Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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lattice structuresModular StructuresSpherical Joints


The patent concerns a universal structural connection system, thought to simplify the design and the manufacturing of lattice structures. Differently from the traditional connections, where the directions of the rods converging in the joints need to be pre-defined, the universal joint presents degrees of freedom such that the it can be adjusted during the assembly, making it suitable for different configurations.

Technical features

The result of this invention is represented by a product capable of connecting a large number of rods, characterized by arbitrary relative orientations. This invention represents an improvement if compared to traditional connections where i) the orientations of the rods are pre-defined, or ii) the number of available rods is relatively small when their orientations can be adjusted during the assembly. Three configurations of the joints are presented in the patent: i) single shell, ii) double shell and iii) circular plates. The differences among the three configurations consist in the joint geometry and in the system to hold the adjustable components. As a common feature, the orientation of the rods converging in the joints can be modified by means of spherical ends and housings. This allows the geometry of the joint to be adjusted during assembly, making it suitable even for a wide range of rods orientation.

Possible Applications

  • Frame of automatic machines;
  • Supporting structures in general;
  • Design Furnishing structures;
  • In general, for lattice / modular structures with a geometry likely to be modified during the installation and setup.


  • Easy assembly;
  • Simple manufacturing;
  • Possibility to predetermine the rod orientation using screw/welding/adhesive bonding;
  • The rod orientation can be varied arbitrarily