25 Lotus Flowers Puzzle

by bneedhamia, published

25 Lotus Flowers Puzzle by bneedhamia Mar 7, 2018
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690Views 66Downloads Found in Puzzles


25 Lotus Flowers is a rotating-piece puzzle I recently invented (at least I'm ignorant of any earlier versions). The object is to turn the 25 lotus Flowers to form a given pattern. The challenge is that each Flower prevents one of its neighbors from turning, so you usually have to turn several Flowers before you can turn the one you want to turn.

I call the puzzle "25 Lotus Flowers" because the 25 puzzle pieces look to me like ancient Egyptian images of lotus flowers, and the addictive nature of the puzzle reminds me of the Lotus Eaters in The Odyssey. By the way, I originally called the puzzle "25 Lotus Leaves" until I found I was thinking of lotus flowers rather than leaves.

I've posted detailed instructions how to play the puzzle, including few challenges for you. Since it's a new puzzle, there are plenty of questions nobody yet knows the answer to - you could be the first to find an answer!

Let me know, in the Comments section here, what you think of the puzzle, and what solutions you've found - let the games begin!

Print Settings

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Print 25 copies of the Lotus Flower piece, lotusFlower.stl. Print one copy of the board, lotusBoard.stl. The puzzle is prettier if you choose one color for the pieces (such as purple, for lotus leaves) and contrasting color for the board (perhaps sand-color, for the sandstone of Egypt).

This Thing is designed to be printed in PLA, with clearances of 0.5 mm. If you print in ABS, you may have trouble with shrinkage and clearances.


Depending on your printer and filament, you may need to clean the pieces and board edges with a hobby knife before the pieces will rotate well. The print on my Lulzbot Mini with PolyLite PLA only required me to pick off one or two little threads of plastic.

Place the 25 Lotus Flowers (pieces) on the board's pegs in the pattern shown in the first photo or in the FreeCAD file. That is the starting Layout.

I describe several puzzle goals/challenges in the How To page, the object is to turn the pieces, one at a time, to transform the starting Layout a goal Layout. One goal is to create a left-right mirror of the startup Layout. I describe that goal, and harder ones, with illustrations, in the How To page.

How I Designed This

I'd been sketching ideas of a turning triangular piece puzzle for (many!) years, without ever constructing the puzzle - it required too much accurate woodworking. Now that I have a 3D printer, I was recently inspired to design the puzzle in FreeCAD and print it. I've made more progress understanding the puzzle in the past week than in the 10 years before, thanks to 3D printing!

As I mentioned above, I designed 0.5 mm clearances throughout: the piece hole radius is 0.5 mm larger than the peg radius; the convex ("outie") curve of the piece has a radius 0.5 mm smaller than the concave ("innie").

I'm interested in making a lid for the puzzle, that keeps all the pieces in place. Right now, it you happen to tip the board over, the pieces all fall out :-(

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