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 Post subject: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:23 am 
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Hi all. I've posted before about having some free 3D printing on a Makerbot 2X through my local university. I've been learning Solidworks over the last month to take advantage. So far, I've been reverse engineering a few puzzles from the forum as practice. I've specifically been looking for puzzles with a small number of pieces and a relatively simple mechanism to build up my skills. I also have to take into consideration the limitations of the Makerbot, so I'm hesitant to try anything super complex.

I'd like some advice on where to go next. Can anyone suggest some more puzzles to reverse engineer? I doubt I'll get to print all of them before they start charging, but I absolutely love learning about mechanisms and designing them in Solidworks, so it's still good practice.

For reference, here's what I've been doing so far:


PRINTED:
- 1x2x4
- Grigr's Bridge Cube [couldn't find this one in the museum??]
- Nightmare Cube
- Little Chop [magnets]


READY TO PRINT:
- 48 Cube [magnets]
- Alex's Black Hole
- FF Siamese 2x2x2
- Pentagonal Domino
- Pentultimate [magnets]
- Square Mixup
- Super Z [magnets]


IN PROGRESS:
- Chopasaurus [magnets] [regular turns ok, can't get jumbling to work]


TRIED AND FAILED:
- Hexagonal Domino
- Face-turning Pyritohedron
- Unbandaged Helicopter Cube [couldn't find this one in the museum??]

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Last edited by themathkid on Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:29 pm 
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I am sorry but I can't say anything about your original question. I had to jump on this comment:
themathkid wrote:
- Unbandaged Helicopter Cube [couldn't find this one in the museum??]
You are right. I think I haven't added it yet because I have no images. I couldn't even trace back when it was presented the first time. Does anybody want to help me?


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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:34 pm 
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I'm curious - was this topic a faux pas? Is it considered rude to reverse engineer another designer? The lack of responses is confusing. There is a severe knowledge gap between designers and non-designers. How is one supposed to move up?

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:23 pm 
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This is definitely a good question for you to ask, but I can't give you much about it. The only thing I can say is that I like looking at other people's designs and trying to generalize them to other solids and/or improve them. I think it feels a lot better to say you came up with something new rather than to say someone else originally made what you just spent all that time on.

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:36 pm 
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themathkid wrote:
I'm curious - was this topic a faux pas? Is it considered rude to reverse engineer another designer? The lack of responses is confusing. There is a severe knowledge gap between designers and non-designers. How is one supposed to move up?
I've openly done it. See the topic of this thread:
http://twistypuzzles.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=26446
As long as you acknowledge the source of the design and modify it's purpose/function I believe all is good. Even if its an exact copy as long as you are just making it for yourself you should be free to reverse engineer about any design I think.

As for what is best to reverse engineer... I'm a firm believer in starting with simplier puzzles before moving into the more complex ones. But I've generally tryed to make my own original mechanisms. There are many simpler puzzles which have yet to be made. The Bubbloid122 puzzle doesn't have too many parts... you are welcome to try that one if you like.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:13 pm 
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I agree with Carl that you're free to make anything you want as long as you're not selling it. Only the original inventor should have the rights to sell.

As for some good puzzles for a Makerbot, you definitely want to stick with simple mechanisms that have larger features and no multiple internal shells. That way the stair-stepping between layers will be less troublesome. Of the puzzles I'm most familiar with (those I've designed), Fracture-10, Edge of Insanity (and Insanity Cubed), QuadStar, and some other "fracture-cut" puzzles would fit the bill.

Most of all, have fun!

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:19 pm 
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themathkid wrote:
TRIED AND FAILED:
- Hexagonal Domino

I'm interested to know what problem came up with this one. What type of mechanism did you try?

Also, this one
themathkid wrote:
Face-turning Pyritohedron
The link leads to the Hexagonal Domino for some reason.

On the question you presented, I feel like it shouldn't be a big problem, given that you stay within personal use when drawing the puzzle up.

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:28 pm 
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NXTgen wrote:
themathkid wrote:
TRIED AND FAILED:
- Hexagonal Domino

I'm interested to know what problem came up with this one. What type of mechanism did you try?


I tried to adapt the spindle domino mechanism. I designed a Pentagonal Domino this way, but the Hexagonal version didn't work. I'm not up to speed on mech terminology, so I don't know how to describe the problem well. I wanted the edge and corner pieces to be proportional. With that restriction, I couldn't anchor the corners to the rest of the puzzle in the same manner as the regular domino and pentagonal version. The corners couldn't "reach" to be in the turning circle / cylinder of both faces.

