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A 3x3x3 that is solved not by colour or shape but by tune.
It is a puzzle that is solved not by a visible state, but by an auditory state in the form of a hollow path that passes between the edges and corners of the cube that is either blocked or can be activated by the mouthpiece to produce a pitch based on how long the current path is. It works just like a standard Rubik's cube, although the inventor used a rails mechanism to keep the pieces tighter together to mitigate air leaks.
The corners are all the same, having a path going from one adjacent edge to another, while the third edge is blocked. See image 2.
There are three essentially different types of edges. Two are the input/output edges, which connect the exterior of the puzzle to the interior via a path into an edge to one of the adjacent corners, seven have a tube that passes between the adjacent corners, and the remaining three block the airflow. Image 3 shows a through edge.
The solved state can be defined in a number of ways, but as I am defining it, it is when there is a path that goes through all corners
and goes out the opposite edge, making the lowest note possible. Surprisingly, this restricts the overall state of the puzzle to be in one of
two positions out of the initial 5,773,680. There are actually three non-connected ways of assembling the puzzle based on overall corner orientation, and I used the one with 0 overall orientation as a standard rubik's cube would.
In terms of actual musical utility as an instrument, the cubophone is quite limited. The length of the path (and therefore, the pitch) depends on how many corners it goes through, so it can only produce essentially eight different notes, roughly a chromatic scale from F3 to Bb3 plus C4 and D half sharp 4. You also can't switch between notes very quickly since it takes several moves. The actual tone varies since the longer the path gets, the windier it gets. This causes a lot of resistance on the lower notes combined with inevitable air leaks, so the inventor used a larger mouthpiece to allow enough airflow, in this case, a bari sax mouthpiece. It also makes the notes fairly unstable and susceptible to pitch bending, wether good or bad.
The puzzle was printed using i.Materialize using polyamide plastic. The stickers are all matte black, and were machine cut.
Edge length: 60 mm
Weight: 89 grams
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