Part Design Suggestions

Ikego Part Design Suggestions 

Vs. 1.0

How to make multipurpose parts that are fit for decentralized manufacturing? 

A couple of things we suggest to consider when making Ikego parts.

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Ikego Grid

Making things fit together:

Erector sets are a good example of multipurpose parts.

Meccano, Eitech, Lena are some brands for metal versions of this
BILOfix, Baufix, Brio Constructor are some brands for wooden versions; img by E. Poulsen, cc-by-sa

All parts of an erector set fit together with all other parts. This enables creative recombination. This works because the parts are based on the same gridthe distance between the holes for the nuts and bolts is always the same in all parts.

Ikego wants to bring this to its parts. Ikego’s grid uses a distance between holes of 30mm (or multiples of that like 60mm, 90mm, 120mm etc. or for small parts half steps towards zero 15mm, 7.5mm). Whenever you add holes, try to stay within this grid. This will increase the likelihood of creative reuse of your parts. Some designers find this grid a relief because it allows them to make quick decisions about how big or small something is. Read more about universal grids for everyday products and the origin of Ikego’s 30mm grid here & here.

Different parts with holes based on the same grid. It is obvious that unlike the toys not every possible hole is drilled, just the ones needed in this part.
All parts of Addi the chair are based on the 30mmm Ik3go grid. It was a challenge to find a design where the Ikego grid makes a comfortable chair. But it was worth it. The parts are also useful for several other things.

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Tolerance → local repair & making

Ikego aims to enable local repair and and small scale manufacturing. That’s why many parts in the catalogue are flexible when it comes to the choice of materials and also dimensions. Ideally Ikego parts can be made from a variety of materials using simple tools and still work in most designs.

The standard tolerance allows a size deviation of +/- 15mm from the values mentioned in the parts post. “Strong” material for example includes wood, metal or solid plastic but not bendable foil or foam.

Not affected by the tolerance is the number, position and diameter of the holes!

different parts


These are two different parts. The dimensions are the same and the holes are in the same location, but the holes are different in size.

same parts


These are the same parts. The dimensions are slightly different but the location of holes relative to each other and their diameters are exactly the same.
Different makes of the part 003.1. Each make works in all models that have this part in their parts list.
The same part executed in different materials and with small deviations in shape and size.

Tolerance may lead to cases where a part does not work in a design with that part (for example when the material is too weak or an uneven surface does not work). Le’s see if this really emerges and how big an issue it will be. Ikego is open research. Research with us.

Tolerance enables creative expression. A model is set but the final curves, colors and materials are decided by the designer. 
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The five parts above are all individual parts. Holes are the most important way in Ikego to connect different parts. Therefor they need to align. We know that it is possible to modify parts for example by adding holes, enlarging them or cutting parts off. Or that you swap them (for example part 1 and 3 in the image above). And also that you can combine smaller parts into one larger part. Currently we can’t show this to avoid unmanageable complexity. But eventually this will be addressed in the future.

Bolts:
The tolerance rule explains why bolts come in these steps:

10 – 30 – 50 – 70 – 90 – 110 – 130 – …

+/- 15mm allows to have all steps in between – for example 14mm. 

heads of bolts are free to chose (tolerance)

What are ‘makes’?

An Ikego solution is a collection of multipurpose parts that are assembled into a model. The parts are well documented, open and can be manufactured locally. Everything is designed to allow the use of local materials and tools. This means that different makes of the same model can look quite different. One might execute the chair in metal, another in wood and a third in colourful recycled plastic. But the basic model is the same. And it is possible to swap parts between the 3 makes. You have a chair with metal legs, a wooden seat and a plastic back. 

Show us your interpretation of a model.  

To understand this better make sure not to miss what is said above about ↑ tolerance.

If you are interested in the theory behind this, you can read this article: “What is the final version in Open Circular Design?”