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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:32 pm 
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A week later and another disappointing trip to the TechShop.

Sadly this time the laser cutter had a cracked lens and was not usable. So I decided to try their other, much less powerful one. Most people avoid this one or only use it for etching.

I had some 1/16th inch acrylic from TAP Plastics that I had been meaning to try out. They only make it in completely transparent, so I decided to make a half height, transparent BioHazard.

The other cutter was worthy of its poor reputation. It could barely cut through the thinner plastic. The quality of the cuts was also not nearly as precise, and I spent lots of time with a small round file trying to bore out holes to make the layers align properly.

I only had screws for the normal height puzzle, so it is quite unfinished and not fully functional because I can't countersink pan head screws with only 1/16th inch thickness. I'll have to get flat head screws and find a drill bit with the proper conical tip to do a proper job.
I started just filing down some pieces to leave spaces for the screw heads instead of countersinking, that may work as well.

Anyway, enough text for now. No progress on the production BioHazard (sigh) but at least I have something novel to show for the visit.

Transparent, half-height BioHazard:
Image
Over my white 3x3x3 speed cube to demonstrate transparency and size:
Image
On its side compared to a normal BioHazard (and next to my cube for size reference):
Image
Puzzle in motion:
Image
Over text to show transparency:
Image
Enjoy,

Dave


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:49 pm 
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The transparent acrylic looks really abosoluty awesome, but i see one problem. It would be hard to tell which piece is which in the puzzle. Do you plan to do someting that would make the biohazard symbol darker or easier to see? The transparent is a really cool version of the puzzle.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 5:26 pm 
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TheAtarian1 wrote:
The transparent acrylic looks really abosoluty awesome, but i see one problem. It would be hard to tell which piece is which in the puzzle. Do you plan to do someting that would make the biohazard symbol darker or easier to see? The transparent is a really cool version of the puzzle.

In the right lighting it is pretty easy to see (check out the second to last picture), but I agree it could be better.

Perhaps I could rub some pigment into the etched parts to bring them out more.

Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:21 am 
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Dave, will the plastic withstand playing with the puzzle without being scratched?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:33 am 
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So... now we have Biohazard and Biohazard-lite?

:P

Both are attractive for their own reasons. :)



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Aleksey wrote:
Dave, will the plastic withstand playing with the puzzle without being scratched?

Unless you have metal hands, you should be fine :) It is no worse than any other puzzle with clear plastic on it, for example:
ImageImageImageImageImage
not to mention the Magics.

Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:48 pm 
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For the triangle graph paper and more:

http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/

Go down to Triangle/Rhombus/hexagon section :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:02 am 
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OK, so I got a bit more done on Tuesday at the TechShop, but not enough to build another puzzle (I forgot a few pieces, sigh...).

But I did make some progress on the packaging front. Since I've only made the three prototypes with acrylic pins and I won't be making more, I will be auctioning them off to help pay to produce the fixed price version. Also to help a bit of the costs of bringing them to Dutch Cube Day :)

I'll put an auction up tomorrow and post about it in the Marketplace, forum, but I figured I'd talk a bit about the packaging.
Image
Image

The box is slightly large for the puzzle, so to keep it from sliding around I laser cut clear inserts out of 1/8" acrylic to hold it in place. I just cut a nice square around the piece I cut out for the clear top of the puzzle, and it fits great. I actually use two (one around the top, one around the base) so it is a bit more stable.

I tried printing on clear transparencies for the label inside the box, but it was smearing so I had to go with plain paper. A bit dissapointing, but perhaps I can find a color laser printer that won't smear for the production version.

Image
I etched "Acrylic Pins" on the back to separate it from the production version, and so its numbering is separate (can't have two #001s).

Enjoy,

Dave


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:01 am 
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looks too damn professional :P really nice work you've put into this ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 5:32 pm 
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On Friday I received the Acrylic Pins Biohazard pictured above, and I've had a few days to play with it. Until now we've had only David's description so I figured it was worth sharing my impressions.

Packaging: The puzzle nests neatly into clear inserts that hold it safely and securely. The inserts are virtually invisible when the puzzle is in the box, but they elegantly hold the puzzle in the optimum position. Attractive and practical.

(Note: This is one of David's pictures.)
Image

Operation: The plungers move easily, but have just the right amount of resistance so they won't move on their own. Each one stops at the center position with a pleasant, subtle "click" sensation so it automatically aligns itself after each move. This makes operation of the puzzle effortless because I never, ever have to fuss over aligning the plungers between moves. This is a huge ergonomic achievement.

