Hi, I'm Rich Gain and over at microcubology
I design and produce interlocking cube puzzles using the 3D printing services of those nice people at Shapeways.
OK, they're not your typical 'twisty puzzles', but some of these little beauties are fiendishly tricky, especially since the recent trend to include rotational moves in their solutions.
This has a number of interesting spin-offs.
- Firstly, there are lots of new designs to discover.
- Secondly, they offer a real challenge but ultimately yield to the application of logic.
- Thirdly, freely available puzzle-solving software like Burr Tools cannot provide the moves in the solution when rotations are included.
So here for your amusement are three new puzzles with a twist.Pivot
by Jos Bergmans
This superb puzzle designed by Jos Bergmans exemplifies everything that I love about interlocking cubes. We share a passion for complex 4x4x4 designs, and Jos, like Tom Jolly, has a real talent for inventing puzzles with clever solutions.
In Jos' own words:
"There is bunch of engineers at my office that are totally into puzzles, so I give them the puzzle pieces and they try to assemble it. The key measurement here is time: how long does it take them on average to solve the puzzle. When I started out designing (Four Critters, Six Spoons etc), it took them just a minute or two to solve a puzzle. That is when I discovered Tom Jolly's puzzles (it does not get any better than "Twist The Night Away"). Adding rotations to my designs made the puzzles more complex, and it took my colleagues longer and longer to solve the puzzles.
Currently, a puzzle like "Pivot" can keep them busy for about 40 minutes on average. This solve-time competition keeps me on the edge, and pushes me to find new ways of making the puzzle more difficult."Quaturnery Qube
by Richard Gain
Quaturnery Qube is my fourth 4x4x4 cube puzzle design and has four pieces. It has a unique level 4.3.4 solution that includes one rotation.
The original version of this puzzle came out back in September 2010 in an experimental new hollow cube format and although it sold a few copies, I had hoped it would achieve a wider audience. So here, in the best traditions of microcubology, is the 2cm version in solid form. This is half the size of the original Quaturnery Qube (one eighth of the volume) and is now quite a bit cheaper.
It's a great little puzzle with a tricky solution and some nice moves. Have fun!Twist the Night Away
by Tom Jolly
I am delighted to be able to present one of the most original interlocking cube puzzles to be designed for many years. Once again, Tom Jolly has kindly given his permission for for this design to be made available through the microcubology shop.
The solution is described as requiring 20 moves (1-2-3-12-2). However, the most unusual feature of this puzzle is the sequence of seven rotations required in the middle of the solution. The puzzle design can be viewed here
, and although it can be constructed from a set of LiveCubes, the rotations involved can make the pieces break apart rather easily. This version of the cube has a width of 2.4 cm which, although making it a little more expensive, gives it a decent weight and excellent strength.
You can read more about this puzzle in Brian's (excellent) Damn Puzzle Blog
Please note that Shapeways supply the printed puzzles unsolved and in tough, white nylon material which can be dyed using Rit fabric dyes without affecting the function of the puzzle. If you would prefer to buy puzzles in the solved state or pre-dyed as shown in the photos, please contact me through the Shapeways message service on my home page