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 Post subject: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:01 am 
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Buy a 3x3x3 Dino Cube from my custom puzzle shop - from $210

I have made some changes to my original Dino 3x3x3 design to make it turn better. I increased the tolerances and added magnets for stabilization. The result is what is one of my best puzzles yet. The turning is very smooth with a satisfying click after each turn.

These two photos show the two types of available turns and also show the magnets that are under every corner and on the sides of every edge.
Image
Image

Showing how the puzzle gets scrambled. It actually isn't very difficult to solve as there's a quite obvious 3-cycle for the tip pieces, but it's still a nice challenge finding the set-up moves and avoiding a nasty parity where just two tips are swapped.
Image
Image

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Buy a 3x3x3 Dino Cube from my custom puzzle shop - from $210

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Last edited by TomZ on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:04 am 
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Looks great, Tom. Well done!


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:14 am 
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I was wondering if you would try this after your first version. Just like Drew, who proved it to be best on the SuperX already.
I must say I too think that this is one of your best puzzles so far.
It's perfect!

Btw, there is still someting I don't understand about how to use magnets. You used actual magnets everywhere right? and sometimes I suppose they reject each other don't they?. When I watched Tony Fisher's video of his taking apart the Magnet-corner Master Skewb, it seemed that sometimes when he had pieces removed other pieces would jump out by themselves.
So did they or can one figure out a way to place the magnets without ever having equal polarities opposite of each other?

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:21 am 
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Basically, all magnets on the corners have one polarity facing out. Then all the tips have the other polarity facing towards the corners. For the edges, same thing; they have one polarity facing out, the polarity on the edge side of the tips is the opposite.
So no, it's impossible to get in to a state where they would reject each other. And even if they would, the mechanism would prevent the pieces from popping out.

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Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
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- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:00 am 
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Oh, yes. I get it. Obviously if the different types of pieces always get one polarity to face out and the others get the other one it will always work. Obviously an edgespiece is not going to be next to an edgepiece ever. :oops:
So there are 96 magnets in there right? That's quite many. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:04 am 
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Excellent stuff there Tom. I really like it. Looks like a fun puzzle too!

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Wow Tom! This puzzle seems to be much more stable than the first. Very nice! Mass production seems to be in your future! (Thats what your fortune cookie would say)

Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:44 pm 
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This is one fantastic puzzle, much improved with the addition of magnets. Thank you for showing the comparison in the video. I am always so amazed at the quality of every puzzle you produce. You have WSF-puzzle-designing down to a T.

Could you give us some tips on how you get such beautifully clear photos of your puzzles? The lighting and the focus never seems right in my pictures. And how do you get the background to match the background of the forum so well? I have tried to take pictures against a white background, and due to shadows, it never quite blends in well. Thanks.

-π (Eitan)

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:53 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
Could you give us some tips on how you get such beautifully clear photos of your puzzles? The lighting and the focus never seems right in my pictures. And how do you get the background to match the background of the forum so well? I have tried to take pictures against a white background, and due to shadows, it never quite blends in well. Thanks.

-π (Eitan)



I'm pretty sure the answer is photoshop.



On another note, great puzzle Tom, I'm glad to see the magnets worked out so well. It's a good thing that the magnets were not 2.5 times as strong :P

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:39 pm 
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I'm glad someone finally commented on my photography. I spend quite some time on it. I've attached the raw (albeit, slightly resized) picture of the Dino 3x3x3 that was edited in to the main picture.

First off, I actually don't have an expensive camera. I use the €100 Sanyo VPC-CG10, which is also my video recorder.
The single most important feature is focusing. I can manually control the focus (1cm, 2cm, 5cm, 10cm, 15cm, 20cm, 30cm, 50cm) but often I just use the autofocus (macro mode!). If your camera does not have adjustable focus, in my view it's worthless.

Getting the background to be perfect is very much an editing task. You need to take your pictures against a white background (regular paper is perfect) and then edit it to pure white.
If you have hard shadows you can forget it. The best way to avoid shadows is to take your pictures when there's a lot of sun, but avoid direct sunlight. If you absolutely must use artificial light, diffuse it using a paper sheet. Never use flash (unless you have really fancy equipment, but then you shouldn't be reading this).

Having a stand for your camera is pretty crucial. You can't take good pictures holding the camera in your hand. If you don't have a stand, put the camera down on some books to stabilize it (you can use your hands to hold it at the right angle) but a basic tripod can be had really cheap from China and helps a lot (don't get the flexible legs type, a real one please).

