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Title:
STACKABLE AND INTERLOCKING MODULES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/145872
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A building module and a joint for such building modules that allow easy, quick and sure assembling of said modules in a stackable wail or other building structures and assure easy transport and storage and at the same time stable building structure. The building module comprises four walls (1, 2, 3, 4) surrounding empty internal space, said walls (1, 2, 3, 4) being at least partially connected to each other forming open slots (6) between walls (1, 2, 3, 4). The connections (5) between wails (1, 2, 3, 4) might be flexible or hinged so as the building module is foldable. At least one of the walls (1, 2, 3, 4) of the building module is an interlocking wall (3), which is used to accomplish the joint, by arranging it in the empty internal space of another module with an interlocking wall wherein the connected part of one interlocking wall (3) of one building module is arranged in the slot (6) of the interlocking wall of the other building module and vice versa.

Inventors:
ZAHARINOV, Petar Kirilov (Dianabad, bl.11 entr., ap.54 1172 Sofia, 1172, BG)
PEEV, Svetlin Vanuhov (bul. Vasil Aprilov 138, 4003 Plovdiv, 4003, BG)
SAFARI, Aleksandar Olegov (60 Atanas Uzunov str, 1505 Sofia, 1505, BG)
Application Number:
IB2019/050566
Publication Date:
August 01, 2019
Filing Date:
January 23, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZAHARINOV, Petar Kirilov (Dianabad, bl.11 entr., ap.54 1172 Sofia, 1172, BG)
PEEV, Svetlin Vanuhov (bul. Vasil Aprilov 138, 4003 Plovdiv, 4003, BG)
SAFARI, Aleksandar Olegov (60 Atanas Uzunov str, 1505 Sofia, 1505, BG)
International Classes:
E04B2/18; A63H33/08
Foreign References:
US3895148A1975-07-15
US0319764A1885-06-09
DE29622221U11997-03-13
FR3038846A12017-01-20
EP1671687A12006-06-21
US1480986A1924-01-15
EP2448256A22012-05-02
FR2900173A12007-10-26
US4041670A1977-08-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BENATOV, Samuil Gabriel (Asen Peykov Str, No 6, 1113 Sofia, 1113, BG)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Building module comprising four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) surrounding empty internal space, wherein adjacent edges, situated toward the empty internal space of the module, of every two adjacent walls are connected to each other, and at least one of the walls is an interlocking wall adapted to be assembled with other building module, said interlocking wall is only partially connected with two adjacent walls so as at least one open slot (6) is formed between the interlocking wall and each of said two adjacent walls, and the slots (6) next to the same interlocking wall are open toward the same side of the building module so as a free end of the interlocking wall is formed between two adjacent slots (6).

2. Building module according to claim 1 , wherein slots (6) are formed between all four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module and all slots (6) are open toward the same side of the building module so as every wall is adapted to be interlocking wall. 3. Building module according to claim 1 , wherein slots (6) are formed between all four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module and there are two opposite interlocking walls (3, 4) wherein slots (6) next to one of the interlocking walls (3) are open toward opposite direction to the slots (6) next to the other interlocking wall (4).

4. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module are connected by connecting elements.

5. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein connections (5) between the four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) are hinge connections so as the module is foldable and in folded position adjacent walls are arranged two by two and side by side so as the two pairs of walls are parallel to one another. 6. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the interlocking walls (3.1 , 4.1 ) is shorter than the rest of the walls.

7. Building module according to any of the claims from 1 to 5, wherein at least one interlocking wall is divided into at least two separated interlocking panels (3a and 3 b, 4a and 4b) spaced to one another, each of the interlocking panels (3a and 3 b, 4a and 4b) being partly connected to the two adjacent walls of the building module with one slot (6) on both sides of the interlocking panel and all slots (6) next to the interlocking panels of one wall are open toward the same side of the building module, wherein the space between the interlocking panels is equal or bigger than the height of one interlocking panel. 8. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the free ends (9, 10) of the interlocking walls or of the interlocking panels are bevelled, chamfered or filleted toward the internal space of the building module.

9. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein on both sides of at least one interlocking wall are formed double-sided triangular grooves between external edges of the interlocking wall and adjacent walls.

10. Building module according to any of the claims from 1 to 5, wherein adjacent ends (51 ) of at least two adjacent walls are bevelled or chamfered at angle at least 45°.

11. Joint for connection of building modules, each of the assembled building modules comprising at least two interlocking parts (A, B) that are partly connected to each other forming an open slot (6) between said interlocking parts (A, B), wherein connecting part between the two interlocking parts (A, B) of one of the modules is inserted in the slot (6) between the two interlocking parts (A, B) of the other building module and vice versa. 12. Joint according to claim 11 , characterized in that the joint is between first building module according to any of the claims from 1 to 10 and adjacent second building module, wherein an interlocking element of the second building module is arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module immediately behind and in contact with an interlocking wall or an interlocking panel of the first building module, and wherein connecting part of said interlocking element with other element of the second building module is arranged in one of the slots of the interlocking wall or interlocking panel of the first building module.

13. Joint according to claims 12, wherein the second building module is identical to the first building module and the slots (6) next to the interlocking wall of one of the building modules are open toward opposite direction to the slots (6) next to the respective interlocking wall of the other building module and wherein each of the interlocking walls involved in the joint is arranged in the empty internal space of the other building module and next to each another, with connecting parts (5) of the interlocking wall of one of the building modules being inserted in the slots (6) next to the respective interlocking wall of the other building module and vice versa.

14. Joint according to claim 12, wherein the first building module is according to claim 9 and said other element of the second building module is arranged at least partially in the triangular groove between adjacent walls of the first building module.

