Modular

These are prototypes for a modular product I’m designing and promoting for a class this semester. They’re equilateral triangles 1.5 inches high (what’s the side length? fast!) and they fit together in fun ways. I’ve yet to decide on whether I want to make it classy and upscale or plastic and en masse (though the latter seems far more fun!). The finals will likely be lasercut in bunches from colored plastic.


First problem – Since the notches have a certain length, and any two intersecting notches have the same length, they fit together and point towards the adjacent triangle center. But they cant be so long that the short, far side of the notch(depth side of the triangle) reaches that point or else if you put three together on the sides of one central triangle they’d collide and not fit in all the way because the plastic has thickness. On the flip side, making them shorter alters the distance between the centers and might not allow for stable, regular geometric structures.

Since looking at the pictures however, I’ve realized something (and hopefully I’m right)-

If all the notches are the same depth, in connecting the triangles side to side, without using a vertex, it looks like each triangle’s effective area just increases a little and is filled out with empty space; this means that at least for those faces, notch depth doesn’t matter, since it’s all relative. And this works well in the stacakble structure made of alternating downward and upward pointing triangle forming the base (and beginning to repeat on top of it) in the last three photos. (I like to think of it as a puppy. Yeah that’s right.)

I hope to be able to connect them end to end and make tensegrity structures too, we shall see how that goes.

Cool stuff that inspired it:
Tensegrity Structures by Kenneth Snelson
Fun Japanese-English translation about fascinating products

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