Solving: I haven't really gotten my head around it yet, although it's gradually becoming more intuitive. It's an excellent challenge despite the small number of pieces because each movement-sequence displaces at least six of the ten pieces, and it does so in groupings that can be very inconvenient when the puzzle is very scrambled. Still, it yields to basic combinatorics.

Bonus: A green laser causes the red pieces to flash with a brilliant yellow flame-like spot. Green lasers have a reputation for triggering unexpected fluorescence in some materials, but it's amazing to watch. The pictures below show this spectacular effect.


Attachments:
File comment: A green laser ordinarily casts a bright green spot. But something amazing happens when the green spot moves toward the red pieces in the puzzle...
Biohazard laser 1.JPG
Biohazard laser 1.JPG [ 35.29 KiB | Viewed 10563 times ]
File comment: The laser lights up the red pieces with a brilliant yellow flash, causing the pieces to glow bright orange.
Biohazard laser 2.JPG
Biohazard laser 2.JPG [ 35.89 KiB | Viewed 10563 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:05 pm 
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It looks like the sun! Congrats on your new puzzle btw.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Man, I TOTALLY want one of those, but I dont have any $$$ :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:47 pm 
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Thanks for the review VWP, I'm glad you like it! Cool that the laser works. Next we have to embed a UV LED and see how it looks.

So I had intended on making a bunch to sell at DCD, but once again a cascade of problems prevented it. In the end I wound up having time to make parts for just three, and of these I only got one working.

It turns out acrylic sheets are not of very consistent thickness. If you buy 1/8" you can basically just be assured it is not thicker than 1/8", not much more. Some is 3mm, some somewhere in between.

So after frantically cutting hundreds of pieces to make puzzles I found out they are not all the same thickness. When you make a puzzle out of six layers of acrylic and they are not consistent thicknesses, it doesn't work. I found out the night before I flew to Europe that although all the pieces looked like they should be from the same thickness of acrylic, they weren't :( I also didn't have time to make proper packaging for any of them.

I was able to show my two remaining acrylic pins prototypes (orange #002 and mirror #003), and wound up staying up until 2:00am the night before DCD getting the very first production puzzle functioning (I had to add extra spacers, a good thing I brought some).

Although I hadn't wanted to sell any because I considered them incomplete, both Oscar and Milan (who was second to VWP in the auction) were quite interested in getting a BioHazard that day and so I sold the second acrylic pins prototype (orange) to Oscar and production #001 to Milan. I'll have to send proper packaging to both as I didn't have time to get it produced for DCD (sorry guys).

Once I make a few more I'll post a set of pictures showing the building of a BioHazard, and it will be fairly clear why cutting all the pieces from a single sheet to assure consisitent thickness is important.

Dave


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:16 pm 
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dlitwin wrote:
Thanks for the review VWP, I'm glad you like it! Cool that the laser works. Next we have to embed a UV LED and see how it looks.


I've already bought some parts for that, and I've been experimenting with circuit ideas.

dlitwin wrote:
It turns out acrylic sheets are not of very consistent thickness. If you buy 1/8" you can basically just be assured it is not thicker than 1/8", not much more. Some is 3mm, some somewhere in between.
.
.
.
Once I make a few more I'll post a set of pictures showing the building of a BioHazard, and it will be fairly clear why cutting all the pieces from a single sheet to assure consisitent thickness is important.


You might ask George Miller for his experiences with acrylic sheets, since he's used them so much. I'll bet he'd be delighted to share any useful secrets he's got. He's very thoughtful.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:52 am 
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OK, it has been a while since I've done much with the BioHazard. Many problems with tolerances caused me to make fewer for DCD than I had planned (only one).

I had talked about ditching the Acrylic pins, but not posted pictures about the all-screws replacement. Here are two pictures of the newer design:
Image
Image
You will note that the front looks pretty much the same, but the back is quite a change.

Making a few of these has been a lot of screws, a lot of little screw driver twisting and the realization that another redesign was going to have to happen. The real problem was actually the time spent etching the countersunk holes for the screw heads. It just takes a really long time to etch that deeply so many holes, and would really drive the cost up (time = money)

So since the first pins design was too much time to custom file each of the 30 holes in the top and bottom pieces, I tried out having the pins only fit in the middle four layers, and be capped by the top and bottom piece. This mean moving the three anchor screws to the wider center holes to have grip closer to the edges, and also meant a bit of custom filing of the pins to not be too long (or they would keep the top an bottom from fitting snug.