15. System of building modules for building of a stackable wall characterizing in that it comprises building modules according to any of the claims from 1 to 10 connected with joints according to any of the claims 11 to 14, wherein walls of the building modules, connected with the interlocking walls involved in the joints between adjacent building modules, are in contact to one another and form frontages of the stackable wall. 16. System of building modules according to claim 15, characterized in that the building modules are according to claim 9 and frontages of adjacent building modules are mutually arranged at least partially in the triangular grooves of one another.

17. System of building modules according to claims 15 or 16, characterized in that the position of border point between the slot (6) and the connected part (5) of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of one of the building modules is reciprocal to the position of border point between the slot and the connected part of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of adjacent building module. 18. System of building modules according to claims 15, 16 or 17, characterized in that two adjacent building modules are connected to each other by connecting module by joints according to claim 12.

19. System of building modules according to claim 18, characterized in that elements of the connecting module are connected to each other by hinges so as the connecting module is foldable.

20. System of building modules according to claims 18 or 19, characterized in that interlocking parts of the connecting module are partly connected to each other or to other adjacent elements of the connecting module so as open slots are formed between said elements. 21. System of building modules according to claims 18, 19 or 20, characterized in that at least two adjacent building modules are joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising at least two angled relative to each other interlocking walls (19, 20) connected at least partially to connecting element (18) arranged in- between them, wherein the interlocking walls (19, 20) of the connecting module are located respectively in the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element (18) of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules. 22. System of building modules according to claims 18, 19 or 20, characterized in that at least two adjacent building modules are joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising two interlocking elements (11 , 11.1 , 13, 13.1 ) connected at least partially to connecting element (12, 12.1 ) arranged in-between them, wherein the interlocking elements of the connecting module are located respectively in the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules. 23. System of building modules according to any of the claims 15 to 22, characterized in that the building modules are arranged one above the other and are connected by fixing means provided on upper and, respectively, lower sides of the walls of the building modules.

24. System of building modules according to claim 15, characterized in that the building modules are according to claim 10 and at least three building modules are involved in the system, wherein first and second building module with slots (6) open in one direction contact each other with one of their bevelled or chamfered edges and form paired slot, and wherein third building module arranged with slots (6) open in opposite direction implement joint between building modules with one of its interlocking wall arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module and other adjacent interlocking wall of the third building module being arranged in the empty internal space of the second building module and the interlocking walls of the first and the second building module are arranged in the empty internal space of the third building module.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 17 June 2019 (17.06.2019)

1. Building module comprising four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) surrounding empty internal space, said walls forming a closed quadrangular polygon in plan view, wherein every two adjacent walls are at least partly connected to each other along their corresponding adjacent edges that are located to the empty internal space, and at least one of the walls is an interlocking wall adapted to be assembled with other building module, said interlocking wall is only partially connected with two adjacent walls so as at least one open slot (6) is formed between the interlocking wall and each of said two adjacent walls, and the slots (6) next to the same interlocking wall are open toward the same side of the building module so as a free end of the interlocking wall is formed between two adjacent slots (6).

2. Building module according to claim 1 , wherein slots (6) are formed between all four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module and all slots (6) are open toward the same side of the building module so as every wall is adapted to be interlocking wall.

3. Building module according to claim 1 , wherein slots (6) are formed between all four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module and there are two opposite interlocking walls (3, 4) wherein slots (6) next to one of the interlocking walls (3) are open toward opposite direction to the slots (6) next to the other interlocking wall (4).

4. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) of the building module are connected by connecting elements.

5. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein connections (5) between the four walls (1 , 2, 3, 4) are hinge connections so as the module is foldable and in folded position adjacent walls are arranged two by two and side by side so as the two pairs of walls are parallel to one another.

6. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least one of the interlocking walls (3.1 , 4.1) is shorter than the rest of the walls.

7. Building module according to any of the claims from 1 to 5, wherein at least one interlocking wall is divided into at least two separated interlocking panels (3a and 3 b, 4a and 4b) spaced to one another, each of the interlocking panels (3a and 3 b, 4a and 4b) being partly connected to the two adjacent walls of the building module with one slot (6) on both sides of the interlocking panel and all slots (6) next to the interlocking panels of one wall are open toward the same side of the building module, wherein the space between the interlocking panels is equal or bigger than the height of one interlocking panel.

8. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the free ends (9, 10) of the interlocking walls or of the interlocking panels are bevelled, chamfered or filleted toward the internal space of the building module.

9. Building module according to any of the preceding claims, wherein on both sides of at least one interlocking wall are formed double-sided triangular grooves between external edges of the interlocking wall and adjacent walls.

10. Building module according to any of the claims from 1 to 5, wherein adjacent ends (51 ) of at least two adjacent walls are bevelled or chamfered at angle at least 45'.

1 1. Joint for connection of building modules, each of the assembled building modules comprising at least two adjacent interlocking parts (A, B) that are partly connected to each other forming an open slot (6) between said interlocking parts (A, B), wherein connecting part between the two interlocking parts (A, B) of one of the building modules is inserted in the slot (6) between the two interlocking parts (A, B) of the other building module and vice versa and the interlocking parts (A, B) of one of the building modules are at least partially accommodated in respective double-sided grooves formed between the interlocking parts (A, B) of the other building module and vice versa.

12. Joint according to claim 1 1 , characterized in that the joint is between first building module according to claims and adjacent second building module, wherein an interlocking element of the second building module is arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module immediately behind and in contact with an interlocking wall or an interlocking panel of the first building module, and wherein connecting part of said interlocking element with other element of the second building module is arranged in one of the slots of the interlocking wall or interlocking panel of the first building module.

13. Joint according to claims 12, wherein the second building module is identical to the first building module and the slots (6) next to the interlocking wall of one of the building modules are open toward opposite direction to the slots (6) next to the respective interlocking wall of the other building module and wherein each of the interlocking walls involved in the joint is arranged in the empty internal space of the other building module and next to each another, with connecting parts (5) of the interlocking wall of one of the building modules being inserted in the slots (6) next to the respective interlocking wall of the other building module and vice versa.

