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 Post subject: I need help with an idea.Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:06 am

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:00 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia
I haven't been around here in ages. I'm finally back again.

During that time, I had an idea which I really want to build. I later found out that the idea bears resemblance to a puzzle found on Jaap's puzzle page. This is its patent: http://www.jaapsch.net/puzzles/patents/us4323243.pdf.

In the patent, each piece has metal contacts in unique positions so that their LEDs light up when they are above the correct place.

I'm thinking of doing that, except with a twisty puzzle.

However, I'm going to make a variant: each facelet lights up as long as it is on the correct face. (So basically, if someone solves a face without caring about the pieces' permutations, the whole face should light up.)

I've chosen the Halpern-Meier Pyramid and I have already spent some time on figuring out the mechanism but there has been many flaws, and the only design which I have now makes the puzzle HUGE! What is worse still is that I've decided to use this as my own personal engineering studies project for school.

Does anyone have any suggestions on mechanisms? If possible, could you also show how this can be done on SolidWorks? (I'm not that great with it still.)

Right now for my mechanism, I'm replacing the pieces' contacts with a latch (like the ones in the Latch Cube) with 2 teeth. Each teeth has a contact (one for positive, other for negative). The teeth can be arranged in different positions in four lanes. Out of the 4C2 = 6 combinations, 4 of them will be used to correspond to the 4 faces. Each facelet will have their own latch which makes contact with a spherical core (3 latches for corners, 2 for edges). The sphere will have tracks which will match these 4 combinations, so that the latch only presses into it when it hovers over the right combination.

The wires carrying positive and negative terminals will be side by side as they pass through each position on the sphere (similar to what is shown in the patent, except together). The power source, a button cell battery, will be in the core.

There are also some other problems right now. Apart from the fact that it is going to be huge, the centre pieces must also have an LED each which will have to light up continuously. In my opinion, this would look weird when the face is turned because all the other LEDs on that face will not shine as their contacts are disconnected while the centre LED remains on. What I'm thinking is to have the circuit run through each centre piece such that all the LEDs turn off whenever a face is turned and turn on again when all faces are aligned. However, I don't think I have an idea which won't make the puzzle any larger. Also, the centre pieces' LEDs will have to get its electricity from the core so I'm thinking of a core like a void cube. Is there a better way? One last thing, how do I incorporate an ON/OFF switch on the surface without making the puzzle huge?

By the way, I prefer not to change the actual essence of the project right now. However, if there's a better twisty puzzle which I can implement this idea on I will change it. I chose the Halpern-Meier Pyramid because it has only 4 faces and so fewer combinations.

Thanks so much guys! I will definitely give credit if anyone can help me, especially with the designing bit on SolidWorks.

David Chua

_________________
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