Well, some time ago I completed my SketchUp design for the 3D printed add-on parts for a 6x6x6 cube to make a Hexaphobic. When I found out how much they would cost, I decided to put the project on hold for a while. And then Shapeways announced a 20% discount offer, and I couldn't resist, so I ordered them:
File comment: Bare pieces
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There are a total of 152 pieces. I dyed them using Rit dye + white vinegar. Actually, my normal pan was not big enough for all of the parts, so I had to do it in two batches. I carefully measured the amount of dye and water, and also controlled the dyeing time, to make sure that the two batches would be the same shade of black. You may laugh, but although pieces look "black" when viewed individually, if you put them next to each other it is easy to spot different batches unless you are careful when dyeing them.
File comment: Assembly 1
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Here I have started the assembly, and you can see my patented "using strips of paper to stop any superglue run-off getting too far between the cube parts" method
File comment: Assembly 2
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As more pieces are added I remove the paper from previously glued ones, and clean up any glue overspill and make sure the puzzle layers still turn OK.
File comment: Assembly 3
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Here, I have completed one edge and things are looking good.
File comment: Edge complete
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Nearly done, only 5 extensions left to glue on.
File comment: Nearly done
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As usual I got Oliver to make the stickers from a template I provided.
File comment: Hexaphobic
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File comment: Chequerboard pattern
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File comment: Mid turn
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As you can see, I made the puzzle slightly pillowed to reduce the overall size and minimise the cut depth into the corners of the donor cube. The 6x6x6 was a ****** which turns very well out of the box, but I lubed it using Traxxas 10K and tensioned it to absolutely minimise any free play between the layers. This does make it a little stiffer to turn, but once you add the extensions this is important so that there is only the smallest possible movement to reduce catching.
File comment: Hexaphobics
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Here is a family portrait of the -phobics I have made. I would have loved to make the Hexaphobic flat, but it would have just been too big (expensive!).