The result worked well, and I think (hope?) will be final. It will reduce cost in both hardware (15 fewer body screws at $0.14 each is good) and time (much less). Funny thing was, I just ordered a pack of 1000 body length screws, and now realize I will be only using 1/6th as many as I had planned :)

Here are few pictures of the new look:
Image
Image
The front looks pretty much the same (pins and screws don't change that much) but the back is much simpler. I haven't etched the symbol, serial number and web site yet either, which makes it stand out as well I suppose.

The other thing I tried was having the front cover be only 1/16" acrylic instead of the 1/8" that matches the other layers. I think it might work well, but I did notice some cracks in the particular cover I chose (I cut a number). I will try some others and hope this was an exception, and that the 1/16" isn't too thin to cut without risking cracks.
Image
Image

I am not sure I prefer one over the other, I would be curious to see if anyone feels strongly for one.

I hope to get cranking on a number of the new design, and finish assembling the few 18 screw versions I have cut (#002-#005). Unlike last time I don't think I will be starting the numbering over again, as I have already sold #001 and can't get it back to etch "All Screws" to differentiate it :) So the internal pins versions will just be #006 and above. I'll be looking to get this done soon, so I can hopefully get them ready for sale next week.

I already have some buyers lined up (I guess it is time to set a price...) so perhaps I'll start a buying list thread on Marketplace to keep this thread focused on the building.

Enjoy,

Dave


Last edited by DLitwin on Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:00 pm 
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[I posted these pictures in the Marketplace thread, but thought it might be appropriate to have the pictures here for continuity]

Some pictures with different piece colors:

Dark red. A great color, but not florescent so a bit hard to see.
Image

This is the orange from the prototype I built a few months back.
Image

Yellow is light so it is quite visible and good looking.
Image

No, the Radiation image isn't for this puzzle, it was just a test I did that used green acrylic. It's for another puzzle...
Image

Dark blue. Too dark. You can see it here because of the camera flash, but it is barely visible against the black of the puzzle.
Image

Because the blue is so dark I tried the etching up, which is more visible, but doesn't look very finished.
Image

Mirror from the prototype I built a few months back.
Image

The brushed aluminum looks quite a bit like the mirror, but if you look at the detail you can see the difference.
Image

Here are the colors in the light.
Image

Enjoy,

Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:52 pm 
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Two questions, with answers:

1.) What does one do with a bunch of BioHazard parts that are cracked, scratched, out of date because of design changes or useless because the countersinks are off?
Wait for a holiday!
Image
Image
Image
Image
2.) What does a puzzle collector get from his chef brother for XMas?
Image
Mmmmm.. chocolate rice crispy BioHazard...

Dave


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:46 am 
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hahahah! Nice...

If only the real Biohazard was as cheap and as easy to obtain as rice crispies!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:14 pm 
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you were wondering if anyone favored one design over the other...honestly I prefer the initial design over the most recent...it just looks....'cooler' lol the more recent design with the full covered back, although much easier and most likely a LOT cheaper, just doesn't have the 'mmph' to it like the original design does...just my opinion ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:16 am 
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You may have noticed the name change. Here is some info on why.

So what are these other designs that have me changing an otherwise pretty awesome name ? (I still like the name BioHazard...)

Here are some pictures of the piece layouts. I have pencil sketches of the full puzzles but haven't computer modeled any by the Neon and Chromium yet. But you can perhaps imagine where the plungers are, based on the layout and how the Neon and Chromium look compared to their layouts. I've included two different etchings just to give an idea of what images work well.

Small puzzles to large, starting with Fluorine. This is almost the smallest puzzle I can make with this mechanism. Certainly the smallest that interests me:
Image

Sulfur is next. Not my favorite name of all the Elemental puzzles, but consistency says this is the name. This is the smallest puzzle with two plungers per axis:
Image

Chromium is one of my favorites. Two plungers per axis, lots of symmetry, great for etching cubical shapes at a 3/4 view...
Image
OK, so I have done a model of Chromium (my next design to build) so here's a full diagram with all the plungers and body defined:
Image

Zinc is the most direct two plunger extension of the Neon design:
Image

Selenium is my favorite design. An alternate two plunger variation of the Neon configuration. The Toxic image works so well in this layout...:
Image

Tellurium is the first three plunger per axis design. I'm not sure if this puzzle will function smoothly with so many pieces. We'll have to see when I get there if things lock up too much:
Image

Enjoy,

Dave


Last edited by DLitwin on Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:32 pm 
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These puzzles are going to be HUGE! :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Noah wrote:
These puzzles are going to be HUGE! :shock:

Well many have commented that the Neon was smaller than they expected. Adding piece counts will mean larger puzzles, but I'll also be scaling the size of the puzzle down as I go. Not unlike a 5x5x5 compared to a 3x3x3, a bit bigger but not huge.