14. Joint according to claim 12, wherein the first building module is according to claim 9 and said other element of the second building module is arranged at least partially in the triangular groove between adjacent walls of the first building module.

15. System of building modules for building of a stackable wall characterizing in that it comprises building modules according to any of the claims from 1 to 10 connected with joints between the interlocking walls of two adjacent building modules wherein the slots (6) next to one interlocking wall are open toward opposite direction to the slots (6) next to the other joining interlocking wall and wherein the connecting parts (5) of the interlocking wall of one of the modules are inserted in the slots (6) next to the interlocking wall of the other building module and vice versa, and wherein walls of the building modules, connected with the interlocking walls involved in the joints between adjacent building modules, are in contact to one another and form frontages of the stackable wall.

16. System of building modules according to claim 15, characterized in that the building modules are according to claim 9 and are connected with joints according to claim 14 and wherein frontages of adjacent building modules are mutually arranged at least partially in the triangular grooves of one another.

17. System of building modules according to claims 15 or 16, characterized in that the position of border point between the slot (6) and the connecting part (5) of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of one of the building modules is reciprocal to the position of border point between the slot and the connecting part of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of adjacent building module.

18. System of building modules according to claims 15, 16 or 17, characterized In that two adjacent building modules are connected to each other by connecting module by joints according to claim 12.

19 System of building modules according to claim 18, characterized in that elements of the connecting module are connected to each other by hinges so as the connecting module is foldable.

20. System of building modules according to claims 18 or 19, characterized in that interlocking parts of the connecting module are partly connected to each other or to other adjacent elements of the connecting module so as open slots are formed between said elements.

21. System of building modules according to claims 18, 19 or 20, characterized in that at least two adjacent building modules are joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising at least two angled relative to each other interlocking walls (19, 20) connected at least partially to connecting element (18) arranged in- between them, wherein the interlocking walls (19, 20) of the connecting module are located respectively In the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element (18) of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules.

22. System of building modules according to claims 18, 19 or 20, characterized in that at least two adjacent building modules are joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising two interlocking elements (1 1 , 1 1.1 , 13, 13.1 ) connected at least partially to connecting element (12, 12.1 ) arranged in-between them, wherein the interlocking elements of the connecting module are located respectively In the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules.

23. System of building modules according to any of the claims 15 to 22, characterized in that the building modules are arranged one above the other and are connected by fixing means provided on upper and, respectively, lower sides of the walls of the building modules.

24. System of building modules according to claim 15, characterized in that the building modules are according to claim 10 and at least three building modules are involved in the system, wherein first and second building module with slots (6) open in one direction contact each other with one of their bevelled or chamfered edges and form paired slot, and wherein third building module arranged with slots (6) open in opposite direction implement joint between building modules with one of its interlocking wall arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module and other adjacent interlocking wall of the third building module being arranged in the empty internal space of the second building module and the interlocking walls of the first and the second building module are arranged in the empty internal space of the third building module.

Description:
STACKABLE AND INTERLOCKING MODULES

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S Provisional Patent Application No. 62/621 ,610 (filed on January 25, 2018).

BACKGROUND

The main problems of the currently known modular structures is that they are composed of great plurality of parts, their assembly requires the usage of tools, the assembly process is very time consuming, the surface of the finished structure is not smooth and usually structural parts are visible. The most common solutions use thin rectangular plates connected by aluminum profiles. Their disadvantages are that their structural elements are visible giving a very typical outlook of the structure, without much space for its customization, they require tools for their assembly, they comprise many fixtures and small elements that can be easily lost or forgotten.

For example, EP2448256B1 discloses a module structure with continuous main surface connected to foldable side surface which is preferably formed from part surfaces connected via a hinge. The pivotable side surfaces are arranged parallel to main surface in folded state, and are arranged perpendicular to main surface in set up condition. To form a wall these modular structures are connected to each other by fixing means such as holes and threads connected with screws. In order the module to be foldable, its foldable sides are comprised of part surfaces connected via a hinge. This is less stable than the usage of a wall made of one whole piece. Another disadvantage of this solution is that the modules do not comprise a connecting part integrated in the module and additional technical connection means are required, in order to be assembled. This is both more complicated and time-consuming for usage. FR2900173A1 discloses stackable blocks which form walls by arranging vertically and horizontally in complementary shapes. Each block includes a partition internally which forms a beam between the walls, where each wall has a lateral end which includes a recess for positioning shims which are placed between the blocks, during horizontal stacking of the wall. These blocks are assembled to build a wall by means of a set of calibrated concrete elements and by means of a thin glue joint disposed horizontally between said calibrated elements. Disadvantages of these stacking blocks and the method for their assembly include the need of additional glue joint for building a stable construction, the space and means that they require in order to be transported and stored, the need of additional tools for assembling the blocks and the higher costs which are involved with the process.

US4041670A refers to a building method and blocks in which the blocks have integrally formed joining elements along two axes, including a yin yang element to allow selective reversibility of the blocks to form a self-joint with another yin yang element on another block. Multiple blocks can be assembled by joining the opposite yin yang elements to each other. These blocks are not foldable and so they are hard to be transported or stored.

SUGARY OF THE INVENTION

The aim of the present invention is to provide a building module and a joint for such building modules that allow easy, quick and sure assembling of said modules in a stackable wall or other building structures.

An additional aim of the invention is to provide a joint for building modules that does not require tools or additional connecting and fastening elements to be implemented.

A further aim of the invention is to provide building modules that are foldable and compact so as to assure easy transport and storage and at the same time with stable building structure.

The building module comprises four walls surrounding empty internal space, wherein adjacent edges, situated toward the empty internal space of the module, of every two adjacent walls are connected to each other, and at least one of the walls is an interlocking wall adapted to be assembled with other building module. Said interlocking wall is only partially connected with two adjacent walls so as at least one open slot is formed between the interlocking wall and each of said two adjacent walls. The slots next to the same interlocking wall are open toward the same side of the building module so as a free end of the interlocking wall is formed between two adjacent slots.

