Printable Interlocking Puzzle #2

by richgain, published

Printable Interlocking Puzzle #2 by richgain Dec 28, 2012


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Designed on Christmas Day 2012, here is the second of my series of printable interlocking puzzles, and this time it's a 4x4x4 cube.
'Printable' means no support material required.
'Interlocking' means the puzzle pieces fit together only in the correct sequence and will not fall apart when the puzzle is moved.

This puzzle is much more challenging than PIP#1 so I will be happy to provide a solution on request, if you need it.

Update: The solution video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNIwRid7390


I have uploaded the six pieces individually to allow each piece to be printed a different colour, but have also provided an STL file with all six pieces arranged together for convenience.

If you want to print the puzzle in PLA you will need a fan to prevent the tallest piece from melting.
You will need a well tuned printer to ensure that you get a nice snug fit when you assemble the puzzle.
I used Slic3r with settings of 0.2 mm layer height, 0.4 mm extrusion width and 40% infill at 30 mm/s.

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Perfect - wondering if you could either provide CAD files or ultimately, 2D dimensioned drawings for my students to re-create each block, and then print?

Fantastic puzzle. Just printed one on a Stratsys Uprint SE Plus. Pieces fit great. Its going to make a perfect gift for my nephew.

A friend of mine printed this puzzle for me. I was not really planning on making a serious attempt at solving it at b/c I always give up with puzzles like this but I felt myself drawn towards it. Ultimately, I took the methodological route and implemented a solver algorithm in javascript. spoiler Here's the result: http://realstuffforabstractpeople.com/stuff/cube_puzzlehttp://realstuffforabstractpeo....

Impressive! There is a freeware program called Burr Tools that puzzlers use both to create and find solutions for this type of puzzle. It may be interesting to check your algorithm against the current standard.

This puzzle is wicked; one of my pieces curled a bit, which makes it harder to actually fit into place, but even without that, my brain just doesn't go in the right direction to put this together :) Thanks to TheCase for the solution; I'll bring it to the office where smarter puzzlers than me will probably figure it out in minutes :) Thanks!

Thanks, I would have never figured it out. Now I can act like I got it to my wife because she couldn't figure it out either :p

I'm stumped. Can't get it together :(

You're in luck. I just recorded a solution video.


Great puzzle! Even when I had figured out the correct positions it wasn't obvious what moves were needed to put it together. This one gave a real sense of accomplishment when it went together.

At 200% the final puzzle is a nice size and the tolerances were perfect for my printer.

Excellent! I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

Wow, these pieces are tiny. My printer's not nearly well enough calibrated for them. Maybe at 200%...

Printed. Pieces fit well together (Rep G, .2mm height,2 shells,120 mm/s) Did you design this in BurrTools? If so, I would be interested to know what parameters were used for export. I'm normally using a cube size of 10, bevel 0.3 and offset of 0.1. Works well but the puzzles are bigger and slower to print. Your settings would be perfect for prototyping/play testing

Thanks. I designed the puzzle with Live Cubes and transcribed the digital file using Burr Tools. My export settings are the same as yours but using 6 mm as the cube size. It is an arbitrary selection but seems to work well for me and fits well with the ethos of microcubology. Do send my regards to all the guys in London. It's been a long while since I managed to get down there for a puzzle meeting.

Rich, Nice puzzle. I'll get one printed this evening and take it along to EPP6 tomorrow in South London. It might be a race against time as I'm intending to pack up my printer this evening so that I can take it with me tomorrow/ I'm going to try and "convert" some of the UK puzzle addicts to 3D printing addicts with a demo/presentation! It's now the third puzzle in tonights print queue, going to be a late night....

Any chance of a copy of the presentation?
And, forgive my ignorance, but what is EPP6?

Presentation will just be me in a room talking with an informal gathering of UK puzzlers. However, intend to give a quick demo of the printer, OpenScad, Rep G, and BurrTools showing how they all fit together. Each year we are invited to a gathering at a puzzler's house to show off our best 3 puzzle related acquisitions. This uyear is the 6th such occurence/

I see you are based in the UK and have designed some interesting maths/puzzles/geometry things. Are you anywhere near London? If so would be really good if you could make it along to one of the puzzle/magic gatherings in Camden (second Tuesday of every month). Mainly puzzler geeks there, but magic, maths,gadgets, and toys are all ripe for discussion. It would be really good to have at least one other Rep owner to talk 3D with. Drop me a line if interested.

(Un)fortunately, we're over near the Welsh border, and London's not easy to get to (the floods don't help.) It sounds a fascinating meeting - good luck with the presentation.
And thanks for the BurrTools prompt - very useful.

Beautiful puzzle. The final piece was a pleasant surprise and didn't look as if it would fit in, but it did.

Think I need a bit of fine-tuning; TheCase's print looks a snugger fit than mine...

Rats, you beat me to the solution - and your blog photos are much clearer than my pencil sketch. Many thanks.