MixPly, self-assembly toys and models

As part of my MA course from 2016-18 I began designing plywood self-assembly toys using laser cutting. I wanted environmentally friendly designs with good play values. The first really successful design was for a helicopter, revisiting an old design from my youth for a hand-made toy . Assembly was simple and did not require glue, and there were moving parts and a working winch. I added a set of stickers (cut with a vinyl cutter) for a rescue (Red Cross and Red Crescent) helicopter.

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by Chris Miller
Created on 29 May 2019

The idea for the current tab/slot/mortice design came overnight, but after a lot of thinking and experimenting. The helicopter is slot joint assembly, simple and commonplace but I couldn't get that to work for the boats I wanted to make.  So after initial success with the helicopter I changed direction to the tab/slot structure. 

Once a basic hull structure was established I re-examined an earlier attempt at a RoRo Ferry, reducing the size to a more manageable 20 cm length and finally getting the two door and winch model I now have.

I registered these designs - it doesn't cost a great deal and can be done in batches - then went on to design a fishing boat, a tugboat and a lifeboat. By now I had graduated (June 2018) and so no longer had access to the laser cutters at uni.  So I began looking for a small batch producer in the UK, a problem I only solved at the beginning of this year with Basically Wooden, laser cutters in Devon.



Tue, 01/01/2019 to Sat, 12/31/2022