FULLY MakerBottable 3x2x1 Rubik\'s Cube

by MakerBlock, published

FULLY MakerBottable 3x2x1 Rubik\'s Cube by MakerBlock Aug 7, 2010

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Edit: Use the \"Rv4.STL\" version!
Edit: For more print and assembly pictures http://makerblock.com/2010/08/3x2x1-rubiks-cube-assembly-pictures

Want to read more about this design? Do you want me to make one for you? Check out my blog at http://www.MakerBlock.com

NO TOOLS, NO HARDWARE, just print, clean, and assemble!!!

This is similar to prior iterations of this 3x2x1 Rubik\'s-style puzzle cube - except it is intended to be a 100% printable, no hardware required design. It is inspired by:

TomZ\'s 1x2x3 \"Friendlier\" Rubik\'s Cube, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2412
R3becca\'s Beco Block connecting mechanism, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1983

TomZ\'s original 1x2x3 puzzle was a totally printable design - but it required a peg that had to be glued in place. This means once assembled it couldn\'t easily be taken apart for cleaning, repair, etc.

The X-ray screenshot should pretty well show the barbell connector as well as the connector mechanism. Both parts are similar to R3becca\'s own connector system - especially the barbell. However, the interior cube connector is a simplified version of her female connector - simply because it was too hard for me to replicate her designs. :)

This version comes with a single STL for all parts: 2 identical center cubes, 4 identical edge cubes, and a single \"barbell\connector for the middle. I\'m leaving the initial version in case you want to play with it. I\'ve actually printed the last version, \"Rv4.STL\".

I\'ve also done a better job of placing the parts and centering the entire set. Before you had to make sure your print head was exactly centered before you could try printing it. Now you should have far more wiggle room on any side.


  1. Print all parts as a single \"production\" file. <Nod to Cryozap http://www.thingiverse.com/cyrozap>
  2. Clean parts.
  3. Slot two end cube pieces (with semi-circular tabs) into the two semi-circular holes in each center cube piece.
  4. Pop the small flat tabs off the center barbell connector.
  5. Pop one end of the barbell into the center of either center center cube piece.
  6. Spin and rotate to loosen parts.

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Can you make a file of just the center pin, my 3d printer messed up at that part and i don't want to print the whole entire thing again.

This is a really cool design just like Tom's but, Tom's is much easier to print and will more likely come off the print bed with a higher quality, even though it has a peg.

Just printed this, everything worked well except for the center pin. So i recreated that and printed it alone on its tip, using the following OpenSCAD script:

//New pin for http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3737


        cylinder(d=centerDiamter, h=centerToCenter);
FULLY MakerBottable 3x2x1 Rubik\'s Cube

Have tried Printing this, but the two arches located on the edges of the center block are nit the right sized, so they do not fit correctly with the outer edges. I tried to fix it but... It seems i have been cursed. every time it doesn't work. please try to fix it. I print on a tazbot lulz 4

Just checked the dimensions and never mind! will try v4 soon!

The two edge pieces don't fit in the center at all. I didn't scale them or anything.

I printed Rv4 and while it turns well, the pin mechanism has too much give. The puzzle can be "skewed" with very little force, which is enough for end pieces to pop out.

Just made one and it's pretty great. I just had to remove 2mm on the little piece in the middle because it was way too loose with the original one.

I printed it out and it works great! Only problem is, occasionally a piece pops out because the center is too loose. I will have to design a smaller barbell (maybe print another, just in case I overcleaned it).

Successfully printed V4, works great and only took an hour and a half to print.
Here's a video of it working!


Awesome model. I'm amazed at how well it works. Some of the pieces are a little loose so you sorta have to hold it along the axis you want to rotate it in. It's interesting how there's always a recognizable pattern because its so simple. I did have to use a hammer to get the pin in, but its basically tool-less :)

I'm glad you like it! Which pieces were a little loose for you? I basically modeled it so that all the pieces have 0.5mm clearance or so. This allowed my pieces to fit together snugly and loosen a little with use. I've printed two (and a half) sets of this model and I've been able to hand-press the pins in each time. Perhaps this is a slight variation in Skeinforge settings or Z axis alignment? It will go together a lot easier after the first few times you pull it apart to show people the insides. ;)

Oh, and the first version I left here will be significantly looser than the final version I uploaded.

I am interested in trying your gcode, how did you generate it? How well does it minimize strings between the printed parts? I'll look at is to see how it starts and the temp...

@Owenscenic: That Gcode is for ABS printing at 220C on a raft, generated using RepGv18. There were very few strings between parts when I printed this. I positioned the pieces in the STL to help minimize stringing too. Check out the pictures on my blog for more detailed shots.

this is pretty cool, cool enough I'll have to print it and try it out. I'm also going to make a braille derivative of this for the blind (although I don't know anything about braille)

@themitch22: Definitely try out this new version. I have printed and tested it - it works beautifully. It has a much tighter fit than the prior nut/bolt assembled version and none of the wobble from that first draft.

You might want to wait a day or two. Parts of this design work great (such as how the barbell fits and rotates nicely with the center cubes) and other parts need a little finesse (like the semicircular tab/slots). I just modified it slightly and will try another print of it in a little while.