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Astrolabacus
Above:Solved
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A unique ball puzzle. Sold in small quantities online.

A very interesting and unusual design. Six curved sections are joined with pivots end-to-end to form a continuous loop. Each section contains two rows of three coloured beads. The sections can be twisted to align in different ways.
There are six distinct alignments where the outer 18 beads can be cycled through the sections. The puzzle is solved when all the beads are in the correspondingly coloured halves of the sections.
The puzzle was only ever sold online, marketed directly by the inventor through the now defunct site www.astrolabacus.com and through eBay.

The inventor discovered it somewhat by accident. Astrolabacus started out to be a benzene ring, but the designer made it wrong. The irony amazed him that one of nature's most rigid structures could be made quite floppy with such a small change.
The inventor started with a model that had each section be 90 degrees instead of the eventual 81 degrees. There were originally 4 balls, not 3 per section. The prototype was made via "stereo lithography" and costed around $1700. The mold costed $17000. The inventor was ready to start making a business, but his wife was not happy where we were, so we needed to move. Due to personal circumstances a second round never happened.
Although the parts were made in an engineering company, the inventor himself assembled them in his garage. Thus, to say that it's 'factory-made' is only partially true. No more 300 sample were made this way.

A well thought out, solidly constructed, challenging and rare (by 2017) puzzle. The movement is incredibly fluid for something so solid.
Diameter: 72 mm
Weight: 144 grams

In 2017 Tony Fisher made an almost perfect copy of this puzzle. On the last day of 2017 he also presented a black and white version shown in image 6. In Februar 2018 he presented a version with six colours with no wing with two colours. In March 2018 he presented a version with twelve colours.

Price Tracking Data

DISCLAIMER: The following table contains user-generated content. This information is collected to serve as a rough guideline and is certainly not complete and may not even be accurate. This information is filtered and carefully moderated, but incorrect information will inevitably find its way into the system. Always use your own judgement when buying or selling an item.

Sale Date Price (USD) Sale Type Condition Package Condition Notes Contributors Edit
Jan 10 2005 $66.17 eBay Auction Mint Unknown None Unknown
May 13 2005 $64.27 eBay Auction Mint Mint Used Buy It Now Price Darren Grewe
May 17 2005 $64.27 eBay Auction Mint Mint Used Buy It Now Price Darren Grewe
May 20 2005 $64.27 eBay Auction Mint Mint Used Buy It Now Darren Grewe
May 21 2005 $64.10 eBay Auction Mint Mint used buy it now price Darren Grewe
May 22 2005 $64.10 eBay Auction Mint Mint Used Buy It Now Price Darren Grewe
May 27 2005 $63.81 eBay Auction Mint Mint used Buy It Now price Darren Grewe
Jun 1 2005 $63.85 eBay Auction Mint Mint Used Buy It Now Price Darren Grewe
May 4 2009 $665.00 eBay Auction Mint Good None Ben
May 7 2009 $550.00 eBay Auction Mint Good BIN Ben
Dec 22 2014 $535.01 eBay Auction Mint Sealed None Unknown
Mar 23 2019 $1136.00 eBay Auction Excellent Poor This is an original Astrolabacus given to me by the wife of the inventor, John Harris. He invented this puzzle in the 90's. The puzzle is in excellent condition. The box and papers that came with it Zzupler

Links

Contributors

Thank you to the following people for their assistance in helping collect the information on this page: MaxWiz.

Collections

This puzzle can be found in collections of these members:

Michael: My Collection
wilelsa23: My Collection
Christoph Lohe: My Collection
fiveolddogs: My Collection
philipk: My Collection
m0monga183: My Collection
Quinn Lewis: My Collection
Juozas Granskas: My Collection
Aleksey: My Collection
Ben Hendry: My Collection
Darren Grewe: My Collection
skeneegee: My Collection
nicky_uk: My Collection
Hidetoshi: My Collection
kastellorizo: My Collection
Darren Grewe: My Collection
Frank Tiex: Frank's Collection
Stanislav TVRDIK: My Collection
DLitwin: My Collection
merlintocs: My Collection
jjros242: My Collection
jjros242: My Collection
geduldspiele: My Collection
JasonSmith: My Collection
MainMovieMan: MainMovieMan
solucions: MI COLECCION
kbloise318: Bloise's Wish List
kastellorizo: My Collection
Still Game: My Collection


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