Say you have an idea for a specialty polypanel but you can't decide whether to implement it on the face of a square, a triangle, a rhombus or some other polypanel shape. Well, you could make a version of your specialty panel for every shape you might want to use, which means a lot of extra time designing and printing each one, or you could save all that time and design your specialty panel with just one connector that can snap in to the face of any polypanel.
With this in mind, I've created a system that fits a disc-shaped connector into a standard receiving ring that can be built into the face of any polypanel you like. I've already remixed most of the basic polypanel shapes provided by Devin Montes to give them receiving rings, and added receiving rings to a couple of additional polypanel shapes of my own. To make a polypanel compatible with this system, all you need to do is incorporate the receiving ring template into your own polypanel shape.
There are two sizes of connector, a standard one that fits most polypanels and a mini version that is needed for the two triangle polypanels because they have very small faces. I've also created an adapter so you can step-down from the larger ring to the smaller one if necessary.
The mini connector is used with:
- -the equilateral triangle (Devin Montes)
- -the right-angled isosceles triangle (Devin Montes)
The standard connector is used with:
- -the square (Devin Montes)
- -the pentagon (Devin Montes)
- -the original rhombus (Devin Montes)
- -(*) a different kind of rhombus I created, which I call the "Root-Two Rhombus"
- -(*) a rectangle, which I also created which has the same side length as the hypotenuse of the right-angled isosceles triangle created by Devin Montes
To create a snap-in specialty panel that is compatible with this system, you just need to incorporate the disc connector template into the bottom of your design, and just like that, you will have created a specialty panel that snaps into the face of any compatible polypanel.
The connector disc is symmetrical and can be inserted from either side of the adapter ring. It can also rotate to allow you to adjust the orientation of your specialty panel. It locks in place very firmly, but I've also included a variant of the disc with a lip so that it can't pass completely through the receiving ring.
And I've created a few snap-ins to get us started, the most powerful being the Face Coupler, which as the name suggests, will allow any two polypanel faces to be joined together. They could be faces of the same shape like two squares, or two different shapes like a square and a rhombus. The Face Coupler is especially useful for creating rotating joints so that your polypanel designs can move.
The Face Coupler also provides a way to have more than two planes connecting at the same edge. The Face Coupler comes in both standard and mini variants.
Look through my other designs to find other snap-ins that are compatible with the system. I'll be adding more in the future under the tag #PPFSS. Enjoy!
EDIT: I've added Fusion 360 files for the connector templates to make it easier for you to incorporate them into your designs.