Magnetic Bisymmetric Hendecahedrons

by walter, published

Magnetic Bisymmetric Hendecahedrons by walter Apr 21, 2015

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Magnetic bisymmetric hendecahedrons (an 11 sided space filling polygon). Each one uses eleven 3mm ball magnets. The magnets are pressed into each hole and need to be able to rotate freely for the parts to stick together. It should take a pound or two of force to insert the magnets.

It may require some tweaking to get the sizing right (to account for printer settings, plastic shrink, variations in ball sizes, etc), the default scale worked well for me when printing in a variety of PLA filaments, but was a bit too tight for ABS. I printed with a 0.3mm nozzle to for sharper corners and more accurate details.

WARNING: do not eat neodymium magnets or give them to children who may eat them - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neodymium_magnet_toys.

The magnets can be purchased from dealextreme [3mm*, 5mm*], ebay, aliexpress etc.

*affiliate links

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any chance the tolerance could be increased to print with ABS, for the 5mm version?

Cant wait to see 5mm size. I got so many buck balls here that need a nice plastic home.

Great design.. was wondering if you wanna work together on creating a shop within our platform which will sell to Asian countries: www.tridii.com

Very nice, but why not post the source file, so we can adjust the size of both the part and the hole?

This comment has been deleted.

why cant cylindrical or box magnets be used? why does it need to be spherical?

Spherical magnets are easier since they can rotate easily and as long as they can rotate they will rotate to attract each other. If you fixed the orientation of the magnets you'd have to worry about some of them repelling each other. Might be interesting though, it would make assembling them a lot more challenging.

There may be way with two fixed magnets per side. For instance, some of the sides are kite-shaped; I'm assuming that kite-shaped sides always meet other kite shaped sides. You draw a line across the short diagonal of the kite, and place two magnets at the 1/4 and 3/4 positions of that line, one with north up, and the other with south. If done the same way on all kite faces, all the kite faces will attract. Not so sure how well that can be extended to the other faces, I suspect something could be worked out.

This is a great idea! I have a bunch of buckyballs (5 mm). How hard was it to get the diameter of the exterior circle just right so that with enough force you could get the magnets in but during normal use have them not fall out?

It wasn't hard to get the tolerances right, but they change when switching from PLA to ABS. It also requires the overhangs to be printed accurately, otherwise they'll have different tolerances from the top. I'm hoping it'll be easier with 5mm balls.

I just did a test print with the 3mm stl. The whole was too small and the magnet was sticking out a little.

How do you change the tolerances?

I don't have bucky balls because I first learned about them at my friends house.

schmots - in reply to jbs

Brand name for a set of magnets like these. Aren't sold anymore since the change in law.

Really clever design and nicely presented!