In a preferred embodiment of the building module slots are formed between all four walls of the building module and all slots are open toward the same side of the building module so as every wall is adapted to be interlocking wall.

In another embodiment of the building module slots are formed between all four walls of the building module and there are two opposite interlocking walls. The slots next to one of the interlocking walls are open toward opposite direction to the slots next to the other interlocking wall.

The walls of the building module according to the invention are connected by connecting elements.

In a preferred embodiment of the building module the connections between the four walls are hinge connections so as the module is foldable and in folded position adjacent walls are arranged two by two and side by side so as the two pairs of walls are parallel to one another.

In one embodiment of the building module at least one of the interlocking walls is shorter than the rest of the walls.

In another embodiment of the building module at least one interlocking wall is divided into at least two separated interlocking panels spaced to one another. Each of the interlocking panels is partly connected to the two adjacent walls of the building module with one slot on both sides of the interlocking panel and all slots next to the interlocking panels of one wall are open toward the same side of the building module. The space between the interlocking panels is equal or bigger than the height of one interlocking panel.

It is preferred the free ends of the interlocking walls or of the interlocking panels to be bevelled, chamfered or filleted toward the internal space of the building module.

In a preferred embodiment of the building module, both sides of at least one interlocking wall are formed double-sided triangular grooves between external edges of the interlocking wall and adjacent walls.

According to alternative embodiment of the building module, adjacent ends of at least two adjacent walls are bevelled or chamfered at angle at least 45°.

The joint for connection of building modules, according to the invention, is made as each of the assembled building modules comprising at least two interlocking parts that are partly connected to each other forming an open slot between said interlocking parts wherein the connection between the two interlocking parts of one of the modules is inserted in the slot between the two interlocking of the other building module and vice versa.

In a preferred embodiment the joint is between first building module and adjacent second building module, wherein interlocking element of the second building module is arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module immediately behind and in contact with an interlocking wall or an interlocking panel of the first building module. A connecting part of said interlocking element with other element of the second building module is arranged in one of the slots of the interlocking wall or interlocking panel of the first building module.

It is preferred embodiment of the joint, the other element of the second building module is arranged at least partially in the triangular groove between adjacent walls of the first building module.

In one embodiment of the joint, the second building module is identical to the first building module and the slots next to the interlocking wall of one of the building modules are open toward opposite direction to the slots next to the respective interlocking wall of the other building module. Each of the interlocking walls involved in the joint is arranged in the empty internal space of the other building module and next to each another with connecting parts of the interlocking wall of one of the modules is inserted in the slots next to the interlocking wall of the other building module and vice versa.

The system of building modules for building of a stackable wall, according to the invention, comprises building modules according to the invention connected with joints according to the invention, wherein walls of the building modules, connected with the interlocking walls involved in the joints between adjacent building modules, are in contact to one another and form frontages of the stackable wall.

In a preferred embodiment of the system of building modules, frontages of adjacent building modules are mutually arranged at least partially in the triangular grooves of one another.

In a preferred embodiment of the system of building modules, the position of border point between the slot and the connected part of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of one of the building modules is reciprocal to the position of border point between the slot and the connected part of the edges of the interlocking wall or of the interlocking panel of adjacent building module.

In alternative embodiment of the system of building modules, at least three building modules, each of them having adjacent ends of at least two adjacent walls which are bevelled or chamfered at angle at least 45°, are involved in the system, wherein first and second building module with slots open in one direction contact each other with one of their bevelled or chamfered edges and form paired slot. A third building module arranged with slots open in opposite direction implement joint between building modules with one of its interlocking wall arranged in the empty internal space of the first building module and other adjacent interlocking wall of the third building module being arranged in the empty internal space of the second building module and the interlocking walls of the first and the second building module are arranged in the empty internal space of the third building module. In another embodiment of the system of building modules, two adjacent building modules are connected to each other by connecting module by joints according to claim.

It is possible the elements of the connecting module to be connected to each other by hinges so as the connecting module is foldable.

It is preferred the interlocking parts of the connecting module to be partly connected to each other or to other adjacent elements of the connecting module so as open slots are formed between said elements.

In one embodiment of the system of building modules, at least two adjacent building modules are joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising at least two angled relative to each other interlocking walls connected at least partially to connecting element arranged in-between them. The interlocking walls of the connecting module are located respectively in the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules.

It is also possible according to the invention, at least two adjacent building modules to be joined at an angle to each other by connecting module comprising two interlocking elements connected at least partially to connecting element arranged in-between them. The interlocking elements of the connecting module are located respectively in the empty internal spaces of said two adjacent building modules, behind and in contact with the respective interlocking walls or interlocking panels of said two adjacent building modules and the connecting element of the connecting module is located in adjacent triangular grooves of said two adjacent building modules.

According to the invention, in order the building modules can be arranged one above the other and connected by fixing means provided on upper and, respectively, lower sides of the walls of the building modules. The variations of the disclosed building module can be both stackable and foldable at the same time. Moreover, foidabiiity does not interfere with the stability of the whole structure composed of such modules because in assembled state the foidabiiity is blocked and the whole structure behaves as a non-foldab!e one. The assembly process is very fast, easy and does not require any tools. The finished structure can have a smooth finish without visible structural parts which provides the possibility to customize the outlook of the assembled structure. It can be used not only for vertical structures but also for ceilings, podiums and other types of horizontal ones or mixed.

