There is a construction set out there that you can buy for $200 on Amazon (when its not sold out) called Fort Magic. Want to try making a DIY version? i found some general information out on the Internet about how to do this. My version of this takes the home made versions out there and kicks it up a notch.
DIY link my sister sent me: http://oneshetwoshe.com/2014/07/diy-fort-kit.html
Fort Magic web site: http://fortmagic.com/
So, basically I did not buy the Fort Magic set but made my own instead.
I made this set for my nephews for Christmas.
Most of the parts that I needed I found at the Home Depot. But there were some odds and ends I still needed. The instructions will tell you how to put together the construction set, including which pieces to buy, the cutting tool you will need to get, and how to 3D print out the other parts you can't get!
Stuff to Buy at Home Depot / Your Favorite Home Center:
- 1/2 inch x 100' Roll of SharkBite PEX Pipe (for curved pieces)
- 1.5 inch diameter PVC pipe (24 inch pieces (for straight PVC pieces))
- 1.5 inch 3-way connectors... (20 connectors)
- 1.5 inch 90 degree connectors (10 connectors)
- 1.5 inch 45 degree connectors (12 connectors)
- 1.5 inch 4-way connectors (35 connectors)
- 1.5 inch coupling connectors (10 connectors)
- A pair of PVC pipe cutters (if you don't have one yet)
- A large plastic storage container to put everything in.
Stuff to 3D Print:
- Fort Fabric Clips (130 clips)
- PEX pipe adapters
- 6 way connectors... finally finished --- there were 35 connectors like these in the Fort Magic kit.
- A ruler
- A cloth tape measure for measuring the PEX pipe on its curve.
- A Sharpie pen to mark where to cut the PVC/PEX pipe.
- Some large zip-lock style freezer storage bags (to separate all the smaller pieces in).
Your kids can provide with the help of mom or dad some sheets and blankets to put on the frame of the designs that they build.
3D Printing fabric clips on my Makerbot Replicator 2 printer:
Cutting PVC pipes:
- 60 24" pipes ... no cutting needed, just use 24" pipes you bought.
- 25 12" pipes ... mark 12 inches over with sharpie and cut with PVC pipe cutter.
- 24 5" pipes ... repeat...
- 20 1.5" pipes ... repeat...
Cutting PEX pipe pieces:
- 18 8" pieces
- 10 16" pieces
- 8 20" pieces
At the end of a batch you might have pieces left over that are not exactly the above measurements. No worries, just add that piece to the group that it matches closest, its still usable.
For 3D Printing:
Right now, I have:
- a fabric clip thing.
- a 5/6 way connector thing
- and PEX pipe adapter thing which you can download.
The clip was designed to clip onto a half inch in diameter piece of PVC pipe. Currently there is an STL file for a single clip and a THING file specifically for the Makerbot Replicator 2 to print 40 clips at one time.
PEX PIPE ADAPTER THING:
The PEX pipe is too small to fit into the connectors so I designed an adapter that fits snuggly over the PEX pipe (put one adapter on each end) and then fits nicely into the connectors. I cut 35 pieces out of the PEX pipe so you would need 70 pieces to cap all the ends of these pieces.
6 WAY CONNECTOR THING:
It took awhile to finally design a 6 way connector that worked good. Here it is. I include an STL file of course. But, in addition I include an x3g file for printing 6 connectors at a time on a Makerbot Replicator 2.
I printed all the parts in PLA plastic. Shells" 2, Infill 25%
I've used the clips to clip bed sheets and bath towels onto the pipe and it works great.