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 Post subject: My first mod: a (near) fully functional 2x2x3
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:34 pm
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Hi all,

This is my first post so let me start with a short introduction. I'm Thomas, 30 something, designer from The Netherlands. I got my first cube in 1981 and was able to solve it a year or two later, with the help from a book I got from the library. I'm not into speedcubing. I'm more into the 'beauty of the cube'. In 1986 I bought Jerry Slocum's book on mechanical puzzles and could stare at the 'Rubik page' for hours. I was just amazed by all the different shapes and wanted to have them, to feel how they turn.

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A while back I had the same sensation when I stumbled upon a website with all kinds of cube mods: 'Fishers Golden Cube', 'Greenhills Tetrahedron', 'Case Cube', 'Skewbbrick', 'Bump Cube', 'Kite Cube'. I want to feel them! And so, a new hobby was born.

Last week I made my first mod. It's just a simple 2x2x3, but hey.. it's a start. I'll try to explain step by step how I built it. Maybe it will help someone out there and perhaps some of you can give me a few pointers, because I didn't really get it right this first time.

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I used a new Rubik's 25th Anniversary Cube and a new 30mm Rubik's keychain. First I looked for any text and images I could find on the web. Of course especially helpful were Ton Dennenbroek's tutorial for the 2x2x3 and Dieter Gebhardt's article on Tony Fisher's Cuboid 3x3x3 Transformations. Most helpful was the composition plan on the latter page.

I began by cutting eight edge pieces of the keychain cube. Unfortunately these are hollow, but I found that if I leave just enough material on one side, the piece will be strong enough to turn. I managed to ruin one piece, so I had to restore that with Milliput. I decided to fill all the edgepieces. That wasn't necessary, but gave me an opportunity to practise with the Milliput.

I just had the Super Fine White Milliput, and had bought some pigment to get it black. But I couldn't get it any darker than lightgrey. Later I found out that Black Milliput is directly available from the fatory. And only for a mere € 8.15, including shipping. So, I will use that next time.

For a possible next 2x2x3 mod I will not fill the edge pieces again with Milliput, but try to cut more careful. Or even better, find keychain cubes with solid pieces.

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For the corner pieces I cut away about 50% of two outer sides. This should be sufficient I guess, but later on I cut away an extra millimeter or so to be on the safe side.

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After I put the keychain cube back together, I was happy to see that it really resembles the above drawing.

To make it a functional 2x2x3 you have to glue one center piece to two edges and a corner. I played with the cube a few times to see which pieces turn bad. These were then of course the ones that I glued together.

Now I got to the large cube.

Four edge pieces and eight corner pieces needed to be modified. Unfortunately I forgot to take some shots of this process. But just look at some of the other photos in this post and you get the idea.

Now comes the real work: connecting the large cube pieces to the keychain pieces.

I realised that a very important, and perhaps the most difficult part of constructing this (or in fact any) mod is to put the kernel cube right in the absolute center of the outside pieces.

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I decided to attach the four edges to the kernel with tape. I used some tissuepaper to fill the space between the pieces and the kernel, where later on the Milliput will go. I spent quite some time to position the pieces in the right place.

Next I put Milliput in four of the large corner pieces. A very good tip from Ton Dennenbroek's tutorial is to first put some tempex in the holes. That will save a lot of Milliput, and therefore weight. And with a lot of care I pushed them on the keychain cube, one by one. The corners had to go against the four edge pieces that were already there, but without moving them, as they were only held in place by some tape. After an hour or so I connected the remaining 4 corner pieces on the other side of the keychain cube. The following morning I was able to dismantle the whole thing. The corner pieces now look like this.

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And yes, it happened exactly the way I was afraid of. The keychain cube is not in the exact center of the outer pieces. As you can see, it looks okay, until you turn one face 180 degrees. Every millimeter that the kernel is not in the exact center now becomes a two millimeter difference in height.

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But I decided to continue and connect the large edge pieces to the keychain cube edge pieces. This was fairly easy to do.

I used stickers from cubesmith.com. I have access to a sticker cutting machine myself, but the stickers from Cubesmith are just perfect and don't cost much. I'll probably use the machine when I build a more advanced cube mod.

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As you can see it is possible to turn all the faces of the cube. The problem of course arises when I want to really scramble it. It just gets locked. But, look on the bright side. This one will always be easy to solve :-)

In conclusion. It ain't a truncated rhombicubocosidodecahedron or anything. It doesn't even work. But I think it looks great and it makes me wanna create more cube mods.

Thomas

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------------------
Edit: For history's sake, I've since made a new, fully functional 2x2x3. I built it the same way. I just was more careful.

_________________
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My mods | My other hobby: www.unused-prince-tickets.com


Last edited by Thomas on Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:59 am
Location: Glastonbury, CT (USA)
Wow, your first build was an acual mechanism mod? Thats very impressive. I would recomming trying a Half Truncated Cube next.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:08 am
Location: Williamsport, Pennsylvania
nice im going to try to build on now never tried a mech mod but i think i will now

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:43 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Whow! That's looks like a really good job, especially for your first attempt. I have always wanted to build a 2x2x3 myself but wasn't sure if I had the right materials. I think I do now, could you recommend some links to purchese tempex and milliput as well as what tools you used?

I think I'll use some really fine measuring tools like a digital micrometer tool to make sure everything is centered porperly.

