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 Post subject: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:36 am 
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Location: Hamilton Township, New Jersey
Hello all. This is my fist post here on the Twisty Puzzles Forums. Over the past week I tried to design a 2x4x2 Puzzle (using SolidWorks.) The dimensions of the puzzle are 50mm x 100mm x 50mm. I have a few questions and concerns about the design of my puzzle, and the capabilities of SolidWorks.

So before asking I thought I should point out that I searched the forum for similar questions. I found two pages that helped me so far:

http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/view ... =9&t=22824
http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/view ... =9&t=25218

Anyways, time to ask some questions! (Be aware that I am new to SolidWorks, and only used some of the more primitive features of the program.)

How would I add tolerances? Is there a way to just simply "move" a face so that there is a gap between where two faces will slide across for easier sliding?

Is there a way to "automate" the duplication of the pieces so that I only need to use some sort of circular pattern to get my cube's parts to fall into correct place, or will I have to do this by hand using the 'Move/Copy' feature?

Does the orientation and spacing of the pieces affect the Shapeways price?

My last question is more of an opinion question: Do you think the puzzle should use a spider (6-arm) core or a ball core?

Here is an image of the set of individual pieces:
Image

If I think of any more questions, I'll edit this main thread, and post a reply asking it. All answers are appreciated! Thank you.


Last edited by Click16 on Sat May 18, 2013 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:44 am 
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Toleranced should be added BEFORE fillets. You can use insert-> face-> move to add tolerances.

Yes you can use circular pattern to get the desired number of pieces.

I would suggest ball cores. They are easier to make and do not differ much in terms of quality from what I heard

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Last edited by rubikcollector123 on Sat May 18, 2013 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:46 am 
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Welcome to the forum!
To answer your first question, you can use the move face feature (insert-face-move) and then move a face on a piece to create tolerance.
For your second one, are you asking how to separate your pieces out for printing? If so, there is actually an easy way to do this: to use a scaling technique. I insert a scale feature, then scale every part down by the centroid, usually by an amount between 0.8-0.6% of their original size (you want the parts separated by about 2-1mm apart). Then after that scale is applied, I then scale every part back up from the origin. Take 1 and divide it by your original scale-down factor to get your scale-up factor (try to avoid irrational scale factors if you can). Then scale every part back up by the origin, and instantly all of your pieces are separated out.
Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible for me to answer your third question without you prototyping 2 versions with a spider core and ball core, since it depends on the puzzle more than anything else. Personally I prefer ball cores because they prevent pieces from sinking into the puzzle, since there isn't any gap for them to do so. That's my opinion, but please don't let my opinion dictate your choice, since in reality there is no obvious answer.
I hope this helps! Good luck! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:47 am 
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Double post, but there are some parts of you did not fillet. I suggest filleting those

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 2:05 am 
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Thanks for the replies! To address some of your answers, particularly yours benpuzzles. You asked
benpuzzles wrote:
For your second one, are you asking how to separate your pieces out for printing?


As you see in my screenshot there is exactly 1 of every required piece of the puzzle. I was asking if I can use a circular pattern (or any feature) to copy the pieces around the origin to make a full cube without me having to fillet and edit each piece individually, or will the part duplication have to be done by hand using the 'Move/Copy' feature?

And that mention of some parts not being filleted; I fixed those shortly after posting this thread. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 2:45 am 
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Here is how to get all the pieces.

So, initially you have all the pieces.
(I will use a 3x3x3)
Image

Then use a circular pattern function.
You should already have an axis going to the side you are patterning. (Dont select the center piece.)

Image

Click ok and done!

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 11:15 am 
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Okay, so I understand what you're trying to tell me. Here's another question: Does the layout of the pieces matter for Shapeways? If the pieces are really close (but not touching) or if they're like 1 cm spaced apart? Does this affect the price of the product?


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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 11:22 am 
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Click16 wrote:
Okay, so I understand what you're trying to tell me. Here's another question: Does the layout of the pieces matter for Shapeways? If the pieces are really close (but not touching) or if they're like 1 cm spaced apart? Does this affect the price of the product?

