Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Hexaflex Toy

The Hexaflex Toy.
Allow me to introduce to you a new conceptual toy that will open up your imagination to build and shape three dimensional space.
All thanks to the guidance of Serendipity I have reverted back to using the Hexaflex matrix as an educational toy. This toy has all the potential to allow scientists, engineers and children to explore the world of natural engineering and to discover new relationships within Mother Nature's geometry.We are carbon life forms.Carbon forms the basic chain structure that allows biological molecules to achieve their complexity and versatility.
This new conceptual flexible toy emulates the geometry of how carbon atoms join together allowing us to make all the complex natural forms that can be found in the natural macro and nano-world.

Layers of Learning

The Hexaflex toy is a building kit. It is an educational toy that incorporates multiple layers of learning. These layers promote both critical thinking and discovery. 
These layers include:

1. Exploring the world of polyhedra.

2. Discovering the intricacies of Nanotechnology.

3. Creating robotic structures.

4. Integral construction possibilities with Lego.

The kit consists of a collection of flat hexagonal and rectangular tiles made from Nylon that can hinge together with one another. The tiles easily snap together and apart with an audible click. They can be assembled to construct such objects as multiple variable surface curvatures such as spheres, domes, buckyballs,
 nanotubes, torus /doughnuts, terraced planes, rhombic dodecahedrons and parabolic dish structures.

It is also possible to construct a specially designed latticework. This lattice has very novel properties. It is an assembly of an expandable/contractible truss mechanism (Nodlet)which creates a surface whose curvature can be manipulated remotely.The hinges are common throughout which allow an amazing freedom to build anything in nature.

Individual cells of the lattice can be independently opened or closed. Because of the increase in tension forces experienced in robotic applications, individual metal hinge pins can be inserted into the hinge barrel to prevent the hinge joints coming apart.
The tiles also feature bearing holes that accept Lego axle pins. This feature allows the Hexaflex Building Kit based on hexagonal geometry to integrate with Lego orthogonal structures.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Toroidal Armature

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Toroidal Armature

The matrix shown in tubular form showing zig-zag, armchair and chiral.

I believe that Hexaflex can be used as a toroidal armature in order to hold the windings of a toroidal coil in a pre-ordained geometrically governed set of three spiral paths moving around the toroid.
One of these spirals is that of the Rodin coil.

Once the angle is chosen and set into the armature, two other winding paths are formed set at 120 degrees from the original spiral angle. I wonder what results three windings would create.


  1. Scott OnstottJul 18, 2010 04:31 PM
    I am amazed by the potentials of hexaflex. Have you ever made a torus with hexaflex? What would the 2D pattern look like? It's fascinating that channels would be available in a hexaflex torus. Perhaps the wires could be wrapped into these "venting channels"?
  2. Aloha Scott,
    Here you will see hexaflex rolled up into a tube.Now imagine joining the two ends of the tube to create a torus. So the 2d pattern is hexaflex as seen in my blog.
    Hope this helps.
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  20. The problem with this trellis/lattice shown here is that a "tube torus" is the wrong model. The inner 'hole' should converge infinitely in the manner of a cone infinitely approaching/compressing to a point with smaller and smaller circles spaced smaller and smaller apart.
    Precise armature construction procedure outlined here - Programmers needed to build an applet in LWJGL with either Xith3D or JME (java monkey engine).

Please leave a message

Friday, February 17, 2012

Robotic Snake

There was only one last large flat sheet of dural Hexaflex left out of 10 which had been laser cut.

I was scheduled to go onto our local TV station to talk about the invention. I really needed a smart, good-looking prop. The laminated card prototypes of earlier days had been handled so often that they were now falling apart. Okay ....shoulders to the wheel and all that...... so I went through the whole forming process again and made that last flat sheet into the largest expanse of Hexaflex so far made that had some spring in it that allowed it to stay mostly in a fully folded condition.

I rolled it up into a cylindrical shape and marvelled at the way that it lap jointed beautifully into the three different aspects of nanotube forming.

