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 Post subject: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:01 am
I sent the following to bmenrigh & Konrad because I knew they both had many shapeways puzzles;

JackRTully wrote:
So my Mum says to me "I know its only April, but do you know what you'd like for your birthday or christmas?" I simply reply telling her to check her phone, as I bookmarked 9 shapeways puzzles :lol: She wanted me to pick a top 3, and of course I have my preferences but I thought I'd ask someone who I know has many shapeways puzzles, and I didn't think this was enough to deserve its own topic, so here are the puzzles.

Helimate
Master Starminx
FTRD
ETRT
Pentultimate
Multidodecahedron
Curvy Copter Plus
Helicopter Skewb
Master Curvy Copter


I'd also be glad to accept other recommendations :lol:




Both responses were very helpful, Brandon described the pros and cons of each puzzle, all down to the assembly difficulty, turning quality, and the challenges they present as a solve. Konrad gave me an insight on his opinions to the puzzles that overlapped between my wishlist and his collection; he also informed me that Burgo has the Master Starminx and Master Curvy Copter so if you're reading this Burgo; chip in :lol:


I think I can scratch the Helicopter Skewb, and possibly the Helimate off of the list for one reason. They're simply TOO hard! I had extreme difficulties solving my ETO, not to say I don't like a challenge, but the jumbling presented by those two puzzles scare me... A lot! That being said, I do have Luke's Curvy Copter Skewb coming my way soon.

Konrad asked me to specify my criteria, and I thought to myself I needed to lay down some foundations to base my decisions off of.

Konrad wrote:
Maybe, you can clarify your own criteria first, like
- especially hard challenge to solve
- easy or challenging assembly
- good ratio between price and challenge
- beauty of the puzzle
- stability
- good turning
- Do you like jumbling as an additional challenge?


- especially hard challenge to solve
As stated above, I do enjoy a challenge because when I do get the puzzle solved it is extremely satisfying! I haven't had my ETO scrambled in a while, the fear it brings me :lol: The reason I think this puzzle scares me is the fact it's possible for me to solve it up until a point where it is unsolvable and I have to start over. For this reason (though it sounds silly because I'm complaining about the difficulty of a much easier puzzle) the Multidodecahedron really attracts me, as well as the Master Starminx and the Curvy Copter Plus.

- easy or challenging assembly
In the beginning I was worried about assembling shapeways puzzles, but I'm not anymore. This was why I had ordered my Curvy Copter Skewb assembled from Luke. David Pitcher's Fully Functional Siamese 2x2x2 was ridiculously easy to assemble, I was very happy :lol:. However, I seem to highly enjoy assembling puzzles! When I bought my ETO from Eric Vergo it had arrived scrambled, so I nervously disassembled it and re-assembled it solved. It was not difficult, but the hardest thing I have ever assembled; but I loved it :twisted:

- good ratio between price and challenge
The price is very important! Especially in this case, if the puzzle is cheap, I can get more of course! :lol: Though the quality of the puzzle, turning and solving wise matters too. I think the P:C (price to challenge) ratio on Pitcher's FF Siamese 2x2x2 to be excellent, I've always wanted a fully functional siamese cube since the day I first saw a siamese 3x3x3 on youtube! Figuring out to solve this was extremely fun and the overall P:C was very good in my opinion, same goes for the ETO.

- beauty of the puzzle
Appearance does matter to me, here are some aesthetic aspects of puzzles which attract me:

1. Not being pillowed
2. Either only straight cuts, or a combination of straight and curvy. Though there are few exceptions.
3. Symmetry within the cuts, they just make the puzzle look lovely

- stability
As much as stability helps, I'm not that fussy unless the price is high. Then I do want a stable puzzle, e.g The FF Siamese 2x2x2 is a fantastic puzzle, is relatively unstable but I love it all the same, the price and the solving challenge outweigh the stability issues in this case, I even asked David if he could design something (Hasn't been made before).

- good turning
Turning quality is very important, obviously the better it is the better; not much else to say :lol:

- Do you like jumbling as an additional challenge?
Finally jumbling; I enjoy the part of the jumbling solves where you get the puzzle back to its original shape, though the rest of the puzzle solving can confuse me a bit due to orbits changing. Strangely enough; it was the jumbling that attracted me so much to the Helimate and Luke's Curvy Copter Skewb! :lol:


I've realized I love completing sets; though he was probably joking, Greg said somewhere he'd design a Helimate with curved cuts on the edge turns, so it was analogous to the CCS, that thought made me really desire the Helimate even though it wasn't the curved cut variety I was dreaming after! If you look here ypu can see how I desired the FTD "set". I do like fsce turning dodecahedron, and am attracted to edge turning cubes.


