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 Post subject: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:05 pm 
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As started in this thread and hinted at in this thread I decided to make another wooden burr puzzle called Phoenix Cabracan. This is an 18 piece burr designed by Alfons Eyckmans which is a level 113.14.7.4.9.14.3 - that is, it takes 175 moves to disassemble, but it takes 113 moves just to remove the first piece :shock:

This time I decided to use 1/2" hardwood cubes instead of 3/8" so the puzzle would be larger than my previous efforts. I again used Sketchup to "design" the pieces, that is to help me visualise how the individual burrs should be best constructed. It took 307 cubes to make the pieces, and after much sanding:
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 1
Phoenix Cabracan 1.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 1.JPG [ 273.64 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

I then rounded the sharp edges to help the pieces slide together and stained and waxed them:
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 2
Phoenix Cabracan 2.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 2.JPG [ 226.72 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

After a couple of false starts where I put too much pressure on some pieces during assembly and caused a joint to fail, I reached this position (with the help of Burrtools :oops: ) which is the last piece in (or first piece out) - just 113 more moves to go!
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 3
Phoenix Cabracan 3.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 3.JPG [ 707.51 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

In this position, there are only two pieces not correct, but there are still 69 more moves to go:
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 4
Phoenix Cabracan 4.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 4.JPG [ 269.72 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

Now there is only 1 piece to go, but still 43 more moves to get it in:
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 5
Phoenix Cabracan 5.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 5.JPG [ 316.6 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

Huzzah! Finished!!
Attachment:
File comment: Phoenix Cabracan 6
Phoenix Cabracan 6.JPG
Phoenix Cabracan 6.JPG [ 291.95 KiB | Viewed 1250 times ]

The finished puzzle is about 4 inches cubed and weighs 412g (for Andreas, even though this will not be put in the Museum :D ) and I am very happy with the result. Could I solve this puzzle myself? No way, for two reasons:

(1) 175 moves! Come on :lol:
(2) To make this puzzle operate well, it would have to be made to a very exacting accuracy. Some of the moves I did during assembly were very stiff, and if you didn't know you had to make that particular move, you would never find it by trial and error.

Next puzzle will be ... none, if my wife gets her way, she is sick and tired of the constant "scraping noises" I make while sanding the pieces :(

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:08 pm 
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Holey moley!!

Your cubies are quite perfectly square I wager? Cause the bits I use would not be able to do this. TOTALLY awesome Gus.. and aww poo on the missus complaining.. isn't there some shopping she needs to do? ;)


Outstanding work, I love it, totally awesome!

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:33 pm 
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Awesome puzzle Gus.
I would not have the patience!

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Quite impressive! I'd really like to try burr-making on a higher level, but do far the only good results I can get are from planar pieces...

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:09 pm 
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Wow, you tried a difficult challenge! Phoenix Cabracan and its relatives are some of my favourites (see http://puzzles.schwandtner.info/group_burrs18.html for many more) and most of them are very difficult -- even to disassemble.

Welcome to the world of very high level 18 pieces burrs, Gus! :)

Looks very nice and I hope to see some more of your experiments in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:57 am 
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Oh wow, what a masterpiece !

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:25 am 
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Thanks for the comments guys.
Kattenvriendin wrote:
Your cubies are quite perfectly square I wager? Cause the bits I use would not be able to do this.
Well not perfectly. What I did was pre-sort some cubes into roughly the same colour wood (the cubes I bought were different sorts of hard woods) and roughly the same sizes (they only differed by about half a mm). After gluing them to the desired length, I sanded them until all faces were level and then I used an aluminium "U" shaped extrusion (inside dims = 1/2") as a gauge to make sure all these sub-assemblies were the cross-section.

After that, the finished burrs were all sized against some "standard" lengths I made (1-6 cubes long, all measured accurately) to make sure the internal "slots" were big enough to take all the other burr shapes. This may seem a little long-winded, but for a high level 18 piece burr like this, there is no other way to make it function well. And even after all this, some moves I made during the assembly were frighteningly tight.

As an experiment asking the question "Can you make complex burr puzzles from pre-cut wooden cubes?" the answer is "Yes", but you still have to do a lot of work to make them function well.

I would love to get this type of puzzle 3D printed some day ...

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:01 am 
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Gus, nice to see that you are a friend of interlockings, too. Great work, as always!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am working on a interlocking rebuilt with 365.7 steps as a 3d-printed puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:35 am 
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clauswe wrote:
I am working on a interlocking rebuilt with 365.7 steps as a 3d-printed puzzle.
Ah, so you are making a New Year 2C12 designed by Frank Worrell. I look forward to seeing this monster. Is this the highest level non-board burr?

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:30 am 
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I wonder how well this would work using blank dice. I have made my own 3x3x5 Checkered Brick and 2x5x5 Unhappy Childhood using them but they don't have the complicated interlocking piecies that this puzzle has.


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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:52 am 
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Gus wrote:
I would love to get this type of puzzle 3D printed some day ...
Very pretty and complex puzzle. I must say I've only had a passing interest in Burr puzzles but that interest has grown as I've attended a few IPPs and I see more threads like this one. As a designer these puzzles are very easy to make and get printed via Shapeways but I have some concerns about this.