It reminded me of a snakeskin .

I researched "snakeskin" and discovered a thriving interest in making robot snakes. Ah! If only one could make a snake that could move like a snake instead of the ungainly efforts so far demonstrated by the state of the art.
 So now I think I've found the solution..... ABS was a good material for strength and the acrylic prototypes that were printed demonstrated a really rigid flexing that ABS would display. That was a problem to me, insofar as that it wasn't really emulating the flexibility that a sheet of hexaflex made from cardboard gave me. This was my technical summing up which described the situation:

"So now we have the finished CAD prototypes. They have been 3D printed in acrylic. They are fragile and break easily but the detail is fine and exact as it has a print layer thickness of 16 microns (0.00063”)
ABS requires a different method of printing called Fused Deposition Modelling. The prototypes have been designed to be made from ABS plastic which is much stronger than acrylic but unfortunately does not hold as much detail as it has a print layer thickness of 40 Microns (0.0016”)
This may cause a deterioration in the fine detail of the bump and hollow which give the tiles the ability to click together.
We have choices:
·        Make the bump and hollow bigger.
·        Remove the click factor altogether
·        Ignore and go to plastic injection molding and trust that the detail is going to inject exactly as CAD design
·        Change the material maybe a more flexible type. I’ve called Emil and he thinks that nylon would be perfect in terms of flexibility and hard wearing. It comes, I believe, with a 16 micron print layer thickness. Emil will get us a quote from He has no supply as yet of  nylon…to do some experimental prints …..may take 3 weeks. This choice of materials may well be the answer to the flexibility that I’ve been looking for in the tiles. It’s worth the wait IMHO"
Everything seems to working out whether I realise it or

Ventable Building Panel

Ventable Building Panel.


You wash, you shower, you boil, you cook.
Water vapors condense on cold surfaces.
Wood plus Water less Ventilation = Termites plus Mildew.

What it is.

An innovative patented (1) invention which can be used to improve ventilation and energy efficiency is proposed.

How it Works

This panel, when it is sandwiched between two surfaces, creates a continuous air gap. The air cavity is continuous vertically (undivided) across the entire facade drawing air upward using natural principals of physics (hot air rises).
Air cavities provide a multitude of functions.
1)They provide a capillary break for water penetration into the wall cavity,
2) provide an effective drainage space,
3) reduce direct moisture bridges,
4) allow for the removal of moisture that might have penetrated the cladding, and
5) can potentially permit pressure equalization of the system to
prevent water infiltration through the inner wythe and into the
inner wall structure.

The most effective ways to reduce building services energy consumption is to “exploit natural means and depend less on mechanical techniques” (2)

It can be manufactured from a mixture of recycled waste paper cardboard and cement. The addition of the cement makes the finished core stronger, waterproof and non flammable.
A panel of 8’-0” x 4‘-0” is proposed with a core depth of 1-1/2” and a thickness of 1/4” which creates a 1” air gap. The hexagons are so arranged to provide nailing points on 16” centers.


A continuous screen, or wire, made of woven wires, move as an endless belt. The lower reverse moving screen is drawn through a holding tank of fiber slurry which is vacuum drawn onto the moving screen. On the upper forward moving screen the water is drained and sucked out through the porous screen. The resultant formed fiber panel is then passed through Forming cylinders and dryer units.
Passive Ventilation.
Introducing interstitial panels between roof decking or wall sheathings with open venting creates a convection current. This allows passive roof and wall ventilation to occur.

Reduce energy consumption by 65%, (3)
Passive ventilation. Zero running costs.
No termites, no mildew.

Solar Heat collection. 