Okay, it's getting late here, I'm getting tired and I'm starting to just ramble on, so great apologies if you've read all of that! :lol:

Absolutely and mini reviews or statements about any shapeways puzzles you own would be greatly appreciated, whether or not they fit my criteria above, as there are some exceptions!

P.S. Cuboids seem to be quite repetitive to me and the only one I have my eye on is the 3x5x7 (The combination of straight and curved cuts is very attractive to me, and will be my first "Ultimate Shape-Shifter")

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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Personally, if I had to choose only one puzzle, I'd go for one of Oskar's puzzle's, if only for their ingenuity and "wow" factor. Choose one that is:

1) Well designed - robust, smooth, reliable and fully functional (no semi-functional prototypes).
2) Entertaining - has great solving complexity vs apparent simplicity (much harder to solve than it looks, and looks much easier than it is to solve); and
3) Ingenious - has some clever, surprising and unique property that defies logic and expectations (amaze your friends with unexpected behaviour).

Among my favorites are: dumbell cube/skewb, mix-up cube, irreversible cube, twisty tree.

The only other thing I can say is that most of the "simple" symmetric puzzles you listed are likely to be mass produced at some point (sadly without inventor permission), so choose something unique that will never be mass produced, otherwise you're just paying custom prices for something that will eventually become commodity (most likey with better quality).

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If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done - Thomas Jefferson


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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
I have trouble deciding which puzzles I want which is why I have the tendency to buy them all :lol:

Since you have Luke's CCS I think you're reading for the jumbling of at least:

  • TomZ's Helicopter Skewb
  • TomZ's Unbandaged Helicopter Skewb
  • TomZ's Curvy Copter Plus
  • Will's Curvy Copter + 3x3x3
  • Eric Vergo's Unbandaged Helicopter Cube
  • Eitan's ETO
  • David Pitcher's FTRD
  • Greg's Helimate

They all have very similar jumbling. The the Skewb cuts split the edge centers on the CCS which is the same thing that happens on the Helimate and other Skewb + edge turners. The unbandaging of the Helicopter Cube cuts does add some challenge but it turns out to not be a very big deal but certainly adds a lot of jumbling fun.

Eitan's Master Curvy Copter is a great puzzle, it turns well, and it offers somewhat unique jumbling. In my opinion it's no harder than the jumbling in the above list but dealing with that slice layer does take some neat tricks. I "pair up" the jumbling of the outer and inner layers to form blocks and then I unjumble the blocks in pairs.

If you want some other jumbling experience, Oskar has some crazy puzzles for that and of course there is the Split Jing's Pyraminx which is exceptionally difficult to unjumble (for me at least).


I have nothing but good things to say about:
  • Eric Vergo's Master Starminx
  • TomZ's Multidodecahedron

I like the Multidodecahedron more but I find the Master Starminx more fun to solve.

I should mention that of all of these puzzles, Eric's Unbandaged Helicopter Cube is only $80 and it offers one of the best fun / price ratios of any puzzle.

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Prior to using my real name I posted under the account named bmenrigh.


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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am
Location: Australia
Hi Jack,

I made a thread once about my SW collection. It has grown considerably since then, I have quite a number of puzzles still half built, and some recently ordered. I have found myself with some expertise by accident, Brandon is the real expert here when it comes to comparing many different puzzles and he's always very helpful. You would not be disappointed with Tom’s Multidodecahedron, Eric’s Master Starminx or Eitan’s Master Curvy Copter, all are brilliant in all respects.

What I would say is that the Master Starminx is perhaps physically a little small, and that makes for some very small stickers and a tiny bit of catchiness (but it’s still easily playable). It’s the size of a Mefferts Dodecahedron like the Pyraminx Crystal or the Skewb Ultimate (same size as the Multidodecahedron too), if it were the size of one of the MF8 Dodecahedrons like the Starminx or Bauhinia, I think that would make all the difference and it would be worth the extra cost (for me anyway, because I love it so much).

I haven’t got Tom’s Curvy Copter Plus, it’s one of the original heli-mods, and a really cool puzzle. One thing I would say about designs based on the helicopter cube is that there are a lot of really desirable and really difficult SW puzzles based on it’s mechanism. So many that, it’s easy to suffer a bit of helicopter fatigue. All I mean by that is, that we’re a bit spoiled for choice with versions of the helicopter cube, and making an elegant choice like Tom’s CC Plus wouldn’t be one you’d regret.