(1) Many of these designs are copyright by various designers. If I were to model it and upload it to shapeways could I even ethically get one printed for myself? Shapeways is then making money on someone else's design. I would assume opening it up for sale to others (even without a markup) would be a big NO!

(2) Are there a set of these puzzles that are considered public domain?

(3) As a designer maybe what I should take a shot at is designing my own. I've got some familiarity with the program BurrTools but I've not played with it very much. I'm aware it is good for solving these puzzles (under some contraints) but what software is typcally used to design these puzzles? Does each designer typically write their own code to look for interesting sets of pieces?

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Gus wrote:
Is this the highest level non-board burr?

There are some boxed burrs that can be scaled to arbitrary high level: Binary Burr by Bill Cutler, Ternary Burr by Pit Khiam Goh, and Delirium by Stephane Chomine.

More details about them you can find in my compendium (see puzzle page):

http://puzzles.schwandtner.info/compendium

Several of these have not only been built in wood, but also been 3D printed (ask Claus! :) )

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Last edited by goetz on Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:25 pm 
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Volitar Prime wrote:
I wonder how well this would work using blank dice. I have made my own 3x3x5 Checkered Brick and 2x5x5 Unhappy Childhood using them but they don't have the complicated interlocking piecies that this puzzle has.
I too thought about using blank dice, but I just wanted to work in wood for a change. Although the dice are very accurate, and have rounded edges, I'm not sure how well the pieces would slide past each other with essentially zero tolerance (and some manufacturing inaccuracies).
goetz wrote:
Gus wrote:
Is this the highest level non-board burr?
There are some boxed burrs that can be scaled to arbitrary high level: Binary Burr by Bill Cutler, Ternary Burr by Pit Khiam Goh, and Delirium by Stephanie Chomine.
More details about them you can find in my compendium (see puzzle page):
http://puzzles.schwandtner.info/compendium
Several of these have not only been built in wood, but also been 3D printed (ask Claus! :) )
Thanks for that Goetz.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:25 pm 
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That looks great! I'm kind of wanting a shapeways version now.

Since we're also talking about cubes for making puzzles like this, check out livecubes. They're very nice.

http://www.livecubeshop.com/15cmcubes.html

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:25 pm 
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JasonSmith wrote:
That looks great! I'm kind of wanting a shapeways version now.
Since we're also talking about cubes for making puzzles like this, check out livecubes. They're very nice.
http://www.livecubeshop.com/15cmcubes.html
Thanks Jason, I've been told about these before, I thought about getting them, but hardwood burr puzzles just look so good.

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 Post subject: Re: Phoenix Cabracan
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 7:46 am 
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wwwmwww wrote:
(1) Many of these designs are copyright by various designers. If I were to model it and upload it to shapeways could I even ethically get one printed for myself? Shapeways is then making money on someone else's design. I would assume opening it up for sale to others (even without a markup) would be a big NO!


Hi wwwmwww,
You are completely right. However, a puzzle design is not the recipe of a cola drink. The way to go is to kindly ask the designer if you may have a copy printed for you. Some designers may have reasons to refuse, but if you tell them that you like their design so much that you want to have it printed, most will be happily surprised.
The most difficult part is to find how to contact the designer.

wwwmwww wrote:
(2) Are there a set of these puzzles that are considered public domain?


Yes. Some are even more than a century old, like the Japanese crystal, the Woodchuck, the Chinese Cross, the Barrel...
However, if a puzzle is old enough to be public domain, but the designer is still alive, it is fair to ask him or her all the same. I don't know how much time it takes for a puzzle design to be public domain (and it surely depends on the country you live in). Technically, some designs made by Bill Cutler or Stewart Coffin in the 70's might be in the public domain, but obviously, we still ask their permission before making copies of them.
If the copy is to be for sale and it is a small run (less than 50), it is common to send free copies to the designer.

wwwmwww wrote:
(3) As a designer maybe what I should take a shot at is designing my own. I've got some familiarity with the program BurrTools but I've not played with it very much. I'm aware it is good for solving these puzzles (under some contraints) but what software is typcally used to design these puzzles? Does each designer typically write their own code to look for interesting sets of pieces?


I know that Bill Cutler and Keiichiro Ishino developed their own software. But most people, like Stéphane Chomine or Alfons Eyckmans, use Burrtools to design new puzzles. Some use a private software for specific uses, like Jack Krijnen and his burrgrower software, that tries to find if adding a voxel anywhere on any piece of an existing burr may increase the level.
I never designed such puzzles, but the software doesn't do everything. Some puzzles are even completely designed by hand and Burrtools is only used to check for mistakes. This is the case with Donald Osselaer's Xenon, for example. These puzzles have more intuitive and logical solutions than puzzles designed completely with the help of Burrtools. In the later case, the solution often looks chaotic.
This is less true when you reach the very high number of moves. For example, 59 moves to get one piece out of a 6-piece framed burr (Congestion puzzle) is certainly near the theoretical maximum. In this case, the sequence of moves begins to have a kind of "N-ary" structure. This is because the puzzle runs through a large proportion of the available configurations.


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