Printable Interlocking Puzzle #3 - Level 4 by Bram Cohen
by richgain, published
Following the release of PIP#2, I was contacted by Bram Cohen (puzzle designer and author of the BitTorrent protocol) asking whether I had found any printable interlocking puzzle cube designs with a level higher than 1, i.e. needing more than a single move to take the first piece out.
This sounded like a great challenge and I set about about trying to design one but then Bram beat me to it - not once but twice. As Bram commented in his email, " the main thing causing difficulties is that the printed bottom of the pieces can't be facing the outside directly, because then they can just be pulled off as the first move, but because the bottom must by definition have the most voxels, putting those on the interior makes it very hard to fill up all the external voxels and not stuff shut the internal voxels."
His first attempt was a level 2 puzzle cube but that was quickly superseded by this very clever level 4 design.
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Great puzzle! This is one of the only puzzles I've seen where taking it apart presents a comparable challenge to putting it together. I need to print a second copy, as I'm sure my original will be "borrowed" for extended periods of time.
Stewart Coffin is highly respected in the puzzle community both for his designs and his craftsmanship.
I first made a copy of his Convolution puzzle out of wood about 30 years ago but don't really have the necessary degree of wood-working skills to do it well. One of the things I find so exciting about the arrival of affordable 3D printing is the democratisation of puzzle making.
However, not all designs are printable (without the use of support material which messes up the faces) hence my latest foray into designing 'printable' interlocking puzzles.
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1. Print at a fine resolution so that the sides of the pieces are as smooth as possible.
3. Design a new version with a level higher than 4.
4. Feel smug.
Completed 1 and 2.
Still working on 3 and 4.
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