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Boltex: Bolt maze meets cryptex, kind of...

by seedwire, published

Boltex: Bolt maze meets cryptex, kind of... by seedwire Jan 12, 2013
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5175Views 925Downloads Found in Mechanical Toys


Update: v2 fixes some taller printing problems with more support and a better "ledge" to prevent the high torques that will topple the bolt. Also, improved the base and handle to make it easier to grab... and fixed a tolerance problem that made the bolt and outer shell waaaaay too tight on most printers.

Update: just found this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1481
which is a more original version of this thing... very cool and I wish had found it sooner!
Don't hate the bolt maze- embrace the bolt
An outer tube (with parameterized accents) protects an inner chamber which can be revealed by solving the underlying bolt maze.
Many folks don't know what a "bolt maze" is... it's not just a pattern of a maze on a bolt! To remove the bolt's nut you must rotate and translate the nut (which has a pin, not a thread) through the maze. It's surprisingly hard to do!
This contraption is a bolt maze proper with a nut attached to an outer tube which protects the hollow inards of the bolt. At 75% full build space of a Rep1 the chamber easily stores a cache of M&Ms or other small candies- great fun for kids, although, the default maze (see .scad) is a bit difficult for the 6 and under crowd. (i.e., they're more likely to simply crack the thing apart)


  1. Print (2 or so shells work best for the overhangs)
  2. Tear off the thin first layer support (it can be a tall build)
  3. Store something inside the inner tube's chamber
  4. Solve the bolt maze to close... repeat (in reverse) to open.
    The model can also be printed as a monolith with the outer tube printed in situ, as it were.
    N.B., the Customizer app doesn't render the accents correctly (CGAL?) but they're in there!

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Can you give the settings for generating the G-code. I am using a 3Dison printer.

I'm working on a 'customizer' re-work to expose the actually maze bitmap to folks, but haven't found a good way to get nested arrays "out and about"...