by DaneC, published

X-Cube by DaneC Aug 12, 2014

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The X-Cube: the next generation, shape-shifting, twisting logic-puzzle.

An open-source puzzle that adds 32 extra pieces, four extra layers, and a shape changing element to the original 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube.

Originally created on a uPrint Plus in December, 2012. Mass production funded on Kickstarter July 2013.

Also available on Amazon

Print Settings


Doesn't Matter







Additional materials:

  • 6: M3-.5 x16 screws
  • 2 to 3: Compression springs from clicking pens
  • 3x3x3 Stickers: http://cubesmith.com/3x3x3.htm
  • Recommended: CRC Heavy duty Silicone Spray, or equivalent puzzle lubricant. MUST SPECIFY IT IS SAFE FOR PLASTIC. (http://imgur.com/uraguGB)
    1) Print parts (See ReadMe.txt)
    2) Assembly instructions found here: http://imgur.com/a/j25Fl
    3) "Break in" the X-Cube for 30 minutes to an hour by twisting layers until they wear in and become easier to turn.
    4) Apply CRC Silicone Spray to inside of puzzle. Take out a few pieces to do this.
    5) Continue to twist layers to distribute the CRC throughout your X-Cube.
    6) Apply stickers (available at http://cubesmith.com/X-Cube.htm)

Custom Section

Color scrambled X-Cube

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I had no idea this was an open source project. Thats awesome! I do need to get a v1 of the x-cube but now knowing I can print it myself is even better. I probably wont but I could modify it.

I would love to see a mod of yours! There are countless cool shape mods I'd love to see.

I wouldn't call it a waste of time, after some sanding and polishing most of the pieces work fine. The core assembly needs help though. Maybe if it was printed in nylon and more aggressive screws were used?

I've got my cube "done" as it will probably be for a while. It works itself loose so i have to keep my alan wrench handy, also the action is pretty sloppy but it works (that said the real x-cube action isn't exactly speed cube grade either) What i ended up doing is "spin welding" the sockets in the core and then drilling them back out to exactly what the screw needed minus about .1mm

Also, i am going to have to go against the authors recommendation of using crc silicone to lube.

  1. it says in all caps "not plastic safe" on the back. I found a brand that is plastic safe (sorry forgot brand atm, but it is right next to CRC in most stores I've been to in USA)
  2. the silicone oil permeates the pieces inside and out and doesnt stay where it is needed. it soaks into the ridges and into the piece where layers didn't adhere completely. Basicaly this means nothing will stick to the piece anymore. Also it is pretty much impossible to remove. THis prevented me from using duct tape as the oil completely defeats the adhesive. I ended up using "sharpie oil paint pens" after softening the surface of piece a bit with acetone.
  3. the smell is not exactly pleasant. It definitely smells like a lube shop.

The spray lube is some messy stuff. I used it once on a puzzle that was almost fully assembled and didn't move the layers while spraying it. This was basically like filling the cube with super glue. I found it funny since it was a cheaper puzzle but I will never use that stuff again. I just use MAru or the weight 1 from the cubicle.

This is good advice. I find good results because I spray and work it in immediately. But sprays are all different, so some could be bad.

I made this a while back and every time i pit it together it would explode in my hands, i used the correct screws and lubed up the entire thing and i tried to print all the pieces all over again, but it just didn't work, i'm sorry to say but i believe this design is a waste of time.

I had a lot of problems printing the core and center pieces. I printed it all in black abs.

i printed the core as is with supports. I had some drooping on lower side of the "arms", but i sanded it and rebuilt it pretty decently.

The center pieces i printed opening down and thin neck pointing up. this was also with support enabled. unfortunately, the supports pretty much closed the "spring cylinder" off . I drilled it back out but it is really ugly inside and the spring hangs a lot.

I finally got it back together but the assembly works loose rather quickly. It seems the threads on my m3 screws are not aggressive enough to bite the abs reliably. would printing the core in PLA work better?

The rest of the pieces printed snug but after some quick sanding with my dremel and diamond rasps they move around pretty well.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

bonus question: I am trying to use white duct tape + sharpies for labels. unfortunately the tape is too glossy and the sharpie rubs off easy. sanding them lightly helps but i like the glossy look. unfortunately, my old standby future floor polish flakes off easily from the tape.

Does anyone know of a good chemical deglosser and/or sealer for duct tape?

If anyone is interested, i am making the squares by sticking the duct tape on a laser transparency or other piece of non-stretchy plastic you dont care and then cutting it into precise squares using a craft/paper cutter.

How long does this take to print in total? Is it roughly under 6 hours, because I am scheduling a time to use one at my library.

took me a long time to print it in individual pieces (about 5 days on a slow printer). Plan out how you would make batches using a slicing profile for the printer at your library if you know the brand of the printer

Comments deleted.

You'll have to print in a few batches. 6 hours is enough for a batch I would say

What washers do you use? Also, where would you get the washers?

You can use the washers included in the print, or you can buy some from a hardware store. I don't remember the exact size for the washers. They are common and cheap

Without supports some of the pieces seem impossible to print, a diagram showing the orientation of each piece would be great!

I cant get the caps and the center pieces to fit... do any of you have any suggestions?

Too small? Too large? You can use glue if you're feeling bold

I figured out that I could shave away some of the plastic with my pocket knife and now they fit.
Thank you though.

Great! Sorry to hear there was trouble with it

I have like five more hours of printing time until it's all done. Hopefully I'll finish by tonight! :)

Dane, it is addison, sorry I am using my sister's account but I am glad you posted the design so that anyone could make it

video of how to put it together?

Here's an instructional video:

Supplemental instruction is in the ReadMe.

cool thanks
My printer is still being shipped but I want to print this so much. if i do I will upload a make.

Good call-- I'll get on that.

Do you think that my printer will be able to print it?

link: https://www.phoenix3dprinter.com/phoenix.html

Try printing the Edge_Top and Edge_single_cut and see how well they fit together. Likely a tight fit at first, but should be a sliding fit with some work. CRC lubricant helps.