Combining passive roof ventilation as described above and a heat collection system located at the ridge vent allows us to capture the thermal energy.
All traditional roofing systems (Asphalt Shingles, Rolled Roofing, Brai, Concrete Tile, and Metal Roofing) absorb energy and heat up, especially in the afternoon when the sun has been out all day. The surfaces of these roofs often get up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit! On a bright, sunny day, the sun shines approximately 1,000 watts of energy per square meter of the roof surface, and if we could collect all of that energy we could easily power our homes and offices for free.
Presently, only a very small area of the roof is being utilized.
The proposed Heat Exchange Unit (HEU) is a cluster of copper pipes housed in the ridge vent. The energy in the sun’s rays is absorbed by the roof and the heat is absorbed by the convection current moving upward through the Vent-able Building Panel which then transfers the heat into the copper pipe work. The attic space can also be vented by opening up the roof decking at the ridge. The pipe work is filled with a ready-mixed liquid, containing glycol and water, which is circulated by a pump to the coil in the hot water cylinder. The heat is deposited in the storage cylinder and the glycol
returns to the HEU to absorb more free solar energy.
When the domestic hot water reaches the required temperature, the storage tank temperature limiter (STTL), instead of turning the pump off,
it diverts the flow to another holding tank.

Electric power generation.

Warm swimming pools and jacuzzis are now affordable.
It may be possible that we can also use this additional hot water to generate a reasonable amount of free electrical energy utilizing the Seebeck Effect.
The secondary holding tank could use cold water from the household mains supply to cool and the hot water from the (HEU) to create what is known as the Seebeck Effect.

The Seebeck Effect.
A pair of dissimilar metals welded together at their junction forms what is called a thermocouple. By arranging several thermocouples in series, the e.m.f.s add together to give an appreciable output; this arrangement is known as a thermopile.

The Seebeck Effect is named for East Prussian scientist Thomas Johann Seebeck (1770-1831). In 1821, Seebeck discovered that a circuit made of two dissimilar metals conducts electricity if the two places where the metals connect are held at different temperatures. Seebeck placed a compass near the circuit he built and noticed that the needle deflected. He discovered that the deflection’s magnitude increased proportionally as the temperature difference increased. His experiments also noted that the temperature distribution along the metal conductors did not affect the compass. However, changing the types of metals he used did change the magnitude that the needle deflected.
An effective temperature difference is 70 deg.

Existing state of the art of solar energy panels.

Roofs are used to mount solar heating panels upon them to supply household hot water. The panels are usually connected, via pipe work, to the lower coil of a twin-coil solar cylinder. The energy in the sun’s rays is absorbed by the panel and the heat is transferred into the pipe work in the absorber plates. The pipe work is filled with a ready-mixed liquid, containing glycol and water, which is circulated by a pump to the coil in the hot water cylinder. The heat is deposited in the storage cylinder and the glycol returns to the panel to absorb more free solar energy. The system is equipped with a simple unit to control the flow of energy from the panels to the storage cylinder. For colder areas where the sun is limited the control uses a simple temperature difference to define when the pump runs. The temperature in the panel must be 8 degrees higher than the store for the pump to start running. This will continue until the panel temperature gets to 4 degrees above the store and then the pump will stop.
This ensures that the pump is running only when the benefit from the solar panels is available.
For warmer areas where the sun has more than sufficient energy a storage tank temperature limiter (STTL) is required to prevent the domestic hot water becoming too hot.
The (STTL) has a normal setting of 60°C. When the temperature of the storage tank reaches 60°C the (STTL) stops the circulation of the glycol/water mix. The panels heat up but the addition of glycol prevents the water in the panels from boiling.


(1) U.S Patent No: US7,541,085. Filed Jul. 14, 2005. Date of Patent Jun. 2, 2009.
(2) Farmer, Graham and Guy, Simon, Visions of Ventilation: Pathways to Sustainable Architecture, Department of Architecture,
(3) The United Kingdom Department of Environment, Transport and Regions has shown that double skin buildings are able to reduce energy consumption by 65%, running costs by 65% and cut CO2 emissions by 50%, in the cold temperate climate prevalent in the United Kingdom when compared to advanced single skin building. Cost exercises have shown that buildings employing a double skin may cost as little as 2.5% based on Gross internal floor area.”
Battle McCarthy, Environmental Engineers.

Building regulations.

Air Cavities:

Molded pulp:

Egg tray forming