Right now my packaging is 5.5" square and I've designed the Chromium to fit in the same box. The Neon is slightly smaller, but not much. I imagine a puzzle like Selenium or Tellurium will require a bigger box or the pieces may just get too small.

I have some thoughts about making Fluorine in keychain size, but that would require finding 1/16" acrylic in colors for the pieces (it is generally available in just clear, black and white). I think I've found red, but not florescent. It also would mean conical countersinks, custom screws and custom pins, all of which could might make for more work and cost.

Dave


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Put me down for one of each. Details can be discussed later.

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Makes sense. These should be impressive. I can't wait to see a whole set of them. :)


I definitely need to work overtime to get the cash for these. :P

How long do you think before you could get a prototype of each working?

Also, I'd love to see your website with more details on each of the puzzles.

So much work for all of these designs. Don't work yourself too hard.


Regards,
Noah

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:51 pm 
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Noah wrote:
How long do you think before you could get a prototype of each working?

If I didn't have a backlog of 40 or so Neon puzzles to build I imagine I could get a few done per month. This is where I hope a laser cutting shop can step in and reduce my non-prototyping work. As it is I can hope to cut some prototype pieces here and there, but most of my time will go to current orders. I hope to have a Chromium prototype sometime before March, we'll see.

Noah wrote:
Also, I'd love to see your website with more details on each of the puzzles.

I'll probably leave speculative design info for this forum and put the puzzles up on my site when they are ready for sale. I'll take some pictures of my pencil sketches soon (hopefully tonight) which will give people a better idea of the designs.

Also, there are a few designs I've mapped out just in pencil. Magnesium is one of these which is much like Chromium but with fewer pieces all around (Star of David shape).

Another is a nice hybrid puzzle with one plunger on two axes, but two plungers on the third. Interestingly this design has the same number of pieces as Neon. So what to call it? Luckily there are these things called Neutrons, which lead to the existence of isotopes. So you can have two different elements with the same basic number of heavy particles, allowing me to name my other 10 piece puzzle uniquely. So my next 10 piece design will be either Beryllium-10, and a third 10 piece design probably Boron-10.

Dave


Last edited by DLitwin on Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DLitwin wrote:
Another is a nice hybrid puzzle with one plunger on two axes, but two plungers on the third. Interestingly this design has the same number of pieces as Neon. So what to call it? Luckily there are these things called Neutrons, which lead to the existence of isotopes. So you can have two different elements with the same basic atomic weight, allowing me to name my other 10 piece puzzle uniquely. So my next 10 piece design will be either Beryllium-10, and a third 10 piece design probably Boron-10.

Not that I'm objecting to the names, I'm not, but as a point of information you aren't naming your puzzles based on atomic weight.

Neon's atomic weight is 20.1797. You aren't naming them based on atomic mass either, the most common isotope of Neon, Neon-20, has an atomic mass of 20 (hence the name.) You're naming them on atomic number, and atomic number remains the same for all isotopes of an element.

Like I said, I'm not objecting your names. Neon, Beryllium-10, and Boron-10 sounds like a more interesting group than Neon-20, Neon-21, Neon-22. I'm just pointing out that you've started naming them based on atomic number (the number of protons) and now you're moving into the atomic mass (the number of protons and neutrons.)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:54 pm 
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How did you make the graph paper on paint :?:

EDIT: Thanks

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Last edited by Brax13 on Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I'd like to just point out that the spelling is "Fluorine," not "Flourine", just so you don't end up printing a bunch of boxes misspelled.

Otherwise, nice job. These puzzles look like fun.


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It has occurred to me that water (H2O, Dihydrogen oxide ) has the same number of protons as neon, as does hydrofluoric acid (HF hydrogen fluoride) and presumably a few other things do as well. So, if you wanted to be consistent and stick with the number of protons, you could do that without resorting to isotopes.

Then again, Beryllium-10 does have a sort of ring to it.


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chris the cynic wrote:
Not that I'm objecting to the names, I'm not, but as a point of information you aren't naming your puzzles based on atomic weight.

