Initially created as a prototype for another ball and socket based project, these blocks functioned so well I decided to make a number of variations to allow the creation of more complex objects.
Beco blocks are great as toys and i suspect might also find practical applications for things like:
- Light duty hinges.
- Printable helping hands
- Internal skeletons for soft toys.
- Snap together bracelets.
- Mini pose-able art mannequin
Beco blocks thus far have been printed on our Makerbot using ABS plastic. The first Beco block printed was very lonely, being the only Beco block in existence with no friends to snap together with. Some time later when I finally learnt how to use the Makerbot myself I started printing more, and was surprised to discover how effectively they clicked together. There were practically no design iterations in making the original male-female Beco block, i was just very lucky with a ball and socket size ratio which seems ideal. The 3d models for Beco blocks include struts which allow the printing of the ball in a horizontal orientation. The struts can quickly and easily be clipped off using light wire cutters. There is plenty of room for improvement in the design and additional brick variations. I have only designed enough types of bricks to build a basic figure so i hope others add to the collection. The STL files are available at Thingiverse here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1983