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 Post subject: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Okay, so I've made three mods in my life, and they're fun, but they're just not the challenge I'm looking for. They are:
Siamese cube
nff 3x4x5 (so basically another Siamese cube)
Fused Cube

But I want to make really cool puzzle like the Master Skewb, and cuboctahedron, and a pyramorphix. Does anybody have some beginning advice or an idea where to find some helpful hints or even tutorials. YouTube seems to be lacking.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:34 pm 
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My advice is to learn how to properly use sheet plastic as build material. Get a bunch of sheets of varying thicknesses and start cutting. A good practice project for this is a Dino Cube. Sheet plastic allows for smoother, cleaner surfaces. Basically, if you want to cover a cut surface with sheet plastic (trust me, you do) then cut deeper than you need to by the thickness of the sheet plastic (i.e. if you are using 1/2 inch plastic, cut the piece down 1/2 inch more than you need to). In order to make good-looking mods, you will also need to learn seam control. I bought a tube of seam filler from HobbyTownUSA but Apoxie Sculpt is equally good (or so I hear). You will also need a dremel, and some sandpaper. Get very familiar with the sandpaper. Very, very familiar.
Otherwise, your next option is casting. This also requires some skill with the basic tools and techniques but if you put some time into the masters you will be able to get a clean result. It will take some time to get your own style that works and it takes a lot of experience. I would be willing to bet you that some of the well-known people who make mods by hand have made countless other projects that have not been seen by the public. Practice makes perfect. Time and patience are your friends.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:03 pm 
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I was wondering if I could make a cube mod without plastic sheet. Couldn't I just fill the pieces with epoxy scult and then sand to a smooth finish? I do have a lot of experience with a dremel, so that shouldn't be a problem. Do you have any ideas for a puzzle mod that I should start with? I really want to make something cool besides just a fused or siamese cube.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:17 pm 
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Try a 3x3x3 shape mod. They are fun, simple, and can produce one of a kind puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:23 pm 
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There is a tutorial of making hexaminx with epoxy putty on youtube. It's in Russian, I think. But you can follow him without much difficulty.
I recommend the use of plastic sheets tho. I started my hexaminx with putty as well, the puzzle was heavy and difficult to turn, and the sanding would have been a pain (I didn't even get to sanding! I cut off all the putty and cleaned the surface, started from scratch using plastic sheets). In my opinion, plastic sheets are a lot more manageable, they make very clean and smooth turning puzzles.
Also, I think start with a relative complicated puzzle gives a much better learning experience and practice. The hexaminx took me a month's spare time to finish, but then I was able to make the Master Axis cube in three days.


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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:42 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Try a 3x3x3 shape mod. They are fun, simple, and can produce one of a kind puzzles.

Andreas has demonstrated that many times:
039- Feb 04- Andreas Normann's Squished Cube
081- Mar 16- Andreas Nortmann's Octagonal Edges A528A00145C03 Normal
082- Mar 16- Andreas Nortmann's Octagonal Edges A528A00145C03 Extended
198- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 011
199- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 110
200- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 010
201- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 010 101
202- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 010 111
203- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 010 011 100
204- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 001 010 101 110
205- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 001 010 100 011 101 111
206- May 10- Andreas Nortmann's Truncated Corner 000 000 010 100 110 101 110
221- May 16- Andreas Nortmann's Doppelkeil - Sharp Edges 5180628000
222- May 17- Andreas Nortmann's Sharp Edges Rohmbohedron - Sharp Edges 201040280040
226- May 18- Andreas Nortmann's Identical Circles - Sharp Edges 201100220100
227- May 19- Andreas Nortmann's Incomplete Antiprism - Sharp Edges 201080420100
237- May 20- Andreas Nortmann's Triangular Cut Rhombohedron - Octagonal Edges A5E8200141E13 Extended
238- May 21- Andreas Nortmann's Double Edge Turning Symmetry - Octagonal Edges 21E0800104C84 Extended
245- May 22- Andreas Nortmann's RhombicCorner - Octagonal Edges 200001087 Extended
248- May 23- Andreas Nortmann's 7-Sided Oddity - Octagonal Edges 21E8800144087
250- May 24- Andreas Nortmann's Four Sided Pyramid - Octagonal Edges E8000140294 Extended
251- May 25- Andreas Nortmann's Skewed Prism - Octagonal Edges 21E8A00145E10 Extended
261- May 27- Andreas Nortmann's Sharp Edges 210050680008- Strange Octahedron
262- May 28- Andreas Nortmann's Cornerless Hexagon Rhombic Dodecadedron 3x3x3
263- May 28- Andreas Nortmann's Cornerless Rhonbic Dodecahedron 3x3x3
402- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges A00005294
403- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges C8800044C00
404- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges A00005297
405- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges C0A00005E94
406- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges E8000140E94
407- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges E8A00145003
408- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges 8800044E97
409- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges C0A00005E97
410- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges 21E8A00145087
411- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges A528A00145297
412- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges A528A00145E97
413- Aug 02- Andreas Nortmann's OctagonalEdges A5E8A00145E97
435- Aug 09- Andreas Nortmann's Corner Truncated 000 011 101
436- Aug 09- Andreas Nortmann's Corner truncated 000 001 010 100