The advantages of the structures composed of the described stackable module and its modifications are:

* They do not require tools for their assembly

* Their assembly process is very fast

* The finished surface can be smooth, without visible structural parts

* The module can be stackable without regard to whether it is foldable or not

* They can be very compact when disassembled and folded

* They can be made using many different types of materials and technologies · The module can also be functional as an independent object

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG.1 shows perspective views of an interlocking structure composed of two identical units where each of these units is composed of two column-shaped elements that are partly connected along their height leaving the rest of it as a slot

FIG.2 depicts perspective and front views in folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a module with slots and connections between elements oriented in different directions. FIG.3 shows perspective views of the interiocking/stacking process of two modules with slots and partial connections between their four walls oriented in different directions.

FIG.4 depicts perspective and front views in folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a module with slots and partial connections between their four elements oriented in same directions.

FIG.5 shows perspective views of the interlocking/stacking process between interlocking walls of three modules with slots and partial connections between their four walls oriented in same directions.

FIG.6 shows perspective views of the interlocking/stacking process in the other direction between three modules with slots and partial connections between their four elements oriented in same directions.

FIG.7 depicts perspective views of the interlocking/stacking process between two modules with slots and partial connections between their four walls oriented in same directions by using a connecting module that is a shortened modification of the same modules.

FIG.8 shows perspective views of the interlocking/stacking process between two modules with slots and partial connections between their four walls oriented in same directions by using a connecting module that is a shortened modification of the same modules which is than split in two parts by cutting its interlocking walls FIG.9 illustrates perspective and front views in folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a stackable module with shortened interlocking walls and slots.

FIG.10 shows perspective views of the interlocking/stacking process of two modules with shortened interlocking walls and slots.

FIG.11 depicts perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with perspective and section views of the stacking/interlocking process of modules with interlocking wails that are divided in two sub-elements with bevelled/chamfered edges.

FIG.12 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interlocking process of modules with maximum thickness of their interlocking walls when stackability between more than two modules is needed.

FIG.13 illustrates perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interlocking process of modules with maximum thickness of heir interlocking walls when stackability between only two modules is needed.

FIG 14 depicts perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interiocking process of modules with walls that are not parallel to each other. FIG.15 shows perspective and front views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with perspective and section views of the stacking/interiocking process of modules with walls that are not rectangular.

FIG.18 illustrates perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of simple connecting module comprising three column- shaped elements with partial connections and slots oriented in same directions.

FIG.17 depicts perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of simple connecting module comprising three column-shaped elements with partial connections and slots oriented in opposite directions.

FIG.18 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of simple corner connecting module comprising two wall-shaped and two column-shaped elements with partial connections and slots oriented in different directions. FIG.19 illustrates perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of simple connecting/extending module comprising one wall-shaped and two column-shaped elements with partial connections and slots oriented in different directions.

FIG 20 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of a corner connecting module comprising two wail- shaped elements that are visible in assembled position, one column- shaped element, and two interlocking elements that go inside modules in assembled state. FIG.21 depicts perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of a T-junction connecting module comprising one wall- shaped element that is visible in assembled position, two column-shaped elements, and three interlocking elements that go inside modules in assembled state. FIG.22 depicts perspective views of foided, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of an X-junction connecting module comprising four column-shaped elements and four interlocking elements that are split in pairs of two sub-elements that go inside modules in assembled state.

FIG.23 illustrates perspective views of the stacking/interiocking process of a simple ciosing/finishing module comprising one wall-shaped element that go inside a module when assembled and two column-shaped elements.

FIG.24 shows perspective views of the stacking/interlocking process of a simple ciosing/finishing module comprising two column-shaped elements.

FIG.25 illustrates perspective views of the stacking/interiocking process of a simple ciosing/finishing module comprising a portion that goes between two bevelled side elements that are visible in assembled position.

FIG.28 shows perspective views of the stacking/interiocking process of a simple ciosing/ finishing module comprising a portion that goes between two bevelied side elements that are hidden in assembled position. FIG.27 depicts perspective views of the stacking/interlocking process of a closing/ finishing module comprising portions that go inside a module in assembled state and use the same stacking/interiocking principle as the module with partial connections and slots.

FIG 28 depicts perspective views of the stacking/interiocking process of a simple dosing/finishing module comprising two column-shaped portions and a wall-shaped portion connecting them

FIG 29 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the locking/joining process of connecting modules for bi-directional arranged modules where the connecting units are comprising four column-shaped elements.

FIG.30 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a module with bevelled edges

FIG.31 depicts perspective views of bi-directional stacking/interlocking process of modules with bevelled edges.

FIG 32 illustrates finishing/closing modules for structures comprising modules with bevelled edges.

FIG.33 shows perspective views of finishing/closing modules for structures comprising modules with bevelled edges. FIG.34 depicts perspective views of the vertical stacking process of modules with reduced thickness of the wails along their edges.

FIG.35 shows perspective views of the vertical stacking process of modules with partial thickness reduction of the elements along their edges.

FIG.38 illustrates perspective views of the vertical stacking process of modules with modified contours of the walls.

FIG 37 depicts perspective views of the vertical stacking process of modules with convex and concave elements on the contact surfaces.

FIG.38 shows perspective views of horizontally displaced modules between the rows. FIG 39 shows perspective views of the stacking process of modules with different height of their walls.

FIG.40 shows perspective views of the stacking process of modules with different height where the height difference and the distance between the side elements follow an auxiliary grid/step.

FIG.41 depicts perspective views of modules with wails made in the form of a pegboard, holding sticks and shelving. FIG.42 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interlocking process of modules with one sided horizontal closing with hidden thickness of the closing element in closed position.

FIG.43 illustrates perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interlocking process of modules with one sided horizontal closing with visible thickness of the closing element in dosed position.

FIG.44 shows perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states together with the stacking/interlocking process of modules with one sided horizontal closing that is integrated inside its walls.

FIG.45 depicts perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a module with a one-directional lattice closing structure.

FIG.48 illustrates perspective views of folded, partly folded and unfolded states of a module with a bi-directional lattice closing structure.

FIG.47 depicts perspective views of a module with a duplicated bi-directional lattice closing structure.