I have a cheap €20 photo studio with two lights. The lights originally were crap and broke within 2 days, but I replaced them (for the cost of the entire kit, lol) and now they're fine. It's not ideal, but it works for me. Here is a picture of it.
Attachment:
File comment: This is my photo studio
photostudio.jpg
photostudio.jpg [ 115.75 KiB | Viewed 4804 times ]

This is really nice since I can take pictures at any time of day, but if you have enough sunlight you can do the job with a single piece of paper (this is how I did it for the entire length of 2010). Your background should not have any creases or folds in it!

A neat feature of my camera is that you can set white balance by shooting a white scene. I just start with my empty studio, set the white balance, put in the puzzle, adjust focus and move the lights in to position and shoot away. Then I optimize contrast/brightness on my computer before removing the background and replacing it with pure white. Occasionally, I will remove scratches from the stickers.


Attachments:
File comment: This picture was edited to the picture you see in the main post
3x3x3 dino raw.jpg
3x3x3 dino raw.jpg [ 206.8 KiB | Viewed 4804 times ]

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Tom's Shapeways Puzzle Shop - your order from my shop includes free stickers!
Tom's Puzzle Website


Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34
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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Thanks for all the info! I'm definitely bookmarking this thread for future reference.

-Eitan

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Very nice puzzle and I love the satisfying click at the end of ever turn. Great Job.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:39 pm 
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Out of curiosity do the magnets on the 3x3 cuts affect the squishy parts at all? The click looks really nice for the dino cuts, but I would prefer the 3x3 cuts without them.


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:00 am 
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Yes, the magnets on the 3x3x3 cuts really do affect the squishy parts - each of the squishy parts has two magnets, one that goes to the corner (dino turn) and one that goes to the edge (3x3x3 turn). Each to his own, but the clicking is really nice. The magnets I used are way weaker than those used on the SuperX, by the way.

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Tom's Shapeways Puzzle Shop - your order from my shop includes free stickers!
Tom's Puzzle Website


Buy my mass produced puzzles at Mefferts:
- 4x4x6 Cuboid for just $38
- Curvy Copter for just $18
- 3x4x5 Cuboid for just $34


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:33 am 
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just for reference, the light box you showed in your studio is called a light tent, you can buy one or better build your own as described here. I too think your pics are almost as good as your puzzles!


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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:16 am 
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There are puzzles I have been in love with at the first glance. The Dino 3x3x3 is one of them.
Last Thursday it has arrived with three others from TomZ (Review for number four to be expected soon, but I have to wait for Tom until he is back from vacation. Just teasing again :) )
The Dino 3x3x3 is perfect. It is my first puzzle with magnets, ever. I like the smooth clicking, it is not noisy as on other puzzles like the Skewb Ultimate. It is just satisfying, how all pieces click into place after a turn.
It turns quite a bit better than its (not so) little brother the Super-X.

Image

I like to play with it, because it is not trivial (not a Dino solve :lol: ) and not too hard. When I had seen the "parity" situation above, I was surprised. :o

Has anybody done the calculation how many permutations the Dino 3x3x3 has?

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:29 am 
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Konrad wrote:
I like to play with it, because it is not trivial (not a Dino solve :lol: ) and not too hard. When I had seen the "parity" situation above, I was surprised. :o

Has anybody done the calculation how many permutations the Dino 3x3x3 has?


Hi Konrad, thank you for sharing all the great puzzles you buy with such good pictures. What you have shown in the image above is not a parity because the three constituent wedges that make up a corner are still in an even permutation. Using Gelatinbrain's 3.4.5, here is a 10-move sequence to solve that twisted corner group: [DFR, BDR, LUF, UBR', D'2, UBR, D'2, LUF', BDR', DFR'] It's just a [1:[1:[1:[1,1]]]] sequence.

I had to figure out all of the restrictions for the Dino 3x3x3 because it does have two nasty parity cases and resolving them is a real brain teaser without understanding how they occur. I don't have time right now but perhaps later today I'll use my list of parity restrictions to actually do a full permutation calculation.

