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 Post subject: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:26 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
This is my latest puzzle, a Cross Cube. I understand that this has been built before, but my version cuts the outer layers in half, creating a more pleasing puzzle to look at, and unfortunately, a puzzle that's harder to turn. That's alright though, because it turns really well, and the smaller outer layers only make it slightly more difficult to grip, and I think the decision to make them smaller was the right one in the end. The 3x3x3 functionality of the cube is amazing, and it cuts corners beautifully. Unfortunately my design had one flaw and that is that the feet holding in the outer layer corners are too thin, and thus turning the regular 3x3 part of the cube without proper alignment can snap the corners. Other than that I couldn't be more pleased with the puzzle.

I used Alumilite white for the majority of the puzzle. Just before the end I ran out, and thank god I did because I hate the stuff. It takes nearly 15 minutes just to be hard enough to touch, and about 20 before you can demold without horribly squishing the parts. Luckily, I found out that there is a Smooth-On dealer in the Boston area, which basically sells any and every product made by Smooth-On. So I went over there and found the gallon kit of Smooth-Cast 300Q. Let me say that this will be my new resin of choice from now on. It has a pot-life of 30 seconds, and can be demolded in 4 minutes, and believe it or not, it is whiter than Alumilite White! I couldn't believe it either. With this resin, I could make as many parts as I could with Alumilite White in about an 1/4 of the time. The resin is also way cheaper than the Alumilite, and is only $80 for the gallon kit. I highly recommend trying it as an alternative to Alumilite White.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAd9Rx0he4

Anyways, enjoy the photos! Let me know if there are any problems with them, it's my first time with photobucket. :D

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Last edited by Ryan Thompson on Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:34 pm 
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Wow that look good!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:46 pm 
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At first glance, I thought it was simply extended. This is a great puzzle! VERY nice job!!


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:49 pm 
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Man, i actually had an idea much like this, except the 2x2 version. Great execution, and i like that the extended layers are only half the thickness of a cubie. looks a lot easier to handle.

-CC10

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:52 pm 
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Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Oooooooh.

Envy.

Did you handmake the masters, or print them?


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Wow very clean build. At first I also thought they were just extensions and then I saw that they actually turn independently. Great work! :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:03 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA
Looks really clean! I like the look of it, it's really aesthetically pleasing!

I'm in the Boston area as well, and I'll give that Smooth-Cast 300Q stuff a try when I run out of resin!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:04 pm 
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I had an idea just like this, didn't plan on making it though. I suppose its a lot like a 3x3x3 babyface.
Heve some more plans i might implament though. I'm surprised that the feet didn't weaken the corners a lot.
Massive pictures btw ; )


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:15 pm 
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Nice puzzle.
May I suggest changing the name slightly to avoid confusion. "Shallow Cross Cube" or "Short Cross Cube" perhaps.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:06 pm 
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Great work! This is a very clean looking puzzle. And I will definitely be looking into the smooth-on stuff. That it's cheaper and whiter is great, but no shipping would be even better! Do you get a pump for the bottles like the Alumilite stuff?


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:19 pm 
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I'm also wondering if you get pumps. They make everything so much easier...and I would for sure get a gallon kit of this if it does have pumps.

Is it 1 gallon for the whole kit or only 1 part? I know the Alumilite kind is 1 gallon per jug, for a total of 2 gallons of plastic. Its A LOT. I still have a full gallon left, and I bought it over the summer.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Ok, I deserve this post. The other day me and Drew met in Boston for lunch and to play with puzzles. While I was on the T on my way into boston, I thought to myself... "Hey, doesn't Ryan Thompson live in Boston?" But i didn't have access to a computer and i didn't know your phone number! I was kicking myself that day for not realizing that you lived in Boston, and now i'm kicking myself some more because you just made a new awesome puzzle.

Fantastic work, and sorry for not remembering you lived in boston until it was to late :( Next time i'm up in boston i'll let you know.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:30 pm 
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After some thought and a smack in the head from Calzone, I realize- 30 seconds is a ridiculously short pot life. But after looking at their web site, there are other versions of the 300, as well as 305 which have longer pot life. I don't mind the longer potlife of the alumilite, but the price- ~$150 when I include shipping. I can drive to Smooth-On.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:31 pm 
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You are right about the pot life, I had trouble getting Regular Alumilite in the mold on time and it has 90 seconds pot life! I will definitely try the 300 though.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:16 pm 
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The kit unfortunately does not have pumps, and I have no idea if they are available. Maybe alumilite's will fit it, I'm not sure. As far As I can tell, the kit is one gallon part A, one gallon part B, for a total of 2 gallons. They seem way too big to be any less. Scott it's fine you didn't remember I lived in Boston. We can meet up some other time. But I would definately give it a try, I mean the 30 seconds isnt the time it takes for it to bloom/flash, but rather the working time I guess. After 30 seconds or so it begins to thicken slightly, before finally snap curing. I was able to fill 2 or 3 molds pretty easily with one mix.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:34 pm 
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I'm glad you mentioned that. It's 1 gallon, not 2. I have a 1-gallon kit of oomoo, and it's 1 gallon total, not each part.
That makes the alumilite cheaper actually, even with the shipping.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:59 pm 
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Very clean and amazing looking puzzle! Great job!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:59 pm 
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Looks great! and very nice pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Looks amazing! Nice job. :)


