The idea comes from the desire to build more stable, and creative structures using playing cards, using Tinker Toy style connector hubs. After seeing that Skallops had already done something similar, I was inspired to take it a step further and start making different connectors. The half round connectors are nice, but mix that with full round connectors, and you have an even better construction set.
Instead of wood, the connectors are cut out of cardboard from old cardboard boxes. This makes them light weight, free and disposable if they get messed up.
Step 1: Design the Connectors
- Start with a Circle that is 35mm in diameter.
- Draw lines radiating from the center at 15 degree (or 30 degrees if you want a stronger connector with fewer angles)
- If the lines are spaced at 15 degrees, they should alternate between long (9mm) and short (4-5mm). You only want a single line, because 1 pass of the laser creates the perfect amount of kerf to hold a playing card.
- If the lines are spaced at 30 degrees, they can all be long (9mm).
- Add a radius where the line intersects with the OD of the circle. This creates a lead in for the cards, and will make them easier to slide into the slots.
Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces With a Laser Cutter
Don't have a laser cutter? Look to see if there's a Tech Shop, Hacker spaces, invention studio, or university near by that has one which you can access.
- Cut a corrugated cardboard box apart at the bends. Select faces that are flat, and in good shape.
- Place the flat piece of cardboard inside the laser cutter.
- Focus and Align the laser. Select the correct settings for cardboard.
- Upload the files that you created to the laser.
- Press go, and watch to make sure that it cuts correctly, and doesn't catch fire.