Features

What sets Crossbeams apart? The words strong, accurate, creative, and honorable come to mind.

Strong

In most building toys, the join force (the force required to join pieces) is equal to the separation force (the force required to separate pieces). This imposes a fundamental limit on joint strength. Not so with Crossbeams. The join force and separation force are unrelated. Hence, the Crossbeams patented joint is exceedingly strong, yet simple to engage.

How do we do this? Crossbeams are joined in two simple steps. A multi-step process separates the forces. (Consider a cotter pin.)

Assembling a Joint Step 1

Slide beam into joint.

Assembling a Joint Step 2

Twist ring 45 degrees.

Assembling a Joint Step 3

You're done!

Crossbeams joints remain strong under every stress form: compression (pushed together), tension (pulled apart), shear (sliding) in any direction, and torsion (rotation). The strong joint opens up entirely new building toy uses like operational models, sports equipment, clothing, and utensils.

Creative

Some building toys have a plethora of different piece types: special airplane pieces, special car pieces, special angled pieces, special round pieces, etc. Unfortunately, the toy degenerates into an assembly toy instead of a creating toy. Unless you own tens of thousands of pieces, you can rarely build the new gadget your friend made. Building toys with too many piece types stifle creativity.

Crossbeams, on the other hand, requires a very small number of different pieces to create every structure. At last count, only 18 distinct pieces were needed to create any frame*. This enhances creativity: the same set can make an airplane, a train, a dinosaur, a house, and a mountain.

How do we do this and maintain accuracy? Most building toys connect in one orientation. Crossbeams connect in 8 orientations, which greatly enhances creative expression.

Orientation 1 Orientation 2 Orientation 3 Orientation 4
Orientation 5 Orientation 6 Orientation 7 Orientation 8

We measured Crossbeams combinatorial degree (a measure of creative expression) across our first 83 kits released. Crossbeams far surpasses the leading building toy on the market and approaches living systems in creative expression.

We are committed to keeping the distinct piece count small as Crossbeams progresses. That comes with a company cost. Once you own a few thousand pieces, you can build nearly anything, and you no longer need to purchase new pieces. In our opinion, however, increasing your creativity is more important than increasing our profits.

*Movement requires more pieces.

Accurate

Do we sacrifice accuracy by limiting piece types? Judge for yourself.

Big and Detailed

This typical 487-piece Crossbeams design features steering, seats, opening doors, and moving wheels, and consumes 1.8ft x 0.7ft x 0.4ft — a big, detailed car for a comparatively small number of pieces. Yet, it looks pleasantly realistic. We build big and accurate.

Honorable

Why would honorable be a Crossbeams distinguishing feature? Because Seven:Twelve Engineering, the company that designs Crossbeams, is an honorable company focused on doing the right thing, despite the costs.