Hex Connector Toy
by 4volt, published
I created this design while learning how to use my laser, it's a good simple project that creates 35, 1.2in hex pieces that you can build abstract sculptures with. They make a great desk toy or gift with a custom engraving on the peices. I'll be giving several sets out this Christmas.
This pattern creates about 35 pieces, and the only material you'll need is a 8x8in 1/8th (200x200x2mm) piece of plexiglas.
This plastic was marked as 1/8th inch, but was only 2mm (between 1/8th and 1/16th) I've been able to find this regularly find at my local home improvement store for $1.50.
35 pieces is enough to build a 6 inch sphere, or some other large abstract object. If you want to stretch them, 7 chips is a good minimum.
This toy is not intended for young children, the edges are mildly sharp and could possibly be a choked on.
I originally drew this in flash, and am including that as well as a DXF.
The outline is in two portions, the "A Part" which contains the outline, and the "B Part" which contains the logo engraving. Since you'll probably want to put your own logo on, you can use the "B Part" as a template for where to align the logos.
Both parts have crop marks on the corners for testing alignment. When you are making these parts, do not move the acrylic between cutting the A part and engraving the B part, some of the hex pieces could fall out of the sheet and it would be hard to align again.
I'm sure you'll notice the main part of the design has every hex piece right against each other with no padding, so cutting the right side of one hex is cutting the left side of the adjacent piece. This helps put a lot more pieces on a small sheet, but does not account for the thickness of the cut (cerf) of your laser. If the cut is very thick the notch that holds the pieces together will be too wide and the pieces will not will not hold together. If you cut a sheet and find the pieces don't hold together or are too hard to assemble, you can scale the entire sheet up or down by a small percentage.
Once you have the sheet cut you can punch out the pieces and remove all of the 3 pointed stars that the notches create.
If you make a set and make any interesting structures, send me the picture or link, I would love to see all your creations.
Soon I will also be posting the easy to make box that I give these out in. Tune in next week for that here or on my blog, http://4volt.com/blog/ .