Education Construction Sets

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The concept for Model Construction Sets is a set of parts just like in models/toys - but with modular components that are designed for reconfiguration. As such, the Model Construction Sets can be used for creativity that is useful in real-world applications. Instead of models being primarily consumer entertainment - the Construction Set Models can be a basis for education and prototyping of larger or real-life design. This goes a long way towards shifting culture from consumerism to creativity - to build the world around us.

There are some amazing toys that we can play with - for example real engines - both steam or gas - that work just like the real models. If these can be reconfigured or scaled along the principles of OSE Scalability and Modularity - then we have created useful tools that can be translated readily to real-world applications and industrial goods. By learning about the physics and efficiencies involved, students can gain mastery of these concepts. This paves the way for technical literacy that only few people enjoy today. An informed public - one that is technologyically literate - is required for democratizing technology. Technological literacy leads people to understanding the options that they have available to them - thus making people less susceptible to political manipulation. Such a society can then hope to create a world of appropriate technology, which can deliver the true liberatory potential of technology.

Industry Standards

There is a number of different models that can be obtained off the shelf:

  • Sweet Home 3D - they have furniture in their libraries. This can be used for scale models - or even real prints.
  • Model engines - good basis for designing an engine with a useful level of power -
  • Erector Set or Meccano
  • Uberblox - predesigned construction set kits for a 3D printer and other CNC - not a configurable construction set kit like OSE, which can be made in many sizes. [1]
  • Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools - Beams and gears - showing all types of mechanical construction sets, some of which are open source and can be printed - [2]
  • 3D printable model kitchen, noncommercial license, from Pier 9 - [3]. Download files in Tinkercad - [4]
  • Ingocraft- pay to play, app for Mac only - Site - [5]. 3DP Industry article - [6]
  • Butane model engine - [7]
  • Model Steam Engines - [8]. The steam case is interesting - a little larger, and it produces useful power. See Small Steam Engine. When taken to the modern age with Arduino electronic valves to remove the mechanical stress - this becomes very practical, though higher tech. One useful route from modeling to practical power is adjustable bump valves.
  • Contraptor - CC-BY-SA - but more primitive than Universal Axis. Dead since 2013. Uses Arduino with up to 7 axes - [9]
  • Bitbeam - open source, NYC work
  • Merkur - Chech set. Partner with Autodesk.
  • Makerbeam - open source? 3D printed versions for sale? [10]
  • Openbeam - another aluminum profile
  • LEGO Technics - [11]
  • K-Nex - [12]. Wikipedia article - [13]
  • Makeblock - STEAM education kits - no evidence of open source as initially advertised - [14]
  • Arckit - house modeling kits.
  • Gridbeam