You are right, I meant atomic number (I'll have to edit above). And isotopes are a bit of an exception, so I can live with that inconsistency for the sake of having a unique name that keeps to the theme.

Dave


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Brax13 wrote:
How did you make the graph paper on paint :?:

I use a freeware program called InkScape for my diagrams, and then take screen captures for what I post on the forum.

Dave


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blade740 wrote:
I'd like to just point out that the spelling is "Fluorine," not "Flourine", just so you don't end up printing a bunch of boxes misspelled.

Otherwise, nice job. These puzzles look like fun.

Gah! I keep doing that. For some reason my fingers are faster with the 'o' than the 'u'. Thanks for the catch, I'll have to fix up the image later.

[Edit: Fixed above]

Dave


Last edited by DLitwin on Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Designs done in pencil. Most are those shown above, but with the full puzzle plungers and body:
Fluorine:
Image
Sulfur:
Image
Zinc:
Image
Selenium:
Image
Tellurium:
Image

New designs, not shown before:

Beryllium-10:
Image
Magnesium:
Image
Krypton:
Image

You'll note that Krypton is like a ZauberKreuz in that its plungers move two pieces at a time.

Enjoy,

Dave


Last edited by DLitwin on Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I really like the last one the best! I do like them all though.

Looking forward to them Dave!

Keep up the amazing work.

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I think the Tellerium model with the BioHazard design looks sick!!


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I think I've found a problem with the bigger ones, in your sample picture I could see plenty of blank pieces which couldn't be recognized from each other, maybe these will create parity problems?


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:51 pm 
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Marco wrote:
I think I've found a problem with the bigger ones, in your sample picture I could see plenty of blank pieces which couldn't be recognized from each other, maybe these will create parity problems?

I'm not sure if I would call it a problem, but that certainly is the case. As you get more pieces it would take a very complex image to make them all unique. I tried to place the designs such that I have as few non-unique pieces as possible, but some designs have quite a few (Chemical and Radiation Tellurium have the most).

I haven't studied the higher level puzzles enough to know if there will be parity issues because of this, but if so then that is just part of the puzzle :)

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:18 pm 
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I've seen Krypton puzzle but I haven't seen ZauberKreutz puzzle yet or are my eyes going? This gives me a idea of what you could do maybe if it works for your next puzzles since it does for one already. I'm calling them rods(the things that you push in and out) for the time being. You could have 1 rod push 1 row and the second rod push 2 rows and the third rod push 3 rows and on on if you like.

Just a idea thats all.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:02 pm 
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No T Darren.

http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pid=1096

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:12 pm 
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Darren Grewe wrote:
I've seen Krypton puzzle but I haven't seen ZauberKreutz puzzle yet or are my eyes going?.

[EDIT: fixed spelling of Zauberkreuz]

Ack! The 'back' browser button doesn't work on the new forum (page expires)! I had a nice reply to this and lost it when I clicked to test a link in the preview ;(

In summary (since Noah already posted one link I was going to post):
Krypton is like Fluorine but with four times the pieces and it moves two columns at a time. The Zauberkreuz does this with square pieces.

Dave

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Last edited by DLitwin on Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:11 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
You'll note that Krypton is like a ZauberKreutz in that its plungers move two pieces at a time.

Enjoy,

Dave


DLitwin wrote:
In summary (since Noah already posted one link I was going to post):
Krypton is like Fluorine but with four times the pieces and it moves two columns at a time. The Zauberkreutz does this with square pieces.

Dave


Noah wrote:


Please don't take this the wrong way but I was just quoting thats all Noah and Dave.


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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:05 pm 
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I hope you wasn't thinking I was being a jerk. I was just trying to say you might recognize it better without the "T" at the end. It's Zauberkreuz, not ZauberkreuTz, which, once again, I hope you don't think I was blaming on you. I was just pointing it out.

@Dave: You might want to check your spelling a bit. :wink:
http://www.geocities.com/jaapsch/puzzles/kreuz.htm

This vs This.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:39 am 
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Noah wrote:
@Dave: You might want to check your spelling a bit. :wink:
http://www.geocities.com/jaapsch/puzzles/kreuz.htm

Checked, and corrected, thanks. I blame my rusty German. Good enough to remember how 'kreuz' is pronounced, but bad enough to forget that no 't' is necessary to get this pronunciation in German. Perhaps I should start a "send Dave to German Cube Day" PayPal fund to address this. The whole puzzle community would benefit...

