Blocks that bring us together, we are building this project together

This project was realised during the Corona lockdown period and the following holiday period. We were looking for learning activities for our children (at that time 7y, 9y, 10y) and ended up at the OneMotorChallenge of the technique academy house. We built several technic models.

Despite the enormous amounts of building kits that our children have made, they did not know how concretely to start making the most simple new designs.

It is easy to see why. Usually the most beautiful, most complex building boxes are bought, they are never broken down and in the best case they end up on a shelf, where they remain for years. So when building them, very little is learned from mechanics or technique.

From this thought came Prof. Heliwi, named after our 3 children Hendrik, Lies and Willem.

With a limited number of "non exotic" blocks we can build the simplest models, these clearly show the mechanics and technique behind the design. The focus had to be on promoting re-use in order to stimulate creativity. From the first models, helicopter, aeroplane, windmill, more and more designs grew. The set of selected blocks has also been adapted several times in the course of time in order to achieve greater variation and greater ease of use. Initially I was the driving force behind the models, but gradually my wife and children also started to come up with new ideas and designs. This led to many family moments, where we designed new models separately and together and tested existing ones.

Where my wife and children never thought about everyday things about how they work, we find ourselves thinking about many moving objects together to understand how they work so that we can recreate them in "building block format".

Given the great success at home and the enthusiastic reactions from friends and family, I have decided to continue with this and to share the knowledge gained with everyone who is open to it. As durability and affordability are very important to us, we have chosen not to depend on a motor and battery holder. Instead, we have designed a hand-driven motor with the same blocks so that different designs can be automated. We also opted for an online instruction platform instead of the usual disposable booklets. This also increases the ease of use as it allows you to view, rotate and zoom in on all construction steps and models in 3D. Moreover, this platform can be continuously improved and new designs can easily be added, so that no reprinting is necessary.

Ownership of the building blocks is, of course, essential. We searched for solutions through all kinds of channels. This resulted in two possibilities. If you already have many technic building blocks, you can order any missing blocks via BrickLink. If you do not have any blocks or too many missing blocks, we offer the complete list of blocks for sale, at a very democratic price.

I guarantee hours, days, weeks and even years of building pleasure, whereby the knowledge gained will lead to many enriching insights. If you, as a parent, are not technically proficient, but you find it important that your children develop these skills, then this method can certainly help.

Reflecting on how movements are created and how they are transferred into machines or everyday objects is simply very fine and interesting.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this. In the first place I think of my wife and children for their countless inspirations and help. I am also grateful to friends and family for listening enthusiastically to our project and their many tips. In particular also the teachers from education with whom we came into contact and Katrien from the teacher training, who assisted us with a lot of didactic advice.

Suggestions and feedback are always welcome and will be taken into account as much as possible. I am also looking forward to new videos and photos of your designs.

Maarten Dequanter
alias Prof. Heliwi

+32 479 44 76 26
Prof. Heliwi, BE0562995621
Den Ham 6, BE-1731 Zellik


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