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:07 pm 
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I love it!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:32 am 
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Calzone wrote:
At first glance, I thought it was simply extended. This is a great puzzle! VERY nice job!!

That's what I thought and what I say after reading Calzone's post.
I'm afraid I didn't pay attention during my first look at the cube.
Refreshing new idea.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:40 am 
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Georges wrote:
Calzone wrote:
At first glance, I thought it was simply extended. This is a great puzzle! VERY nice job!!

That's what I thought and what I say after reading Calzone's post.
I'm afraid I didn't pay attention during my first look at the cube.
Refreshing new idea.


When I saw it I said to myself "There is no way that Ryan just extended this" and my thoughts were correct!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:43 am 
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pierce wrote:
When I saw it I said to myself "There is no way that Ryan just extended this" and my thoughts were correct!

It's nice to know we can count on you to always be right.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:45 am 
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Calzone wrote:
pierce wrote:
When I saw it I said to myself "There is no way that Ryan just extended this" and my thoughts were correct!

It's nice to know we can count on you to always be right.


Come on man seriously!? Im not trying to look smarter than you guys, I am most definitley not

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:14 am 
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I love it! When I first saw it I thought it was glued on but since its fully functional I'm Ecstatic!!!

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:46 am 
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It looks excellent and superbly clean. Nothing to me looks better than a cleanly built shiny white puzzle. Great job! You said you ran out of white alumilite halfway through building, can you spot the color differences between the smooth-on pieces and alumilite ones? I tried to spot some but the whiteness looks uniform all around.

I'm also trying to imagine how one might go about solving this beast. I'd love to get my hands on one and try it out.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:52 am 
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PaulWozniak wrote:
It looks excellent and superbly clean. Nothing to me looks better than a cleanly built shiny white puzzle. Great job! You said you ran out of white alumilite halfway through building, can you spot the color differences between the smooth-on pieces and alumilite ones? I tried to spot some but the whiteness looks uniform all around.

I'm also trying to imagine how one might go about solving this beast. I'd love to get my hands on one and try it out.
solve like 5x5 centers?


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:01 am 
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eye2eye wrote:
Quote:
solve like 5x5 centers?


Wouldn't the edge colors have an effect on that? You can have all the same color in the center, but the sides might not match. Or am I missing something?

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:02 am 
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PaulWozniak wrote:
eye2eye wrote:
solve like 5x5 centers?


Wouldn't the edge colors have an effect on that? You can have all the same color in the center, but the sides might not match. Or am I missing something?



You solve like supercube 5x5 centers (unless I am wrong and there is more to it)

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:19 am 
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Great puzzle!

PotatoSpades22095 wrote:
PaulWozniak wrote:
eye2eye wrote:
solve like 5x5 centers?


Wouldn't the edge colors have an effect on that? You can have all the same color in the center, but the sides might not match. Or am I missing something?


You solve like supercube 5x5 centers (unless I am wrong and there is more to it)

Nope, that's it.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:25 am 
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Yeah, this solves just like 5x5 centers. I really like this build, though. It looks very professional and clean, and I totally agree that the thinner outer layers would make it much more pleasing to hold and much easier to play with. Very nice job.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:26 am 
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Is it just me or are the pictures huge?

Anyway, this is one of my favorite 3x3 mods and it was done perfectly. Nice job.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:34 am 
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How clean is that beast!

I'm guessing you've used 3x3x5 like extensions on all sides? If so, WOW! I'd never be able to get it that smooth :P Well done.


(If you kept the added layers the same size as the original cube, and cut any at them, you could build a 5x5 from a 3x3, right?)


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:54 am 
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Very nice looking puzzle, congratulations. Love it.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:22 am 
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Mechanism Pictures:

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(Above) Smooth-Cast 300Q Left, Alumilite White Right

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:41 am 
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:shock: wow great pictures! I'd love to build one of these for myself one day :) Everything is perfect! Great work

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:59 am 
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DragonCuber wrote:
(If you kept the added layers the same size as the original cube, and cut any at them, you could build a 5x5 from a 3x3, right?)


