multi-purpose building blocks to form various structural formations.

FIG. 14B is a perspective view of interlocking multi-purpose building blocks of various embodiments to form various structural formations.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

Several embodiments of children's multi-purpose building blocks 10, 20, 30, 40 are depicted in the figures including a square 10, rectangle 20, triangle 30, and octagon 40. The geometric shapes may exhibit flattened 31 and/or rounded corners, as shown in FIGS. 13B and 14B. FIGS. 5A through 5D are grouped together to show a side-by-side comparison of four different geometric embodiments illustrating the top views of the overlapping blocks 10, 20, 30, 40. FIGS. 6A through 6D are grouped together to show a side-by-side comparison of four different geometric embodiments illustrating the front views of the overlapping block 10, 20, 30, 40 configurations.

FIGS. 1A-1E show top, left, front, right, and perspective views, respectively, of a square multi-purpose building block 10. Each square 12 is identical in size and thickness. Each block 10 is formed by stacking several identical squares 12 (preferably at least 4), where every other square 12 is preferably offset by the thickness 5 in both length (X) and width (Y) planes, and where the alternating squares 12 are parallel to and overlap each other (i.e., even squares 12 are parallel and overlap; odd squares 12 are parallel and overlap) such as to form a plurality of ridges 13 and grooves 11.

FIGS. 2A-2E show top, left, front, right, and perspective views, respectively, of a rectangular multi-purpose building block 20. Each rectangle 22 is identical in size and thickness. Each block 20 is formed by stacking several identical rectangles 22 (preferably at least 4), where every other rectangle 22 is preferably offset by the thickness 5 in both length (X) and width (Y) planes, and where the alternating rectangles 22 are parallel to and overlap each other (i.e., even rectangles 22 are parallel and overlap; odd rectangles 22 are parallel and overlap) such as to form a plurality of ridges 13 and grooves 11.

FIGS. 3A-3E show top, left, front, right, and perspective views, respectively, of a triangular multi-purpose building block 30. Each triangle 33 is identical in size and thickness. Each block 30 is formed by stacking several identical triangles 33 (preferably at least 4), where every other triangle 33 is preferably offset by the thickness 5 in both length (X) and width (Y) planes, and where the alternating triangles 33 are parallel to and overlap each other (i.e., even triangles 33 are parallel and overlap; odd triangles 33 are parallel and overlap) such as to form a plurality of ridges 13 and grooves 11.

FIGS. 4A-4E show top, left, front, right, and perspective views, respectively, of an octagonal multi-purpose building block 40. Each octagon 44 is identical in size and thickness. Each block 40 is formed by stacking several identical octagons 44 (preferably at least 4), where every other octagon 44 is preferably offset by the thickness 5 in both length (X) and width (Y) planes, and where the alternating octagons 44 are parallel to and overlap each other (i.e., even octagons 44 are parallel and overlap; odd octagons 44 are parallel and overlap) such as to form a plurality of ridges 13 and grooves 11.

FIGS. 5A-5D show top views of square 10, rectangle 20, triangle 30, and octagonal 40 multi-purpose building blocks, respectively, showing the overlapping orientation of each shape 12, 22, 33, 44, such that the outer surface of each layer 12, 22, 33, 44 forms a ridge 13 and the inner surface forms a groove 11.

FIGS. 6A-6D show front views of square 10, rectangle 20, triangle 30, and octagonal 40 multi-purpose building blocks, respectively, showing the overlapping orientation of each shape 12, 22, 33, 44, such that the outer surface of each layer 12, 22, 33, 44 forms a ridge 13 and the inner surface forms a groove 11.

FIG. 7 shows a front view of how to connect two different-shaped multi-purpose blocks 10, 20 (or other shaped blocks) by interlocking the ridges 13 and grooves 11 of square block 20 with the ridges 13 and grooves 11 of rectangular block 20.

FIG. 8 shows a perspective view illustrating ability of horizontally sliding interlocked piece 10 from a first position 10a to a second position 10b to achieve various positions of the blocks 10, 20 (or other shaped blocks) to one another.

FIG. 9 shows a front view of interlocked blocks 10, 20 (or other shaped blocks) illustrating several of the possible vertical shift variations.

FIG. 10A shows front and rear views in perspective illustrating horizontal rotation of a rectangular block 20. FIG. 10B illustrates front (left) and rear (right) views of the same block 20. After rotation, the block 20 exhibits different ridge and groove positions which can be used to alternate between 1-layer and 2-layer vertical shift positions. FIG. 10C illustrates vertical shift positions of interlocked blocks 10, 20 (or other shaped blocks), by vertically shifting block 20 and/or horizontally rotating block 20 180 degrees, while block 10 remains stationary.

FIG. 11 shows a top view of how to form a curve 110 using the square blocks 10, although it would be understood that such a curve could be formed using other shaped blocks as well.

FIGS. 12A-12B show front views of inclined line formations 200, 201 illustrating the differences in extension between a 2-layer vertical shift 200 (FIG. 12A) and a 1-layer vertical shift 201 (FIG. 12B), by horizontally rotating a block 10 180 degrees from a first position 100 to a second position 101.

FIGS. 13A-13B show perspective views of a rectangle 20 and triangle 30 multi-purpose building blocks 20, 30, respectively, illustrating the ridges 13 and grooves 11, and the number of corresponding interlocking surfaces 210 per geometric shape 20, 30. The triangle 30 in FIG. 13B reveals flattened corners 31. The number of sides 210 of the geometric shape 20, 30 corresponds to the number of interlocking surfaces 210.

FIGS. 14A-14B show perspective views of the versatility of the multi-purpose building block structures 300, 400. Angles 410 can be varied by choosing different geometric shapes 20, 30, such as a triangle 30 in FIG. 14B. The triangles 30 in FIG. 14B reveal flattened corners 31. The variety of geometric shapes 20, 30 provides for an infinite amount of structural combinations 300, 400.

It should be appreciated that what is shown are only some of the various interlocking combinations possible with the building blocks disclosed herein; other variants would also be possible. Further, while several variant shapes of blocks have been shown, others are possible, such as ellipses, stars, crosses, circles, and various polygons.