I just sent a popular magnet company the following email. Pasting it is easier than retyping all my thoughts.
I am a hobbyist (as I'm sure many of your customers are), specifically in the 40mm miniature wargaming arena. I frequently magnetize components of my miniatures (often the arms) to allow me to swap out arms with different weapons. This requires me to use two magnets - one inserted into the torso of the model at the joint and one in the shoulder of the arm. Axially magnetized magnets offer free pivoting motion around said axis. In some applications this is desirable, such as magnetized turrets that you want to be able to spin freely. In other instances this results in models which will splay their limbs all over the place when they are handled.
It occurred to me that a simple solution to this problem would be to implement "slotting" on the tops and bottoms of the magnets such that they would "lock" together and not spin around the axis. The idea I had was a "female" slot akin to the head of a flathead screw and a "male" head much like the last bit on the tip of a flathead screwdriver. They would stack easily for shipping, and an additional bonus is that you would never be confused as to which pole is facing which way when installing the magnets.
Now, it's certainly possible that these magnets already exist. If so I'm hopeful that you can simply point me towards an order form and I will happily purchase some. If they do not exist this might be a nice idea for a new product (though I recognize there would be additional costs in manufacturing said magnets and since I'm not a magnet manufacturer I'm not sure whether that would be a profitable offering).
Thanks for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing back from you.
No, I didn't actually sign it "Purgatus" but I'm not telling all you stalkers my real name. Only SinSynn gets to show up at my house if I piss him off too bad.
Anyways, do any of you know of any magnets like this? I suppose with some metalworking tools and WAY too much time on your hands you could fabricate something like this but that sounds like a crappy idea to me.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems pretty impossible to magnetize all of the arm options on, for example, a Hive Tyrant, without something like this.