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Card Beams Case Study

INVENTOR CREATES CARD BEAMS USING 3D PRINTER

CHALLENGE

What are card beams, you may ask? They're the building toy that allows you to build gravity-defying houses of cards with the help of friction, gravity and two types of beams, the “cap” and the “connector.”

Virgil Breeden, the inventor behind Card Beams, came to MPI with an idea, "Why can’t building a house of cards be easier?".

Using any other method might involve glue or pins and could take hours. He brought MPI sketches of his idea, which were used to build 3D CAD drawings that could then be printed on MPI’s state-of-the-art Objet 3D printer.

SOLUTION

Ty Posey, technical services leader at MPI, produced these prototypes in different materials and at different sizes until they were just right for the inventor’s needs. After a few design iterations, two different pieces were chosen: the cap and the connector. The cap has a flat bottom and four inserts, which allows for stacking cards on a flat surface. The connector has inserts all the way around to allow for six cards to be plugged in at one time.

RESULTS

Once the card beams were chosen, the inventor applied for the patent, took his prototypes to an extrusion manufacturer and chose a custom packaging company for the packaging portion of commercialization. He is in the initial stages of being funded and has a website where interested parties can donate to back his project.