DETA!LED DESCRIPTION

For the purposes of the current description and claims, the terms "top, bottom, upper, lower, front, rear, left, right, first, second" reflect the relative position of the respective elements of the construction of the modules, according to the invention as shown on the figures in a conventional position of use and said relative terms are not restrictive to the scope of protection of the present invention, since the modules can be arranged in a different way and in a different combination in space. The principle behind the disclosed stackable module is depicted by the interlocking joint in FIG.1. It involves two Interlocking units. Each unit has two parts A, B that are partly connected along their length/height leaving the rest of it in the form of an open slot 6. The interlocking involves sliding movements where the connection between the two parts A, B of one of the units fills the empty space/slot between the two parts A, B of the other unit and vice versa. The connections can be also flexible if foidability is required. The size and the shape of the two interlocking units can be modified if the resulting shape of the corresponding contacting surfaces of the two units do not block the sliding movement during assembly.

The two interlocking units depicted and their modifications can also be considered as portions of more complex stackable units/modules. Such modules can contain as many of such portions as needed.

A simple and practical example of the building module according the invention and comprising described portions is shown in FIG.2. The module is with the form of rectangular parallelepiped. It is comprising four walls arranged in two pairs 1 and 2, 3 and 4 that define an empty internal space. Every two walls are partly connected to each other along their corresponding edges that are located to the empty internal space leaving the rest of these edges not connected. Two of the partial connections 5 face in one direction and the other two are oriented in the opposite direction. The connections can be rigid or they can be flexible providing the possibility of folding the module as shown in the same figure. The portions of the corresponding edges that are not connected form open slots 6. One pair of them is oriented in one direction, the other pair is oriented in the other direction. The module can be stacked/interiocked to another similar one by sliding movements along the edges that connect their wails where the connections between the walls of the first module go in the slots of the second module and vice versa. The interlocking wall 3 goes in the empty internal space defined by the elements of the other module. On both sides of the interlocking wall 3 are formed double-sided triangular grooves between external edges of the interlocking wall and adjacent wails, so as frontages of adjacent building modules are mutually arranged at least partially in the triangular grooves of one another. Thus, smooth and continuous front and back faces of the resulting wall are formed without gaps or slits between building modules. The interlocking/stacking process is shown in FIG.3

Rigid connections between the walls of the module can be for example g-shaped profile, a rebar, a binder (e.g., an adhesive) and others. Flexible connections between the wails of the module can be for example a hinge elements. Such hinge elements can be made as completely flexible hinge element or partly flexible hinge element.

The stackable module and its modifications described in this specification can work without regard to whether it is foldable or not. Foidabiiity is not required for its stackability, it is an additional advantage that it can have, providing space saving and effective transportation. Once unfolded and interlocked with another module the collapsible module loses its foidabiiity and the whole structure from which it is part starts working as a non-foldabie one. This lack of contradiction between foidabiiity and stability makes the described invention appropriate for many applications.

As shown in FIG.4 the two pairs of slots 6 and respectively the two pairs of partial connections 5, either rigid or flexible, between the four walls 1 , 2, 3, and 4 can also be oriented in the same direction and form a very symmetrical module. The main difference appears during assembly because every two modules with slots oriented in the same direction must be placed before the one with slots facing the opposite direction in order to be stacked/interlocked (FIG.5). This can be considered as a disadvantage because more planning and coordination is required during assembly but it can turn into an advantage in cases where the modules have to be stackable In two directions (FIG.6). Another advantage is that part of the already assembled structure can be disassembled and rearranged without the need to disassemble all of the modules that have to be assembled after the modules that need the rearrangement.

If the sizes of the front walls 1 and 2 are equally reduced it can also be considered as a connecting/joining module for two modules (FIG 7). The connecting/joining module can also be separated in two identical parts for reasons of economy of material or space by splitting the wails 3 and 4 to 7 and 8 (FIG.8). Only one of the two parts can be enough, especially when only one side of the modular structure is visible.

Structures containing both modules with slots oriented in different directions and ones with slots facing the same direction can be possible.

The interlocking walls 3 1 and 4.1 that interlock with the corresponding elements from another module are not needed to be as long/high as the other two wails (FIG.9 and FIG.10). As a consequence, the slots 8 can also be shorter. This way the modules do not need to be moved/lifted the whole length/height during assembly. This is valid for both - modules with pairs of slots that face in opposite directions and for ones that are oriented in the same direction. Mixtures between modules with full length/height interlocking wails and ones with shorter interlocking walls is also possible.

Splitting the interlocking walls into separated interlocking panels is also possible (FIG.11). The interlocking wails in the shown example have two separated interlocking panels 3a and 3b, 4a and 4b but their number can be as big as needed and feasible. The more interlocking panels the less moving/lifting of the modules during assembly is needed. Another advantage of such subdivision is that the walls 1 and 2 are connected more evenly which prevents them from bending. The edges of interlocking wails or their interlocking panels can be chamfered, bevelled or filleted (9 and 10) in order the assembly process to be smoother and easier.

The maximum thickness of the interlocking walls that interlock with an element from another module is limited by the dimensions of the empty internal space of the other module. The sum of the thicknesses of the two wails that go inside the same module 3 and 4 can not exceed the width of elements 1 and 2 of the other module (FIG.12). If stackability is required for not more than two modules, in this case the thickness of the wails 3 and 4 that go into the corresponding empty internal space of the other module can not exceed the width of the corresponding elements 1 and 2 of the other module (FIG.13).

The walls of a module are not required to be parallel. It Is also valid for modules that have to be completely foldable (FIG.14). In such case the sum of the widths of walls 1 and 3 must equal the sum of the widths of walls 2 and 4 and the folding will be possible in only one direction, not in both directions. The bevel angles of the interlocking walls that go inside other modules when stacked may need correction in order not to hinder the assembly. The bevel angles of walls 1 and 2 can also be corrected not only to avoid hindering of the interlocking process but also the shape of the visible surface of the finished structure to be smoother, without much clearance.

