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 Post subject: Inner Cube idea (UPDATED) - with online virtual prototypesPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:18 am

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:12 am
UPDATE: Please jump to http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&p=237065#p237065 for a link to an online "virtual prototype" you can play with, a shorter description of the idea, better pics, and another variation.

This post describes an idea of mine, original to my knowledge, for the functionality and appearance, but not the mechanism, of a difficult new 3x3x3 twisty puzzle, called the Inner Cube. I do not know of a suitable mechanism, and I think that designing one will be challenging. Consider this a challenge! Anyone who develops a mechanism is welcome to do with the puzzle as (s)he pleases, as far as I am concerned, so long as my conceptual role is reasonably cited. If you wish to discuss possible mechanisms publicly, please post here. If you PM me, I will keep our discussions private unless you request otherwise. If you believe this idea is not original, please post here.

The Inner Cube permits all of the turning of the 3x3x3 Rubik's, and in its solved state, appears identical to that venerable puzzle. However, the Inner Cube has the following additional functionality: turning the U face clockwise causes the four edge pieces of the D face to turn so that their stickers on the F, B, L, and R faces are moved to the D face and stickers on previously hidden faces of these four edge pieces are revealed. In other words, each edge piece is able to rotate about the line passing through its center and parallel to its corresponding edge of the 3x3x3, does so only when the "opposing" face is turned, and, in doing so, reveals (after two turns) two additional faces. The coloring of these initially hidden inner faces of the edge pieces affects the difficulty of the puzzle. When the inner face colors mirror the outer face colors, the puzzle is easiest -- Type I. When the inner faces are all gray (a color not used on the outer faces), the puzzle is hardest -- Type II. (The coloration with one gray face and one mirrored face is of intermediate difficulty, but I think it is probably not sufficiently distinct to warrant a separate puzzle. Also, I think versions where not all edge pieces turn, or all turn but not in the same direction, would be more confusing, but less interesting, but that's just my opinion.)

The image below shows the visible colors of the Inner Cube, Type I on the left and Type II on the right, after 1) turning the orange face clockwise as U, and then 2) turning the blue face clockwise as U. You can see that, even after just two moves, the puzzle can become considerably scrambled. At the bottom are sample edge piece colorings, with the (initially visible) outer faces in the middle and the (initially hidden) inner faces on the ends.

Separate from the mechanism question, I would be interested to hear whether you think the Inner Cube would be fun and how you think its difficulty would compare to existing puzzles (e.g., Type I is more difficult than a standard 3x3x3, but how does it compare to a standard 4x4x4). I am very much a beginner in terms of puzzling, but I have several puzzle ideas that I hope to see built (if not by me, than by others). In making this concept, and perhaps others, public, I am partly hoping to identify a skilled mechanism designer and/or prototyper for possible collaborations.

Thank you and please be gentle if I have inadvertently violated forum etiquette, as I am new here.

-Logan

 Attachments: File comment: Logan's Inner Cube, Type I on left and Type II on right, showing visible coloring after 1) turning orange clockwise as U and 2) turning blue clockwise as U. logans_inner_cube.png [ 726 Bytes | Viewed 1384 times ]

Last edited by logan on Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Inner Cube, an idea in search of a mechanismPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:16 am

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:56 pm
i cant imagine how the bottom face could be connected to the top.. :/

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MY ZAZZLE SHOP!

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 Post subject: Re: Inner Cube, an idea in search of a mechanismPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:26 am

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:12 am
Aaron, perhaps it is possible to have gear shafts running through the core.

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 Post subject: Re: Inner Cube, an idea in search of a mechanismPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:40 am

Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:56 pm
if you wanted them to run from every face then it would have to be a big ol' core, this might work but not on a small scale, yet i imagine some of the more experienced builders may be able to help you out

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 Post subject: Re: Inner Cube, an idea in search of a mechanismPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:32 am

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:27 pm
Location: California
i say 100 internets to whoever can design that core
that would be absolute insanity to solve

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Wazzaaaaaa!

hey look ^

Rest In Peace Frank

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 Post subject: Inner Cube idea (UPDATED) - with online virtual prototypesPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:26 pm

Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:12 am
You can now interact with "virtual prototypes" of my Inner Cube idea at http://sites.google.com/site/twistypuzzleideas/. I wrote this rather quickly in JavaScript, so please forgive the lack of turn animations and general polish. (Also, I've only tested the script under Win 7 with a few versions of Firefox and IE, so it could well break under other circumstances. If so, please PM me, and I'll try to fix.)

Since my original post in this thread was rather long and confusing to some, I hope these virtual prototypes will better explain the idea. Perhaps, this will inspire mechanism ideas, or solutions, or comparisons of difficulty, etc. Also, a quick-and-dirty explanation of the idea:

The Inner Cubes (Type I-III) are like Rubik's Cube except that face turns cause opposite edge cubies to rotate inward, revealing each cubie's two "hidden" inner faces. The color scheme for the inner faces depends on the type of Inner Cube, with the color scheme in Type I (probably) producing the easiest puzzle.

In my original post, I described the Type I and Type II color schemes, but Type III is new. In this color scheme, each edge cubie's hidden inner faces are colored so that the cubie's coloring is like a 1x1x1. I think Type III is more difficult than Type II, which is more difficult than Type I.

Below are screenshots of the virtual prototypes for Types I-III after making a U turn, and for Type I after making U and F turns. If you play with the virtual prototypes, you'll see that these things can get scrambled very quickly. If you discover any interesting states, please screencapture and post here. But most of all, if you have an idea for a mechanism (geared?) to produce the Inner Cubes, please write about it (or PM me, if you want it to stay private)!

Attachment:
File comment: Inner Cube, Type I after U turn

Inner-Cube-Type-I-after-U.png [ 58.94 KiB | Viewed 1051 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Inner Cube, Type II after U turn

Inner-Cube-Type-II-after-U.png [ 55.08 KiB | Viewed 1051 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Inner Cube, Type III after U turn

Inner-Cube-Type-III-after-U.png [ 58.9 KiB | Viewed 1051 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Inner Cube, Type I after U and F turns

Inner-Cube-Type-I-after-UF.png [ 61.73 KiB | Viewed 1051 times ]

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