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 Post subject: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:05 am 
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Hi Twisty Puzzles fans,

Gear Minx was already presented by Claus Wenicker in this thread, including this YouTube video. So I asked moderator Dave Litwin whether I could start my own thread on this puzzle. The answer was that that would be OK, as long as my post would have added value to Claus'. So here I go.

First of all, I want to thank Claus for building the first prototype of Gear Minx. There is quite a risk involved, as more that 20% of my designs fail at the first prototype. Unlike the first Over The Top 17x17x17, this first prototype seems to work.

After seeing my Gear Cube, several people have suggested to me to build gears into a Megaminx. Such suggestions have been done both privately and publicly. While just saying "hey, build a geared Megaminx" may be easy, there is a fundamental question to the design: how many edges should have a gears

It is important to understand that not all edges can have gears. If more than 12 of the 30 edges have gears, then some parts of the puzzle can never move. This would make those parts non functional. Even with fewer edge gears, there will be situations that some turns are blocked. This is similar to a bandaged cube, like the Bicube. Total prevention of blocking would require zero or at maximum one gear. However that would not be much more fun, compared to a classic Megaminx. I chose to have the golden mean of six gears, as that number can be symmetrically spread over the edges of a dodecahedron.

Six proved to be a good number of gears. Often, there are free-running faces, and often there are moves blocked because of the gears, but there are always a lot of moves possible from any state of the puzzle. I believe that this puzzle is extremely difficult to solve, perhaps as difficult as Latch Cube, because of the blocking moves.

The prototype turns a bit stiff, much stiffer that a commercial Gear Cube or Megaminx. Because of friction, it is not possible to turn one face, that drives a small gear, that drives another face. So it is needed to turn geared faces simultaneously, as demonstrated in the YouTube Videos by Claus and me. If you turn just one face, then the gears start skipping. The flexibility of the nylon makes it easy to cheat and skip teeth. Whereas simultaneous turning of opposite faces is the natural way of moving a Gear Cube, Gear Cube Extreme and Even Less Gears (that has even fewer gears than Gear Cube Extreme), it takes conscious effort to do turn a Gear Minx correctly.

The mechanical design of the puzzle was quite a challenge. When the teeth of the gears are too long or too deep, parts start falling off or interfere with each other. As you can see from the close-up photo, teeth of one small gear mesh with those of other small gears.

Watch the YouTube video.
Buy the puzzle at my Shapeways Shop.
Read more at the Shapeways Forum.
Check out the photos below.

Enjoy!

Oskar
Attachment:
Gear Minx - prototype - view 1.jpg
Gear Minx - prototype - view 1.jpg [ 48.33 KiB | Viewed 2455 times ]

Attachment:
Gear Minx - prototype - view 2.jpg
Gear Minx - prototype - view 2.jpg [ 49.83 KiB | Viewed 2455 times ]

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Gear Minx - prototype - view 3.jpg
Gear Minx - prototype - view 3.jpg [ 48.14 KiB | Viewed 2455 times ]

Attachment:
Gear Minx - prototype - view 4.jpg
Gear Minx - prototype - view 4.jpg [ 44.16 KiB | Viewed 2455 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:21 pm
Location: Chichester, England
This puzzle is beautiful. I love how the Gear mechanism can be applied to so many puzzles. So, Gear Master Pentultimate next? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:48 am
Location: In Front Of My Teraminx (saying WTF?)
when/if Oskar teaches me gears i'll make a gear master pentultimate :P

Great puzzle, that should be mass produced too :)

- Greg

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 Post subject: Re: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:27 pm
Location: São Paulo - Brazil
Fantastic puzzle, as always!!
My design of Gear Megaminx with moving centers is still valid, because it's a different mechanism (still didn't made). Maybe in the future we could make this mechanism, because it'll be the best aaproach to the Gear Cube, including solutions.
For the Oskar's one, maybe if mass-produced, plastic will have less friction and faces can turn together without problems, as I can do on Gear Cube (of course, if turning 3 faces together, it'll be still difficult).
Oskar, you could name it Gear-6 Megaminx, because in the future you can make it with different number of gears and doesn't need to name Extreme I, II, III, etc. Instead of this: Gear-8, Gear-12, etc.
My question is: Is this puzzle solvable with algorithms? I think that algorithms for it will have a lot of moves each!! It'll be a long research to find them!!

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 Post subject: Re: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:03 am
Location: Koblenz, Germany
As I have posted here:
viewtopic.php?p=252405#p252405
I still think that there is one variant with 15 gears where every face can be twisted in at least one state.

And thank you for posting images with black solids!


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 Post subject: Re: Gear Minx by OSKAR
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 5:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:29 am
Location: Michigan
Wow!

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