Walls 1 and 2 of a foldable module are not required to be rectangular but it is required that all folding axes are parallel to each other. The wails can be shaped as parallelograms (FIG.15), trapezoids, or even random rectangles that satisfy this rule.

Modules, comprising four wails, can form intersections and corners by using hidden connecting modules. Variations of a very simple connecting module are depicted in FIG.16. It is comprising three column-shaped portions with different embodiments, for example with column-shaped portions 11 , 12, and 13 or column-shaped portions 11.1 , 12.1 , and 13.1 or column-shaped portions 11.1 , 12, and 13.1 , that are partly connected along their length/height leaving the rest of it in the form of an open slot. The connections can be rigid or they can be flexible allowing the whole connecting module to be foldable. In the modifications depicted in FIG.16 the two slots are oriented in the same direction. In order such a connecting module to be able to join two modules, the corresponding connection between the walls of the modules needed to be joined have to go in the slots of the connecting module as shown in the figure. This way two, three, or four modules can be fixed together using the same type of connecting module. The rule in this case is that the modules have to be positioned before the connecting module. The variation of this connecting module located at the top of the figure is not very appropriate in case the whole structure is rotated upside-down when gravitation is presented because it will rely only on friction to stay on place. In this case the second and the third variants shown are more appropriate.

When the situation requires that the modules be placed one after another a connecting module with opposite directions of the slots is more appropriate (FIG.17) Again, the connections between the portions of the module can be either rigid or flexible.

Visible connecting modules for corners are possible. Variations are shown in FIG.18. They are comprising two pairs of elements. Each pair consists of two elements that are partly connected along their height/length leaving the rest of it as a slot. One of the two types of elements (14, 15) can be shorter. These types of interlocking elements go inside the internal empty space of the corresponding modules during the assembly process. The other type of elements is wall-shaped (16, 17) and forms one of the visible sides of the comer in assembled state. The two pairs are connected between the wall shaped elements. The connection can be rigid or flexible. The slots can be oriented in different directions as shown in the figure or they can be oriented in the same direction.

Variations of visible extending modules are shown in FIG.19. They can be considered as sliced versions of the modules depicted in FIG.2 and FIG.9, by the same method depicted in FIG.8. Their slots can be oriented either in opposite or in the same direction, similar to the connecting modules in FIG.8, depending on the assembly requirements. Two such modules can be used on each side of the structure if it is double sided or more stability is needed. Structures comprised of extending modules only can also be possible but they might not be stable enough. As a result they can be connected to a more solid structure.

More complex and looped connecting modules can be built. Variations of a corner one is depicted in FIG.20. It is based on the connecting module depicted in FIG.18. It again has two wall-shaped elements that form the visible corner 21 and 22 with the difference that the widths of interlocking elements 19 and 20 that go inside another module when assembled are equal to the widths of the interlocking wails of this module and additional column-shaped element 18 is added between them. It is partly connected to them along their length/height leaving the rest as an open slot. Again, the connections can be rigid or flexible depending on if foldability is needed. Of course, the orientation of the slots can be in the same direction if the corner module has to be placed last or first. This is valid not only for this connecting module but also for all connecting modules described.

A variation of connecting module for T-junctions is shown in FIG.21. it is comprising three wail-shaped interlocking elements that go inside the empty internal space of other modules when assembled 24, 25, 26, two column-shaped elements located between them 27, 28 and one visible in assembled position wail-shaped element 23, connected to elements 24, and 26. All elements are partly connected along their length/height leaving the rest as open slots. The connections can be rigid or flexible depending on if foldability is needed. The orientation of the slots can be in the same direction if the corner module has to be placed last or first.

A variation of an X-junction is depicted in FIG.22. It is comprising four subdivided wall- shaped elements that go inside other modules when assembled 29a (29b), 30a (30b), 31a (31b), 32a (32b) and four column-shaped elements located between them 33, 34, 35, 36 All elements are partly connected along their height/length leaving the rest as open slots. As it can be seen, the interlocking wall-shaped elements that go inside the empty internal space of other modules when assembled can be subdivided, similar to the interlocking walls of the modules depicted in FIG.11. It is valid not only for this construction but also for the other connecting modules described.

Different finishing/dosing modules are possible. A simple solution for modules having interlocking walls which height is equal to the height of the visible walls in assembled position is depicted in FIG.23. It consists of one wall-shaped element 37 that goes inside the module after assembly and two-column shaped elements 38, 39 that are partly connected to it along their !ength/height leaving the rest as open slots. This finishing/closing module can also be split in two separate parts FIG.24 by splitting the wall-shaped element into two separate elements 40 and 41. Finishing/dosing modules that have bevelied/chamfered interlocking elements can be finished/closed by using variations of a finishing/dosing module depicted in FIG.25 and FIG.26. It comprises a portion 42 which goes over the inclined face of the corresponding interlocking wall. The example shown is for modules with subdivided interlocking walls but the same principle can be used for modules with one interlocking wall or with interlocking walls subdivided into more than two bevelied/chamfered sub-divisions.

The finishing/dosing module can also interlock the same way as the described modules FIG.27. It comprises two sub-elements 43a and 43b that are partly connected to the visible portion of the finishing/closing module along their height leaving the rest of it as open slots. The sub-elements go inside the empty internal space of the module in assembled position. The interlocking walls or their sub divisions are not needed to be bevelied/chamfered in this case. Again, the number of the sub-divisions can be less or more than two.

Very simple solutions that do not use the shape of the interlocking wails of the module to be closed exist. A simple one is shown in FIG.28. It is comprising a wall shaped portion 44 and two column-shaped portions 45, 46. This simple cap can be connected using conventional means or it can use the friction between the materials in order to stay on place.

