The OSM (Object for Spatial Manipulation) is a sculptural toy designed by Ben Hopson and represents the second product released by his business, Hopson Kinetic. In addition to turning inside out, the OSM’s 6 identical disks snap apart and can be combined with those of other OSMs to make new color combinations and longer OSM chains. The OSM is currently available in black and white versions and can be purchased at hopsonkinetic.com.
While the development of Hopson Kinetic’s previous toy, the Prismatoy, took a full year and required 13 rounds of prototyping, the development of the OSM proved considerably less challenging. The design was finalized after 4 rounds of prototyping and the very first factory sample from the mold was perfect. Not only was the design of the OSM simpler, but the toy consists entirely of one modular part repeated six times rather than the Prismatoy’s 4 distinct parts assembled into a 72-part structure.
The very first (and very important!) foam core/hot glue/wire OSM prototype disintegrated, but here is a view of the subsequent 3 rounds of RP’ed prototypes along with a production piece in black:
As is evident in the image, the first two RP’ed prototypes were far larger than the final. While these had a pleasing monumentality to them, they were a little bit heavy and required both hands to use. The final scale provided the same kind of tactile experience as the larger ones, but could be worked one-handed much like a stress ball and would require significantly less plastic.
Speaking of plastic, the OSM is made from the same plastic as the Prismatoy, which is called polyoxymethylene (POM.) This plastic’s unique material qualities make it ideal for small mechanical parts that require great strength with very little friction. If the OSM were made out of polypropylene (PP,) for example, the toy would probably squeak when turned.