It DEFINITELY has an effect on the price, and will save you hundreds of dollars for large prints. See my above post on how to separate the parts out for printing. Even 1mm of separation is enough, since the printer is accurate within 0.1-0.3mm. The tighter they are packed, the cheaper it will be to print.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:34 pm 
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benpuzzles wrote:
Click16 wrote:
Okay, so I understand what you're trying to tell me. Here's another question: Does the layout of the pieces matter for Shapeways? If the pieces are really close (but not touching) or if they're like 1 cm spaced apart? Does this affect the price of the product?

It DEFINITELY has an effect on the price, and will save you hundreds of dollars for large prints. See my above post on how to separate the parts out for printing. Even 1mm of separation is enough, since the printer is accurate within 0.1-0.3mm. The tighter they are packed, the cheaper it will be to print.


Yeah I just uploaded 2 versions of the exploded model to Shapeways for a test. One was $114 and the tighter one is only $60. The explode method you explained is absolutely fantastic! I love how easy it worked. Unfortunately 0.8 scale factor wasn't exploded enough, as my corner hooks overlapped the middle pieces. You said to try to avoid irrational numbers, but I tried 0.7 anyway, but it looks pretty good I'll take some measurements and compare the 0.7 to the original scaling.

EDIT: Using an irrational number doesn't seem to have an effect on the actual size of the pieces, so you can use them. (Each cubie is 27 mm)


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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:12 pm 
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benpuzzles wrote:
Click16 wrote:
Okay, so I understand what you're trying to tell me. Here's another question: Does the layout of the pieces matter for Shapeways? If the pieces are really close (but not touching) or if they're like 1 cm spaced apart? Does this affect the price of the product?

It DEFINITELY has an effect on the price, and will save you hundreds of dollars for large prints. See my above post on how to separate the parts out for printing. Even 1mm of separation is enough, since the printer is accurate within 0.1-0.3mm. The tighter they are packed, the cheaper it will be to print.

This is only partially accurate. If you're above the 10% density you get the discount. If you're below it you don't. If you can't get above the density discount threshold you have no incentive to pack your parts at all.

The Shapeways pricing model seems like a reasonable approximation but it's deeply flawed in many ways. They're aware of the issues with it but any solution that addresses all of them is too complex and they don't want a pricing model the average user doesn't understand.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:34 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
The Shapeways pricing model seems like a reasonable approximation but it's deeply flawed in many ways. They're aware of the issues with it but any solution that addresses all of them is too complex and they don't want a pricing model the average user doesn't understand.
For some models I have had to include dummy parts (just solid nylon) to get over the 10% density. You pay extra for the dummy, but more than make up for it for the 50% savings over 20cm3.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Well thanks for the help guys. I decided to go with a spider core because I didn't really see any reason to go with a ball core, however I might make a ball core separate so that I can purchase it and try it out and see if I would like it. I don't have money to spend on this puzzle right now, but I might be able to print a few pieces out so I can see how they fit with each other, etc.

Here is a picture of my final, exploded model:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:58 pm 
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From what I see, this has the possibility of being bandaged if you don't use the same type of hidden edges. You need to do what was done in the 4x4x6. That might be a problem if you want it fully-functional.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Unless I have missed something here I really don't see why you are 3D printing this. The puzzle can be made cheaper, better quality and easier by hand from an Eastsheen 4x4x4.
rubikcollector123, please could you reduce the size of your images since they screw up the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Twisty Puzzle Design
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 1:02 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
Unless I have missed something here I really don't see why you are 3D printing this. The puzzle can be made cheaper, better quality and easier by hand from an Eastsheen 4x4x4.
rubikcollector123, please could you reduce the size of your images since they screw up the forum.


The truth is that I wanted to make a puzzle to learn Solidworks, and get my feet wet with puzzle designing. Everyone makes 3x3s and I was thinking "You know what? I'm gonna make something else as a first puzzle." So made the 2x2x4 (or is it 2x4x2?) But yeah I mean I could mod another cube to make a 2x2x4, but I figured "Why not make my own?"


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