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 Post subject: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:07 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
In my rather lazy quest for cuboids, I've come across Tony Fisher's designs for modding a Rubik's Master Cube 4x4x4 into a 4x4x6. This is rather straightforward and well documented:

Full instructions by Tony from CFF
Photos and background on Tony's site
And note that Tony explicitly calls out Cuboids on his list of designs it's okay to copy/sell/swap

I've hand-made cuboids before (1x2x3, 2x2x3 using Tony's method, 2x2x4, 2x3x3 using Tony's method, 3x3x5 using Jin's method, 3x3x5 using Super 3x3x3)... but the 4x4x6 design is intolerant of error and quite frankly at the moment my free time is measured is measured in segments only a few minutes long, so I can't dive into a big project. I am a big fan of giving to the community, though, so here's my offer:

Request For Proposals: I wish to sponsor the creation of STLs for the 4x4x6 conversion:
  • The design must be compatible with the Rubik's 4x4x4 from Seven Towns (ball core)
  • The design must include the 7 unique pieces (left edge, left edge extension, right edge, right edge extension, corner, corner extension, face center). 8 copies of each would need to be printed for the full conversion.
  • The design must be released as Creative Commons Share-Alike license (CC BY-SA) or equivalent, with the STL files made available (I can host them if necessary).
  • The author is encouraged to upload the STLs to Thingiverse for others to print, remix and share.
  • The author is encouraged to upload the STLs to his/her store on Shapeways for sale with a reasonable markup - note that the license explicitly allows commercial use.
  • The design should make reasonable efforts to minimize costs where not compromising the functionality of the puzzle.
  • Validation of the design will need to be done (e.g. YouTube video). A plan for validation and payment schedule should be part of the proposal.

PM me with proposals/bids, including links to your portfolio if available (unless you know I know your work). I'm not made of money, though, and primarily doing this to get another cuboid available to the community at low cost. I expect bids to cover at least the cost of printing 2 iterations of 4 sets of the 7 pieces (enough to extend one face and validate the design) for the designer, plus some degree of overhead. You may wish to estimate the cost of a full print at Shapeways in BSF to gauge end-consumer interest if you plan to sell the sets.

Additionally, any and all feedback about this sponsorship approach is welcomed on this thread (design, process, requirements, licensing, etc). I plan to be as transparent as possible about this.

If Tony or TwistyPuzzles.com admins wish me to cancel or alter this offer I will, of course, oblige.

Finally, if anyone else is interested in contributing to this sponsorship offer, please PM me.


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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 2:02 pm 
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Location: Orange County, CA
If I could get the dimensions of the Rubiks 4x4x4's internals, I will definitely give this a try.

I need the diameter of the ball core, and the thickness of the shell mechanism that surrounds it (see annotated picture).


Attachments:
009446.jpg
009446.jpg [ 127.64 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Location: Jarrow, England
I like this idea Joshua. If only more people could think like you!

I think Garrett is more than capable of producing this design. If Garrett could somehow obtain a 4x4x4 cube as specified then it would make his job much easier. And I would buy the 4x4x6 he designed.

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 5:35 pm 
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Thanks, Gus. I just realized I might actually own a Rubiks brand 4x4. I will have to check and see.

I am assuming that you want the design based on the older Rubiks 4x4s that have a circular "foot" center piece, and not the newer ones that are sort of pointed?

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 6:15 pm 
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Garrett wrote:
I am assuming that you want the design based on the older Rubiks 4x4s that have a circular "foot" center piece, and not the newer ones that are sort of pointed?


Excellent question - my intention was to make it useful to as many community members as possible, so targeting what you can currently order would be most desirable. That said, if the current core design doesn't work that's a problem.

However, I've gotten a PM from another designer pointing out that it may be comparable in price to design/print a mechanism from scratch than to purchase a 4x4 and have the extra pieces printed. This would give a consistent quality and remove any dependency on a third party product that might alter designs and leave the extension pieces obsolete.

Keep the ideas and discussion coming, though; I'll wrap this up in a day or two and let the designers who have made proposals what the plan is.


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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:27 pm 
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I have made the first draft of my design which is based off an all-new 4x4, not an existing store brand cube. The cubie size is identical to the Eastsheen 4x4 making the puzzle 60 x 60 x 90mm.

I can almost guarantee that it will be more expensive than purchasing both a new 4x4 and the replacement parts, but it will also turn much better and be more stable. I guesstimate the price to be about $125 usd for the raw parts, plus a bit of markup if you buy from my shop. In the spirit of this thread I will post the exact amount for the raw parts and how much they will be marked up when I have a final version ready.

I've attached a PDF of my proposed mechanism (click the model to isolate individual parts)


Attachments:
4x4x6.PDF [160.85 KiB]
Downloaded 154 times

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 8:59 am 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks guys! this is deffinalty something I have to own, when it's done.

