Port Shapes

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Preach Starscream, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. Preach Starscream

    Preach Starscream Well-Known Member

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    I've always been curious, is there a reason for switching from circular ports to hexagon ports?
     
  2. Gepard

    Gepard Well-Known Member

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    Couple of thoughts on why they might have done it:

    • Airflow; the corners of the hexagon allow air to move in and out of the port when you plug or unplug a peg. That makes it easier to attach and remove.
    • Counterintuitively, it may allow for tighter ports. Since the walls of the hexagon only touch the pegs at the tangents and the plastic has some flexibility, there may be wiggle room to mold the ports a fraction of a mm smaller; the walls can flex open when the peg is inserted and will grip tightly, but since the area of contact is small, removal is easy.
    • Related to the above, it may be that hexagons have more wiggle room on how precise the tolerances need to be so it's less expensive to produce, i.e. fewer rejections for tolerance issues.
     
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  3. Imperator

    Imperator Be like Optimus, wear a mask.

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    This one is super important. It's the same reason that ball joints and mushroom pegs always have a slit or a hole in the socket, so that a vaccuum doesn't form around the peg. The upshot is that parts can be disconnected and reconnected with minimal damage to the plastic, but if a vaccum forms it can tear a peg or ball right off, as the vaccuum can be stronger than the plastic itself.

    A good modern example is Siege Sideswipe, and not just because it happened to be on my desk right this second and I didn't have to get up to find another. The design has both circular and hexagonal ports, the latter being the majority, but the former being on the car roof and his fists. Both of these are hollow, and when removing the accessory air can come in from the other side. The hexagonal ones however have a base at the bottom, so air has to get in elsewhere or the accessory could get stuck. So yeah, the gaps around a round peg in a hexagonal hole allow air to get in when little Timmy yanks the gun out, and you don't end up with snapped gun handles.
     
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  4. Preach Starscream

    Preach Starscream Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. Thanks, guys. That does make a lot of sense.
     
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