The disclosed modules can be multiplied in two directions without the need to interlock between each other. In this case additional connecting modules following the same interlocking principle can be used (FIG.29). They are comprising four column-shaped elements 47, 48, 49, 50 that are partially connected along their height/length leaving the rest of it as an open slot. The connections can be rigid or they can be flexible if foidabiiity is required. The slots can be oriented in the same direction or in different directions. In order four modules to be connected to each other two connecting modules are interlocked through their middle slots to form a cross-shaped structure and then this structure can be used as a connecting module. The cross-shaped structure can be also manufactured as one unit. If the elements of the disclosed modules are properly bevelled/chamfered they can form not only linear but also bi-directional arrays of mutually interlocked modules (FIG 30, FIG.31 , FIG.32, and FIG.33). in this case the external edges of the module 51 are bevelled/chamfered at an angle equal or bigger than 45 degrees. If bi directional stackability is needed the open slots have to be twice wider in order to hold the connections between the wails of two different modules,

Vertical stackability of modules is also possible.

A practical way such stackability to be achieved is by alternating the thickness along the horizontal (looped) edges of the modules (FIG.34). The thickness of half of the edges can be reduced outwards 52, 53, 54, 55 and the thickness of the other half inwards 56, 57 with the same distance.

The change of the thickness can also affect only part of these external edges (FIG.35). This means that the thickness only along some portion of the edge 59, 60 needs to be reduced leaving the rest with bigger thickness 58a, 58b

Another practical way to achieve vertical stackability is by changing the contour of the walls of the module (FIG.36). In such case it is practical the contours of all four walls in a module to be modified in order to block possible movement between the modules in all two horizontal directions.

Another possible method for making the modules vertically stackable is by modifying the contacting surfaces in a way that they have convex 61 and concave 62 portions or holes and respectively protruding parts that go inside them (FIG.37).

The described methods for achieving vertical stackability can be used for providing the option of horizontal displacement between the modules from the different rows (FIG 38). This can also contribute to the stability of the whole structure.

Vertical displacements between the modules is possible by extending or contracting the wails of the modules in a way that does not interfere with the interlocking of the modules (FIG.39).

Similar displacement can be achieved by making the vertical size of the elements dependent on certain modular grid (FIG.40). It is practical in this case that the size and the distance between the interlocking walls that provide the horizontal stackabliity to be harmonized with this grid in order maximum combinativeness to be achieved.

The visible walls of stackable modules can be adapted to hold different objects it can be achieved by using conventional fixtures, magnets, vacuum etc. A practical way to provide such options is by making the visible walls of the structure in the form of a pegboard (FIG.41). The sticks of such pegboard can be used to hold different objects and shelving, they can also serve as handies which can be very beneficial during assembly.

Top and bottom closings of modules are also possible. Example of one-sided closing element 63 with hidden thickness in closed state is shown in FIG.42. If the closing element is as wide as the walls it has to be opened during the assembly process. The same construction can be used for double-sided closing elements too. Closing elements can also be present at the top and bottom at the same time too.

Example of closing element 63 with visible thickness is depicted in FIG.43

In order to make the modules more compact in folded state the closing element 64 can be integrated inside the modules (FIG.44). The closing element can be integrated inside the walls as shown.

Bottom and/or top closing modules can be arranged in the form of lattice structures. Such structures are possible even for foldable modules. The grid can be just in one direction in the form of parallel strips/sticks 65 as demonstrated in FIG.45 or it can be in two directions 66 as shown in FIG.46. In this case the edges of intersection between the strips/sticks have to be flexible. The grid can be duplicated with different pattern 67 or raster (FIG.47) This can be very beneficial when objects have to penetrate it partly in order to stay fixed as demonstrated in the figure.

The orientation of ail described modules and structures is exemplary. In many cases they can function in any other orientation in relation to the gravitational field if gravity is present. Moreover, additional fasteners can be used for reinforcement of the particular structure. The empty internal spaces of the modules can contain connections between the walls or it can also be filled with bulk or solid materials in order to make the finished structure heavier or to make it meet some insulation requirements: acoustic, thermal, or from wind, water, fire, radiation, etc.

There are many possible applications of structures comprised of the disclosed modules. They can be used for assemblable/stackable walls, temporary barriers, construction toys, trade stands and pavilions, shelving, podiums, ceilings, prefabricated buildings, stackable containers and any other appropriate function.

The described modules can be made of variety of different materials or a combination of different materials using many different technologies. Examples of possible material options are: plastics and resins, wood and wooden based materials, metal, ceramics and stone-based materials, glass, laminates, fabric, cell cardboard, foamboard, industrial hemp, rattan, cement, fibro-cement, concrete, reinforced concrete, glass, composite materials, carbon fiber, foam-based solids (EPS, XPS and others), other foamed materials and any other appropriate materials. The modules can be made as one piece or as combination between separate elements that are connected to each other.

Examples of possible production methods are: molding, casting, thermoforming, gluing, welding, assembling with fasteners, 3d printing, CNC milling and any other appropriate method or a combination of different methods.

The whole module can be made as a flat structure and then folded as origami and connected either along a folding axis or a solid element. The flexibility along the folding axes can be achieved in different ways. It can be thinning of the material (living hinge), using conventional hinges, using pieces of thin sheet material or fabric, stitching, zipping, using magnetic coupling means, using different types of adhesive tape, and any other appropriate way.

The interior of modules that do not need to be foldable is not required to be a void space it can be filled with material if it does not block the sliding movement during assembly. The surfaces of the modules are also not required to be flat, they can have any relief and shape if it does not interfere with the stacking/interlocking and/or with the folding of the modules. The walls of the modules are also not required to be flat, they can have curvature providing also the option to form curved stackable walls when assembled.

The edges of the elements of the modules can be bevelled, tapered, filleted, or chamfered if needed in order to make the assembly smoother and easier.

The reference numbers of the technical features are included in the claims solely for the purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and, therefore, these reference numbers have no restrictive effect on the interpretation of the elements designated by these reference numbers.