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I believe it would work best with black plastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:25 am 
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I need to make the call on this challenge. I've received two proposals, one formal one from TomZ via PM and one more informal one here on the thread by Garrett.

  • Both designs call for a completely custom mechanism rather than modding a production 4x4x4 to produce a higher quality puzzle, at not substantially increased cost.
  • Both designers have estimated the puzzles would cost $100-$120 for a Shapeways print, before markup
  • Both designers have begun design efforts to ensure feasibility and estimate cost
  • Both designers have stellar reputations, are known to be reliable and are very communicative.
  • Both designs call for near-15mm cubies, a close match to the high quality Eastsheen 4x4x4, and not coincidentally Garrett's 4x4x3 and Ayi's 4x4x5 puzzles (among others)

So... after much thought and consideration, I've decided to accept TomZ's proposal. While his estimate for the Shapeways print is slightly less, it's not significantly different (which is to be expected). The main determinant is that I currently own 2 of Garrett's fantastic puzzles and 0 of TomZ's puzzles (though I have played with his astonishingly good Curvy Copter), and want to diversify.

I would encourage Garrett to continue with his design. While I may not purchase both puzzles, it would be very interesting to compare them both in virtual form and once printed. (It may also be possible for the designers to collaborate on the design, but I'll let them reach out to each other if desired.)

I'll follow up with TomZ via PM, and also with those who have offered to assist in sponsoring the design.

Thanks to both Garrett and TomZ, as well as those on the thread who have expressed an interest in both the 4x4x6 and in this sponsorship-for-the-community proposal. I'm glad to see it's worked out so far. And there are several intriguing non-trivial, non-Olzed, non-pillowed cuboids still not easily available. (*cough* 2x3x5 4x5x6 ... *cough*)

(Speaking of cuboids, Ayi posted yesterday at http://ayistoy.com/ that he's just refining the packaging for his 5x5x4 cuboid. w00t!)


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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Indeed! I would be interested in doing a comparison sometime down the line. No doubt Tom may have a different mechanism in mind, which could perform better than mine, or just as well. I do plan on continuing this project since this topic has sparked my interest and I have finished the hard part of the design process.

If both versions get made around the same time, I would be happy to send mine up to you for a comparison video or something (as long as it gets back to me! :wink: )

Thanks for the consideration and I look forward to see what comes of this project :D

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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:47 am
Location: near Utrecht, Netherlands
It took me far longer than I anticipated, but I finally have a design ready that I'm going to test print. In the end I settled on a V-Cube like design with a special blocking mechanism (inspired on the pi V6-mod) and an extra tab that should keep certain pieces from popping (like they did in my original 3x4x5).
The design will be released when the prototype is finished. However, here is already a 3D pdf and a picture of how it is going to work.

Image

Frankly the SolidWorks file is full of bad examples since I kind of hacked it together, making many changes along the way. I would rather have released something cleaner but that's just the way these things are - messy and complex :lol:


Attachments:
4x4x6 preview.PDF [1.2 MiB]
Downloaded 119 times

_________________
Tom's Shapeways Puzzle Shop - your order from my shop includes free stickers!
Tom's Puzzle Website


Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34
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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:19 am 
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Looking good! After a week offline (camping w/ no network access!) it's great to come back and see this.

The design initially raises many questions which are answered by further inspection of the model. ("Wait, how does... oh, I see!" - repeat at least 6x.) Assembly looks like it will be a bit fiddly, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Sponsorship RFP: STLs for 4x4x6 mod pieces
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:47 am
Location: near Utrecht, Netherlands
I just got the prototype and there's good news and bad news:

The good news is it works really well. Even though it's not broken in or lubed, it turns really quite well. It also stays together nicely and accepts some corner cutting.

However, there are a few issues: I accidentally ordered only one kind of center piece and not the mirrored version. I had to cut away the blocking mechanism from half of the pieces to make the puzzle work. This is not much of a problem and only speaks for how well the mechanism works since the efficiency would be reduced by this. Secondly, I made a silly mistake in the core design and it looks asymmetric. It's not a problem for turning or looks of the finished puzzle, but it looks weird when assembling the puzzle.
Finally, there's a more important issue: this puzzle changed shape (and I accounted for that in the design) but I made a mistake; the internal mechanism can get mixed up in a way that prevents some turns from being done. This is not unsolvable either, but it is an issue that I need to address.

VIDEO of the puzzle, right out of the box - not broken in at all, only barely been assembled and I hadn't even adjusted the tensions yet.

_________________
Tom's Shapeways Puzzle Shop - your order from my shop includes free stickers!
Tom's Puzzle Website


Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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