Pragmatic Puzzle Box v2

by gruppler, published

Pragmatic Puzzle Box v2 by gruppler Apr 9, 2015
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This is a puzzle box that requires a spin to unlock. The mechanism that locks the lid in place is itself locked by four 6mm BBs, which can be printed in place, or placed during the print.

A simple spin on a reasonably level surface allows the lid to be twisted 20 degrees, which allows the lid to be removed. However, closing and locking the box does not require any tricks; simply insert the lid and twist it to lock.


Note: If you want to test the locking mechanism and tolerance before committing to a full print, you can print the included test models.

  1. Print the top.
  2. Get four 6mm airsoft BBs ready.
    Note: You can also print a version of the bottom that includes the BBs. Just insert the lid and twist it closed like normal, and the BBs should break free. Be warned, sometimes BBs don't print well for me.
  3. Start printing the short or tall version of the bottom.
  4. If necessary, insert the four BBs when their chambers are printed but before they're closed off.

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So tried the original version and the dropped in bbs would not retract on a level surface.. it would have been a permanent box :) Also had a hard time with the bbs being blown back out by the layer fan while printing. ( tried printing with bbs, they came off on their own and the partially formed bb flew away )

Will try this version with only 4 tabs, and use steel balls, not airsoft. They might slide back into place better due to the additional weight.

3 days ago - Modified 3 days ago
gruppler - in reply to Nurb432

I'd recommend the Penny Box instead, since it's basically my latest iteration on the same idea, and you can put the pennies in after the print.

Penny Box (Puzzle Box)

you are a moving target :) I haven't tried this one yet, so ill switch to the penny version instead.

I printed with the BBs in place and the whole thing worked great. The BBs printed round and popped off cleanly and with barely any force. Mechanism worked just as advertised. I plan to use it for an "escape room" activity with my son's cub scouts where they will have to decode a message telling them how to open it. I think it will be a great addition. Thanks for sharing! If I ever get around to taking a picture, I will include as a make.

I scaled it down to 80, I wouldn't recommend doing so. I've broke 4 diff lids just trying to get it to function properly. I'm going to print another at 100 see if that works better.

I scaled it down to 80, I wouldn't recommend doing so. I've broke 4 diff lids just trying to get it to function properly. I'm going to print another at 100 see if that works better.

Comments deleted.

I print the test with BBs and it worked great! I was going to print the cube model with BBs but one of the BBs (lower left corner when I open it in S3D) is flagging as non-manifold. Upon closer inspection, there is clearly a few surfaces missing. In the sliced view one of the BBs is obviously misshappen when compared to the other 3.


Good catch! I uploaded the corrections to the affected files.

Thanks! I'm starting a print now!

I printed one at 0.2mm (0.4mm nozzle) and it came out perfect. Lovely print. The mechanism is smart and works as intended.

I used the model with 3d printed balls/BBs/bearings so I did not need to insert the balls myself.

Great! I'm curious how the printed BBs turned out. I couldn't get them to print well.

The BBS are round and nice. I took a look at them mid-print.