The two parity cases on the Dino 3x3x3 are two 3x3x3 edges swapped but everything else solved or two wedges swapped but everything else solved. Both are possible because the center groups of 4 triangles can be in any permutation.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:29 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
Konrad wrote:
...When I had seen the "parity" situation above, I was surprised. ...
Hi Konrad, thank you for sharing all the great puzzles you buy with such good pictures.
Thanks Brandon!
bmenrigh wrote:
What you have shown in the image above is not a parity because the three constituent wedges that make up a corner are still in an even permutation.
Yeah, I know, that is why I have used "parity" meaning something that looks seemingly like a possible parity, but is not. I could solve this and a real parity case too, just by rearranging the corner tips. (I'm not familiar with the word 'wedge'. Does it not contain 'edge', something like an edge made of several pieces?)
bmenrigh wrote:
Using Gelatinbrain's 3.4.5, here is a 10-move sequence to solve that twisted corner group: [DFR, BDR, LUF, UBR', D'2, UBR, D'2, LUF', BDR', DFR'] It's just a [1:[1:[1:[1,1]]]] sequence.
This is much more elegant than how I made the 3-cycle of the corner tips. :) The many brackets really help to understand it better.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
I'm not familiar with the word 'wedge'.


'Wedge' means the wing edge, or in this case the three parts that make up the 3x3x3 corner (excusing the internal piece).

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3x3x3 average of five: 8.92 seconds.
3x3x3 average of twelve: 9.77 seconds.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:29 pm 
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Konrad wrote:
Has anybody done the calculation how many permutations the Dino 3x3x3 has?


The Dino 3x3x3 acts very much like a Rubik's 4x4x4 in that the centers aren't fixed which allows for Void-cube like parities. The 12 3x3x3 edges and the 24 wedges can both be in even and odd permutations independent of each other.

There are 24 center triangles in 6 indistinguishable groups of 4: 24! / (4! ^ 6)
There are 24 wedges that can be in even and odd permutations: 24!
There are 12 edges that can be in even and odd permutations: 12!
The overall orientation of the edges is even: 2 ^ 12 / 2
The orientation of the puzzle doesn't matter: 1 / 24

So in total, the number of unique permutations of the Dino 3x3x3 should be:
(24! / (4! ^ 6)) * (24!) * (12!) * ((2 ^ 12) / 2) * (1 / 24)
= 82337857998406967567665969904940188958720000000000

This is a factor of 1903677327403007257221120000000 more than the Rubik's cube or about a factor of 11125 more than the Rubik's 4x4x4.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:38 am 
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This is simply fabulous!

For the lighting i was just thinking on doing something as you! Thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:34 am 
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bmenrigh wrote:
...

So in total, the number of unique permutations of the Dino 3x3x3 should be:
(24! / (4! ^ 6)) * (24!) * (12!) * ((2 ^ 12) / 2) * (1 / 24)
= 82337857998406967567665969904940188958720000000000

This is a factor of 1903677327403007257221120000000 more than the Rubik's cube or about a factor of 11125 more than the Rubik's 4x4x4.
Thanks, Brandon, for the calculation!
Wow, that's a lot. Here is one of the
82,337,857,998,406,967,567,665,969,904,940,188,958,720,000,000,000 ~ 82 * 10^48 permutations
Image

Mrmax wrote:
...For the lighting i was just thinking on doing something as you! ...
yesterday, I have ordered a light tent from Amazon. So far, my own pictures are either made in clear daylight or with flashlight. I'm using Tom's idea to melt them with the background, very often. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:59 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
I'm glad someone finally commented on my photography. I spend quite some time on it.
I too am a big fan of your puzzles AND your photography. This site needs a puzzle photography thread and I suspect there are a few but I have a few questions not directed at the photography so much as the editing afterwards.
TomZ wrote:
Getting the background to be perfect is very much an editing task. You need to take your pictures against a white background (regular paper is perfect) and then edit it to pure white.

TomZ wrote:
Then I optimize contrast/brightness on my computer before removing the background and replacing it with pure white. Occasionally, I will remove scratches from the stickers.

Its this editing, optimizing, and removing that gets me. I think I can take a good picture in the right light but I'm far from an expert with photoshop or photoshop-like-software. Any chance you (or anyone) could make a video tutorial of these steps as they apply to puzzle photography?

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:35 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Its this editing, optimizing, and removing that gets me. I think I can take a good picture in the right light but I'm far from an expert with photoshop or photoshop-like-software. Any chance you (or anyone) could make a video tutorial of these steps as they apply to puzzle photography?l
This sounds like a good idea. I do some picture editing for the puzzle museum and I could pass on some hints and tips. I´m on holiday at the moment, so my contribution will have to wait for 1 week or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Dino 3x3x3 Cube V2
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:00 am 
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I want to improve my parity handling of this puzzle.
I assume that there are much more people who have solved it on Gelatinbrain than owners of the physical puzzle. Therefore, I have posted there.
Everybody who can contribute, is invited here as well :)
Thanks!

EDIT: Here are the two parity situations I'm talking about;
Image
All invisible pieces are correct.

At the same time, this is the first usage of my new light tent :D

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