Just to name a few.

Also, you may want to consider some of the advice given- plastic sheets tend to make the puzzle look much nicer, and if you focus on something easy like fusing, then you won't really get much out of it. If, however, you test out methods to make different puzzles, you may find one overall method to get things done, and can then make perfect mods with ease. Of course, the most important factor is patience. Don't rush to the hard projects, and don't take too little time. It is very obvious when a puzzle is made with insufficient experience. Take mine for example.

Also, don't underestimate the challenge of the stickers. They are what make or break the puzzle's appearance.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:19 pm 
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Try to pillowed mastermorphix out of a 3x3x3. It should be possible to do it with just truncation, as proven by the mass produced one.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:36 am 
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monker59 wrote:
I was wondering if I could make a cube mod without plastic sheet. Couldn't I just fill the pieces with epoxy scult and then sand to a smooth finish? I do have a lot of experience with a dremel, so that shouldn't be a problem. Do you have any ideas for a puzzle mod that I should start with? I really want to make something cool besides just a fused or siamese cube.

Definitely. I started modding a few months ago, and my first 2 mods were 3x3x3 mods using nothing but a hacksaw, Apoxie Sculpt, and sandpaper:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=17470
And if you cut the stickers right, you won't even need to spray paint your puzzles if the Apoxie sculpt doesn't quite match the color of the puzzle plastic.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:21 pm 
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I had a brainstorm for a skewb mod, but it quickly fell through. I tried to turn the skewb into a "Skewball", but I could barely dremeled, some edges down when the screws broke. I tried to do it with a Meffert's skewb. Anyone else done this?

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:31 am 
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ive been modding/building for about three years now, my suggestion for ur first of the more complex puzzles would be a master cuboctohedron, it gives u practice at cutting sheet plastic, but uses it few enough times so that you do really have to worry about perfection, the only draw back is since its made with a 4x4x4 the center cubies tend to break pretty easy(on the Rubik's brand at least, i never tried it with an eastsheen or any other brand)


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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:50 am 
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monker59 wrote:
I was wondering if I could make a cube mod without plastic sheet. Couldn't I just fill the pieces with epoxy scult and then sand to a smooth finish? .


You can but my advice is to use which ever method is more appropriate. So for a 7x7x7 Ball you would fill, Dremel and sand- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP9iZX4dvCU . However for a basic truncated puzzle you would use plastic sheet- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH6U8Z0wyqg . Using filler makes a puzzle very heavy and how ever much sanding you do you rarely achieve such a good finish as sheet.
Also, before you attack puzzles like Skewbs with a Dremel you should first disassemble them and see whether your desired final shape is possible without destroying the mechanism. A ball is certainly not possible from a Skewb without build up first.

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:02 pm 
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I haven't made any mods ever, but this tutorial on capping puzzles with plastic sheet by Kyler/Apollo should really help you a lot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC90JmdqQtE

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 Post subject: Re: I want to make good puzzles!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:43 am 
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This stuff all sounds really interesting. But what is plastic sheet and where would I find it?

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