"cut any at them"? Anyway, what you're missing for a 5x5x5 is edges and corners. You could technically add them in with some more feet thingies -- but I don't think it would be a better cube than even the Rubik's mechanism, let alone the EastSheen.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:06 pm 
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Sorry, my typing isn't as good as it used to be as I have a very bad wrist, I meant that if you cut certain things away at this puzzle and added a few extra pieces, in principle you could make a 5x5. You're right in saying it wouldn't be as good as eastsheen but it could be done as proof of concept I guess.


But if I my stray back on topic :P Those mech pictures are insane! I can't believe how simple and yet how complex the puzzle is :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:05 pm 
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I also forgot to mention, last night I timed a test batch of Smooth-Cast 300Q to see how long it took to snap cure. I started timing at the point when I combined the two sides, and then stirred and poured and waited. It took 1 minute 34 seconds to start flashing white in the center of the pieces. This is plenty long enough for me, considering I had the resin mixed and in the mold before 20 seconds had even passed. Anyways, just thought I would let you know how long it took exactly for the resin to snap. :D


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Thanks Ryan, that's helpful to know.
[edit]: Calzone confirmed with Smooth-on, it is 2-gallons, 1 gallon per part. The only drawback is there are no pumps.


Last edited by flambore on Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:44 pm 
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I wonder what would happen if you made the edges and corners of the extra edges not just halfthickness, but half width as well -- this'd allow you to have the inner 3x3 visible, which would make the solving more challenging. Esthetically you should probably raise the centers a halflevel again.


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:11 pm 
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How about adding another layer onto each side? I mean, they are half width, so... :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:16 pm 
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coastercrazy10 wrote:
Man, i actually had an idea much like this, except the 2x2 version. Great execution, and i like that the extended layers are only half the thickness of a cubie. looks a lot easier to handle.

-CC10


I've been wanting to do that for a while too...
Sigh... so many ideas... so little time

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:09 pm 
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I didn't look at this closely before.. as most people, I thought it was just a shallow cosmetic extension.
well done, this is a great puzzle with fantastic build quality.

i really like how nicely you could use it as a 3x3x3 by just not turning the faces.
(i love my 4x4x4 for the reason that it can so nicely can 'become' a 2x2x2 or 3x3x3)

Your puzzle's resemblance to a 3x3x3 kind of makes it look much more inviting and less scary than a regular 5x5x5 :P'


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:04 pm 
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this might be a stupid question but how does one go about molding a piece like this? im guessing theres a template of some sort but where do you start?

-Garrett


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:23 am 
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trackrunner wrote:
this might be a stupid question but how does one go about molding a piece like this? im guessing theres a template of some sort but where do you start?


After some more thinking about my and your post, I'm not sure if I fully understood your question.

You start by drawing up the custom pieces you need in CAD, and then you have them 3D printed. Making this by hand is possible, but it is not a really efficient way to do it. To reduce the cost, some people print only one of each piece and then use casting techniques to duplicate them.

If you want to ask where you make the parting line or so, you make it so that there are as little undercuts as possible.

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Last edited by TomZ on Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Cross Cube
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:45 am 
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Calzone wrote:
At first glance, I thought it was simply extended. This is a great puzzle! VERY nice job!!



LOL good point.

From my point of view, this puzzle seems like an extended and truncated octahedron?!?!? :P
Great job on making this puzzle.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:48 am 
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Wow! Beautiful puzzle, I'd love to try solving it :D
Congratulations! Great job!


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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:50 am 
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just solve super 5x5 centers :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: New Puzzle: Shallow Cross Cube
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:58 am 
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trackrunner wrote:
After some more thinking about my and your post, I'm not sure if I fully understood your question.

You start by drawing up the custom pieces you need in CAD, and then you have them 3D printed. Making this by hand is possible, but it is not a really efficient way to do it. To reduce the cost, some people print only one of each piece and then use casting techniques to duplicate them.

If you want to ask where you make the parting line or so, you make it so that there are as little undercuts as possible.
trackrunner wrote:
this might be a stupid question but how does one go about molding a piece like this? im guessing theres a template of some sort but where do you start?


After some more thinking about my and your post, I'm not sure if I fully understood your question.

You start by drawing up the custom pieces you need in CAD, and then you have them 3D printed. Making this by hand is possible, but it is not a really efficient way to do it. To reduce the cost, some people print only one of each piece and then use casting techniques to duplicate them.

If you want to ask where you make the parting line or so, you make it so that there are as little undercuts as possible.


haha ok that's what i meant... so he did use a 3d printer for some of it. wow that's amazing! i would really like to do something like this one day...

-Garrett


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