Simple Building Blocks


#1

I needed a Christmas gift for my youngest son. I was looking for wooden building blocks that I could somehow decorate. But I could not find any anywhere. Then my wife said “Couldn’t you make some with the GlowForge?” Of course I can! She’s brilliant.

So a quick 5 minutes in Fusion 360, and here they are:

They are 2"x 2". I put some center struts in the cube, and once assembled, they feel REALLY solid. I had the older kids toss them around, and they stand up to a lot of abuse. One of them even stood on them, and they held up. They have a good weight to them and they almost feel like solid wood cubes. AND they are all exactly the same width on each side, so stacking them is really easy.

Here is the SVG for it:
image

(Right click to save it).

I made it using inkscape. If the scale if off you can adjust it. The page should be 12"x20" and each side of the cube should be 2"x2".

Assembly is really easy.

Take the 2 ones with slots and slot them together (I use wood glue to glue them):

Then find the parts with “cross” holes and put them on each end:

Then find 2 matching parts and glue them on opposite sides:

Then put the last 2 matching parts on the last 2 opposite sides:

Then put some elastics around them to hold until the glue sets:

I made a dozen. I’m going to print 6 pictures (of the people in my family), cut each picture into 12 2x2 segments and stick them on different sides of the cubes. It will make an interesting puzzle.

I’ll post pictures once I have those done.

You could also cut interesting designs out of veneer or something else to glue on top of each side.

Feel free to use this for your own uses. If you make something cool, please show me.


#2

As is usual with your work, beautiful in its simple Elegance.
I can see where you could make some very interesting puzzles and games by putting photos on the facets.


#3

This is such a nice design. Thank you for sharing it!


#4

I love this! Out of curiosity what was the reasoning behind a center support? It seems to me that at a 2x2 scale there would be no need to support the interior side of the cube, no?


#5

These are great! Thank you!


#6

Awesome! On first look, I thought the “plus & minus” symbols on each cube face was an indication of magnetic polarity, which could result in a fun magnetic building block. Looks like it’s just a result of your clever structural design!


#7

You have not met my kids! Without the center support the cubes would collapse pretty quickly as the kids play with them.

With 1/8" thick material, there is not much glue holding the sides to each other. By adding the center supports, I’m adding more glue faces and a lot more structural support.

They feel much heftier with those supports.


#8

Ah got it! My kids aren’t that old yet so I’ll head your advice when
construction things in the future! Thanks for the inspiration!


#9

Here is what I ended up doing with the blocks I made.

I took a picture of each person in my family (luckily there are 6 of us, 2 parents and 4 kids). I printed them on paper with a sticker on the back. I used the GF to cut the paper exactly to the right size for each block.

Then I put the stickers on the blocks, making sure I used the same block for the same parts of the face for each person. (i.e Everyone’s left eye is on the same block). I used Mod Podge to seal them all.

Here are the blocks with my face up:

Here they are with my son’s face:

My kids love playing with them and re-arranging our faces so we get different parts from everyone:


#10

Great idea! Into the inspiration journal…


#11

Just awesome! (I’m gonna need to steal that idea for next year’s stocking stuffers.) :grinning:


#12

So cool!