1 - Simple ConstructionMy goal at the start was simply to make a joint which was easy enough to push together but also strong enough to hold. It's a tough balance to reach, since they are opposing requirements. Once I had something good enough, I started pasting the connector bits onto different shapes to see what worked best and what gave building flexibility and fun.
2 - Smaller, Simple LinksIn this phase, I realized that it was fun and simpler to have small links that I could construct into many things. Mostly it was a straight link, but I experimented with 90 degree angles to give more flexibility to build. Here is where I realized - mostly through watching my kids try these, that jewelry-making was a good direction.
3 - Basic BraceletsOnce the simple link was working, I tried some more decorative links to make it more engaging for kids. The goal here was to provide a template on top of which kids could model their own "jewels" and bracelet designs.
|Personalized Name Bracelets became easy(ish)|
4 - Decorative DesignsI got more fancy at this stage and tried larger and more personalized designs. You can see where this led - making a name bracelet for my daughter. This stage will lead to many prints, I can tell... I already have a list of must-do projects for other kids.
5 - Product Logo BraceletsIt's beginning to feel that all my projects end here - with Google Docs, Sheets and Slides logos being re-purposed. Actually, I was simply trying to prove here, that my new link connector could be re-used with almost any other object. This worked pretty well.
Next StepsSoon, I'll post a few things to follow this up...
- The actual letter link 3D Models - so people can print their own name bracelets.
- A description of my experience creating the connector parts themselves - this was the main challenge of this project.
- The current design and 3D Model of the connector parts stand-alone (this will help you create your own custom links). I'd love to see people sharing their own custom links to inspire kids to get creative!