I’m a bit of a Pitcher fan, and you mentioned that bang for your buck was important, because you could get more puzzles. This is very true of his puzzles. Why don’t you try the Fracture-6? I just ordered the Octocube and the Fractured Tetrahedron. The FTRD is a nice puzzle, but it’s a bit easy when you consider the bang for your buck that some of the other puzzles in his range will give you.

On top of that there have been some really cool hybrid mods lately to consider, Gus has a number of them. I just bought his Ultramorphix and Daniel’s Rhombic Dodecahedron Master Skewb and I’m really looking forward to both of them.

Cheers,
Burgo.

_________________
1st 3x3 solve Oct 2010 (Even though I lived through the 80s).
PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
1st 3x3 Earth (nemesis) solve Jan 2011 My You Tube (Now has ALLCrazy 3X3 Planets with Reduction)


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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am
Location: Germany, Bavaria
I want to share here my PM response to Jack for the benefit of other readers:
Quote:
Yes, I have got a few Shapeways puzzles (currently 30 out of 65 custom made puzzles).
Here is a link to my custom made puzzles.
We have an overlap of four only between your wishlist and my collection:
- FTRD by David Pitcher
- Multi Dodecahedron by TomZ
- Pentultimate by TomZ
- Helicopter Skewb by TomZ

Naturally, I can talk about puzzles only that I own myself.
The other five look pretty impressive, too.
- Helimate
- Master Starminx
- ETRT
- Curvy Copter Plus
- Master Curvy Copter
If I recollect correctly, Burgo has got the Master Starminx and the Master Curvy Copter.

I find it always difficult to give an advice without knowing from where you come.
You have got Luke's Curvy Copter Skewb, right?
How do you like it?
How do you feel about assembly, solving challenge, jumbling, beauty ...?

Maybe, you can clarify your own criteria first, like
- especially hard challenge to solve
- easy or challenging assembly
- good ratio between price and challenge
- beauty of the puzzle
- stability
- good turning
- Do you like jumbling as an additional challenge?

To come back to the overlap of four:
The Multi-D would be my favourite.
It turns incredibly well and is completely stable.
I'm talking about my sample. On the other hand, Burgo had extreme problems to get a reasonably turning puzzle.
Mine was excellent, without a lot of breaking in and without any lubrication.
To solve the inner Megaminx you need good lighting AND good eyes.
It's really dark inside.

I would NOT recommend the Helicopter Skewb, unless you are a jumbling freak.
Without jumbling it is easy, jumbling is really hard to unjumble. I gave up and disassembled it

The Pentultimate with edge lenght 30 mm (do not go for the Mini version) is very good. But if you get the Multi-D, you have got the challenge of the Pentultimate already.

If you do not like the inner Megaminx of the Multi-D, I would recommend Eric Vergo's Pillowed Master Pentultimate.

The FTRD is really a good puzzle, but in my case assembly, breaking in and lubrication was done by Burgo.
You may have seen our common review.
The challenge cannot be compared with the Multi-D, the FTRD is much easier.

So, maybe, you should post your question on the forum?
At least you can ask others (e.g. Burgo) like me.

Good luck!

Konrad :)
EDIT: Regarding my comment about Burgo's Multi-D above, please, find Burgo's post below.
That's exactly what I wanted to express: Most times you are lucky getting a good print, in some cases not.
Whenever I had a problem in the past, Shapeways helped in a perfect way.
My Multi Dodecahedron is just awesome :D
I'm not sure if there are plans to get it mass-produced.

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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am
Location: Australia
Konrad wrote:
The Multi-D would be my favourite.
It turns incredibly well and is completely stable.
I'm talking about my sample. On the other hand, Burgo had extreme problems to get a reasonably turning puzzle.
Mine was excellent, without a lot of breaking in and without any lubrication.
I just want to clarify this comment. The problems I had were with Shapeways misprints and not Tom's design; this could happen with any SW print. When SW replaced the model and I got a good print, the assembly was easy and the turning was fantastic. Just in case there is any misinterpretations :) .

Cheers,
Burgo.

_________________
1st 3x3 solve Oct 2010 (Even though I lived through the 80s).
PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
1st 3x3 Earth (nemesis) solve Jan 2011 My You Tube (Now has ALLCrazy 3X3 Planets with Reduction)


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 Post subject: Re: Which shapeways puzzle do you recommend?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:01 am
I appreciate all these responses; I'll probably be getting Eric's Unbandaged Helicopter Cube :D Because this is cheap I'll probably be able to get another 1 or 2 more puzzles :D I've got 7-8 months to decide :lol:

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