What do you call a handheld contraption that creates a bead pattern in the shape of the infinity symbol?.... We didn't know either so we called it the Hyper-B. This product's name is a tribute to the Hyperboloid shape and a general lack of anything better to call it.
Did I set out to create an awesome toy? No, the general concept hit me while I was playing with my youngest son one night in his room.
I have four sons 10 years old and younger, so we definitely see our fair share of crafty projects and crafty toys. I've found that there doesn't seem to be any crafty toys that meet two key requirements.
1. Fun to make.
2. Fun to play with what was made.
Hyper-B: a crafty toy that is both fun to make and fun to play with once complete!
I've taken my garage built prototypes as far as I can, the design is ready for the plastic injection mold makers. Take a look at the progression of the prototypes...
To get the Hyper-B rolling we need to purchase tooling for the plastics. With aluminum tools we will easily be able to provide enough parts to complete this project. We plan on using polycarbonate material for the hub. The polycarbonate can take the accidental drops that are bound to happen with such an active toy.
The two outer rows of lacing holes are open to the perimeter which allows for very quick lacing as the string can be pre-populated with beads and simply laid into position. There are 4 rings of 28 holes which provide a ridiculous amount of possibilities for lacing.
Note: Color of the Hyper-B Hub will be black, the white parts are 3D printed parts and are only intended to show how the parts will function.
We're excited to see the cool designs that backers come up with once you start to experiment with the Hyper-B.
Design Improvements: I noticed a problem with the 3D prototypes, the timing of the beads falling was just slightly off. See the pictures below for the root cause and the design solution.
10" Oak Prototype: I created this prototype to verify the dimensions that my wood turning supplier will use. Final version will be even nicer that this, my woodworking skills are no match for Luke at Classic Woodworking. 21.5"(55.6 cm) long, 10"(25.4 cm) diameter, weighs 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) and it feels extremely solid.
Assembly: It is easy! The string will come with a small loop tied on one end, the loop will be inserted over one of the hub handles and secured between the two O-rings. 28 beads are threaded onto the other end of the string and slid along the length of the string so that they are near the fixed loop. Now the fun part, grab the first 5 or 6 beads and string near the fixed loop in one hand and hold the hub with the other hand. Now lay the string directly from the fixed loop to the first slot on the disk, now let loose your first bead from your string hand and lay the string into the a slot on the opposite disk being sure to offset the slots (zero offset would result in stagnant beads). The first string and bead set up the pattern for the entire set of 28 beads. Route the string to the adjacent slot at the same distance from the main axis and repeat the same steps until all 28 beads are used. Please watch the assembly video as it is much easier than it sounds!
Risks and challenges
Finding the most efficient design to minimize tooling cost while maximizing robustness and maintaining elegance has been challenge.
Final challenge will be the pre-assembled units, but only if this thing gets really popular (anything over 700 pre-assembled units and we'll have to find some outside help with assembly).
- (30 days)