Dave

P.S. I have a few hours reserved at the TechShop tomorrow :) :) :) Perhaps the BioHazard (err... Neon, that is) hiatus will be broken and I hope to prototype the Chromium.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:27 am 
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DLitwin wrote:
I blame my rusty German.


Hmm. How many F's are there in Volkswagen when you sound it out?

An earlier comment had me wondering if there might be some printed patterns that could better exploit this puzzle's unique behavior. I've been trying to think of a tile pattern that could have two unambiguously solved states, such as a triskelion and the Razer logo.

I admit it's not a useful suggestion without a tangible solution, but I thought I'd share in case it inspires someone to think of one.

(A fallback might be to print patterns in two different colors, but that would require decals or screen printing. And it sure wouldn't be as cool.)

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:25 pm 
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VeryWetPaint wrote:
Hmm. How many F's are there in Volkswagen when you sound it out?

If I am speaking to someone who knows German yes; but otherwise no, as it was a word I knew in English well before I learned German. But Kreuz doesn't suffer that problem having no English use.
VeryWetPaint wrote:
An earlier comment had me wondering if there might be some printed patterns that could better exploit this puzzle's unique behavior. I've been trying to think of a tile pattern that could have two unambiguously solved states, such as a triskelion and the Razer logo.

I admit it's not a useful suggestion without a tangible solution, but I thought I'd share in case it inspires someone to think of one.

(A fallback might be to print patterns in two different colors, but that would require decals or screen printing. And it sure wouldn't be as cool.)

Interesting. I suppose I could etch both the top and bottom of the pieces with different patterns, but that might be too confusing. I might give it a try...

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:22 pm 
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ok so when are you going to make a waiting list for the Chromium model? I want one!!!! lol and the Zinc and Selenium versions as well...so if you start a list anytime soon, put my name on it! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:26 pm 
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trixter wrote:
ok so when are you going to make a waiting list for the Chromium model? I want one!!!! lol and the Zinc and Selenium versions as well...so if you start a list anytime soon, put my name on it! :D

When I have a working prototype I'll post about it and add it to my site (http://www.LitwinPuzzles.com). Anyone on the wait list will have the option of ordering any puzzle I make, but be aware that there will be different delays for each puzzle. So since you are on my wait list now, you can consider yourself on the Chromium wait list if you choose to change your Neon order to a Chromium order ;)

So speaking of the Chromium... I went to the TechShop last night and prototyped it. As expected there were an number of problems so it isn't really functional. The pieces are too small so they lock up all the time, and the sizing of the puzzle is off so the plunger tops slide off the puzzle a bit. You will note it is fairly ugly. I chose to cut it out of scraps opaque green (with opaque black unetched pieces) because I knew it was just a prototype and would probably have problems. Why waste good acrylic?

[EDIT: Poor cell phone pictures removed, see the Elemental:Chromium thread for better pictures:
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8892]

Enjoy,

Dave

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Last edited by DLitwin on Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:55 pm 
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Amazing work Dave. It's like the 4x4 to a 3x3. So, how are the DIYs coming along? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:21 pm 
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Siraj A. wrote:
So, how are the DIYs coming along? :D

I am still waiting on another test cut from the laser cutter shop. I think I have things sized correctly, but have to make sure it is perfect. There is also the issue of making sure the acrylic they cut is the proper thickness. Too thick and the screws aren't long enough. Too thin (like the green I used to prototype the Chromium) and the screws poke through and can impede movement of the plungers.

Once those are solved I have to calcuate the cost of the additional etching so I can set a price. The laser cutter has been not working nearly as well as some months before (dirty lens? failing laser? I don't know) but the speed at which I cut has to slow down to make it through the acrylic. Normally cutting the transparent grey body pieces took 12 minutes a few months ago (15% speed, full power on the laser). Now I have to slow it down to 11% speed to cut the same acrylic. In December and again last night I had the very frustrating occurance of having a long cut (18 minutes now) not go all the way through so I couldn't use any of the pieces :( :x

So the cost of etching the pieces, plunger countersinks and back plate are unknown to me right now. I know I'll spend less time on the base plate because the DIY won't be numbered and will just have the puzzle name. I'll drop etching the image on the back as I won't know what piece etching will be used (it's DIY, you choose!), which will save time and therefore cost.

I hope to get to the TechShop more in the up comming months, and I'll hope to have an answer for you in that time frame.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Elemental:Neon (formerly known as the BioHazard puzzle)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:28 pm 
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Ok thank you. I am really looking forward to the outcome of them. I want one!

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