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Polarity independent, glue free magnetic clip

  • Author
    • #147141

      I designed a version of the OpenLock Magnetic clip that doesn’t need glue and automatically adjusts for polarity. It uses 3 by 3 mm barrel magnets.

      My version offers a handful of advantages compared to the standard magnetic clip as well as some drawbacks.

      The biggest advantage is that the clip is polarity independent. It is designed so that the barrel magnets can rotate, which means that any clip can connect to any other clip since the magnets will move into the correct polarity.

      The clips also require no glue to hold the magnets. When it is clipped in place the top and bottom are covered which keeps the magnet in place. This means the magnets can be easily reused for other projects.

      A small advantage of this design is that you can paint the edge of the clip which helps it blend in to the wall edges which would make them a little more discrete if you had an exposed edge.

      I designed the clips to also be able to fit 3 in a row. If configured this way it gives the connection a little extra strength and helps with some room configurations.

      The biggest drawback of this design is that the connection is not as strong as the original magnetic clips. This is because each clip holds a single magnet and there is a small gap between magnets. For me, not having to fiddle around with lining up the polarity correctly is worth the reduction in connection strength. I find two clips offer a connection that is plenty strong and provides a satisfying snap when connecting pieces together.

      I uploaded it to Thingiverse if anyone wants to test it out:

    • #147255

      Dude that’s a cool idea. going to use this for something for sure.

    • #147509

      How big is the opening in mm? Would a 5 mm ball magnet fit and still be able to rotate?

    • #147527

      The height of the clip is about 3.5 mm and the opening of the openlock pieces is about 4 mm. Assuming the 5mm for the ball magnet refers to the diameter, I don’t think it would work. A smaller ball magnet should though. I’d be worried the connection strength would be weakened however.

    • #147712

      This looks great

    • #154753
      Marcus Tillman

      Here’s another variant that uses a single magnet in each clip. Since the magnets touch, it offsets the fact they’re only touching on the side.

    • #154764
      Marcus Tillman
    • #154918

      Hi Marcus,

      Clever Idea.! I’ll have to give it a print to test it out.

    • #154920

      For those interested I’ve posted an update to the original file on Thingiverse which includes some accessory clips. The most important one is a clip that sits in between the two wall magnets and slides into the floor piece (the attached images should hopefully explain better). This helps support that connection which tended to be the weakest given the greater leverage on that joint. With them I could make structures that are surprisingly sturdy while still being quick to take apart and reconfigure, all without having to worry about the polarity of the magnets. The “double connectors” for the floor pieces are only necessary if you’re making really large structures with unsupported floors.

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