I have a brand new keychain as well as a bunch of crappy 3x3 cube parts that I could put to good use now. What else could I do with all those pieces... hem perhaps a 3x3x5 in the future.

I'm also interested in purchsing pieces of black plastic sheets (like the ones used for the Edge Cubes that skeneeegee makes)... Where is a good site to buy that?

Hem that is a good idea too, an Edge Cube. I guess I will add it to my wish list.

_________________
averages => 2x2 - 10.02, 3x3 - 22.16, 4x4 - 1:40.63, 5x5 - 2:22.60
single attempts => 4x4 - 1:21.78, 5x5 - 2:05.11, magic - 1.38, master magic - 5.03


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:31 pm
Location: Arvada, CO
UMichSpeedCubist wrote:

I'm also interested in purchsing pieces of black plastic sheets (like the ones used for the Edge Cubes that skeneeegee makes)... Where is a good site to buy that?


Doug

I found this plastics store in your town.
http://www.asapsource.com/public/about.asp

If you click "sheet/plate" then in the materials list is plastic. Click the plastic to see what they have. I think it's much better to go to the store instead of shipping it, you can see everything they have, get advice, and save shipping costs.

good luck!

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"It's like an alarm clock, WOO WOO" -Bubb Rubb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:14 pm 
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Location: Orange County, CA, USA
After this work week I'm going to spend my week's vacation working in my garage making a bunch of overdue puzzles. If I get a chance I'll see if I can take a bunch of detailed pictures for my exact procedure for making a 2x2x3 Slim Tower.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:45 pm 
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Location: Orange County, CA, USA
UMichSpeedCubist wrote:
Whow! That's looks like a really good job, especially for your first attempt. I have always wanted to build a 2x2x3 myself but wasn't sure if I had the right materials. I think I do now, could you recommend some links to purchese tempex and milliput as well as what tools you used?


Don't bother looking for Tempex or Milliput. Order Apoxie Sculpt or Magic Sculp in Black to begin with and save yourself the headache of having to either pigment or paint any putty afterwards. Plus Milliput is way more expensive than the aforementioned products.

Hell, for as often as I've recommended to people they use Apoxie Sculpt or Magic Sculpt you'd think I was getting paid by those companies...

http://www.taxidermy.com/cat/16/epoxy.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:34 pm 
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Location: Arvada, CO
Apoxie Sculpt is great! I've gone through a good amount of it too. It's pretty much exactly like working with clay that gets rock hard overnight. The extended working time of it can really cut way down on sanding time!

Thanks for the recommendation Jin!

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"It's like an alarm clock, WOO WOO" -Bubb Rubb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 4:19 am
Location: Manchester, UK
Nice to see all the pictures, Thomas!

I also found that alignment was the hardest task. My attempt at this mod turned quite roughly, though it didn't lock badly. [Past tense, because an arm of the core eventually snapped off one time when I was dismantling the puzzle...]

Can an expert here give some tips on how to get the alignment just right? Jin or Hidetoshi, maybe?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:00 am 
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 10:52 pm
Location: Washington
That's actually not too bad for a first try. It looks really great. I say good job.

I tried making a 2x2x3 last weekened. Unfortunately I only have extremely low quality keychain cubes that are hardly usable. I had it more or less finished but I made a few turns and it broke(the keychain kernel). But at least now I have all the 3x3x3 parts that I can use if I ever find a nice keychain cube.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 8:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:43 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I am not sure what the main differences are between Apoxie Sculpt and Magic Sculp. Could someone elaborate. For that matter I was not sure wh the difference was with milliput and tempex either, lol. I have obviously never built any puzzles in my life.

So if I'm planning on building no more than a few puzzles like 2x2x3 or 3x3x5, how much of the stuff (oz.) do I need?

Mike..., what thickness of blk ABS sheet is suitable for an Edge Cube?

Also, thanks for all the helpful links you guys provided.


-Doug

_________________
averages => 2x2 - 10.02, 3x3 - 22.16, 4x4 - 1:40.63, 5x5 - 2:22.60
single attempts => 4x4 - 1:21.78, 5x5 - 2:05.11, magic - 1.38, master magic - 5.03


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:16 am 
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Nice first puzzle!
Just when I thought I'd leant about posting photos a brand new member comes along and produces a professional looking post like yours. How did you attach your photos? Their size and layout are different to what normally appears here. Stefan Pochmann worked out some rules for posting which you have somehow overcome.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:34 pm
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
I designed my post in Dreamweaver and I simply copied the HTML code. I uploaded the images to imageshack.us. They are supossedly stored indefinitely there. Of course I made sure that the images were no wider than 592 pixels, the width of the main column. I wasn't aware of any rules for posting. Did I break any?

Jin, I'm looking forward to seeing photos of your procedure for the 2x2x3.

Thomas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:19 pm 
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Hi Thomas, Welcome to the forum.
When I said rule I meant what was possible. If a normal attachment is wider or higher than 500 pixels you have to click on it to see it. Otherwise it is immediately visible. I only got my first computer last year and although I've leant a huge amount in that time there's still a lot I don't know.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:38 am 
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Location: Philippines
how to put the edges?


Last edited by krisakiko on Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:50 am 
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Location: Philippines
how to put the edges??? i mean on this picture..

[/img]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:00 pm
Great first mod. Also can anyone recommend a good quality Rubik's key chain, and what tools did you use to make the pieces. I would like to try and start puzzle building myself.


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