Here is a picture from the pentagonal version to demonstrate what I mean:
Attachment:
pentagonal domino mech.PNG
pentagonal domino mech.PNG [ 81.54 KiB | Viewed 323 times ]


The circular extrusion just barely touches the corner, allowing the anchor. If the circle can't reach the corner, no anchor. This is the problem I ran into. I worked out on paper that this style mech with proportional pieces would not work for n > 6. The circle will never touch the corners in such a case. I have not attempted another approach yet, however.

NXTgen wrote:
The link leads to the Hexagonal Domino for some reason.

Oops. Fixed!


wwwmwww wrote:
The Bubbloid122 puzzle doesn't have too many parts... you are welcome to try that one if you like.

David Pitcher wrote:
Of the puzzles I'm most familiar with (those I've designed), Fracture-10, Edge of Insanity (and Insanity Cubed), QuadStar, and some other "fracture-cut" puzzles would fit the bill.


Thank you both for the suggestions! This is exactly what I'm looking for!

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:44 pm 
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themathkid wrote:
NXTgen wrote:
themathkid wrote:
TRIED AND FAILED:
- Hexagonal Domino

I'm interested to know what problem came up with this one. What type of mechanism did you try?


I tried to adapt the spindle domino mechanism. I designed a Pentagonal Domino this way, but the Hexagonal version didn't work. I'm not up to speed on mech terminology, so I don't know how to describe the problem well. I wanted the edge and corner pieces to be proportional. With that restriction, I couldn't anchor the corners to the rest of the puzzle in the same manner as the regular domino and pentagonal version. The corners couldn't "reach" to be in the turning circle / cylinder of both faces.

Here is a picture from the pentagonal version to demonstrate what I mean:
Attachment:
pentagonal domino mech.PNG


The circular extrusion just barely touches the corner, allowing the anchor. If the circle can't reach the corner, no anchor. This is the problem I ran into. I worked out on paper that this style mech with proportional pieces would not work for n > 6. The circle will never touch the corners in such a case. I have not attempted another approach yet, however.

NXTgen wrote:
The link leads to the Hexagonal Domino for some reason.

Oops. Fixed!


In regards to the the anchor/stalk of the corner pieces, I actually attempted the method you used (split spindle) after I posted. If it were to be proportional, it would have to be pillowed. Another solution is to use a hidden layer style mechanism like a Russian Domino or a 3x3xE (even layered) puzzle. Another method would be a Reversed V-Mech, where instead of rail-like grips going outward, they go inward on the center pieces. I feel like drawing that up to see some results on a non-pillowed Hexagonal Domino

Do you know how to make a pillowed shape? I know a method, but not one that gives an easily desired dimension.

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:04 am 
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NXTgen wrote:
In regards to the the anchor/stalk of the corner pieces, I actually attempted the method you used (split spindle) after I posted. If it were to be proportional, it would have to be pillowed. Another solution is to use a hidden layer style mechanism like a Russian Domino or a 3x3xE (even layered) puzzle. Another method would be a Reversed V-Mech, where instead of rail-like grips going outward, they go inward on the center pieces. I feel like drawing that up to see some results on a non-pillowed Hexagonal Domino

Do you know how to make a pillowed shape? I know a method, but not one that gives an easily desired dimension.


I didn't follow most of what you just said. Like I said, I'm not up on my mech terminology. I'll look into the Russian domino when I have a chance and see if I can understand. Thanks for the suggestion. As for pillowing, I've never attempted it. I'd love to see how it's done.

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 Post subject: Re: What are some easy-ish puzzles to reverse engineer?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:47 am 
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themathkid wrote:
As for pillowing, I've never attempted it. I'd love to see how it's done.
I haven't done any pillowed puzzles to date either. I'm not certain how others do it but if I were to do it I believe the method I'd use would be to created the pillowed shape as the intersection of many spheres. One sphere for each face. The center of the sphere should be on the axis of rotation for that face off in the opposite direction from the core. Let's call the distance from the center of the sphere to the core of the puzzle D and the radius of the spehere R. This would mean each face center was R-D out from the core. If you are wanting to make a 3x3x3 say keep R-D about 30mm. Then R is just the radius of curvature of each face. If D goes to zero you get a sphereical puzzle. If D goes to infinity you get back your puzzle with planar faces. If all the faces of the puzzle are identical I'd keep D the same value for each face. In the case of a Pentagonal Domino you may want to consider different values of D for the pentagonal faces over the retangular ones. At least that is what I'd do. I have seen simulators that can construct polyhedra and allow you to play with some elasticity parameters for the faces. Then you just inflate (increase the inside pressure over the outside pressure) the polyhedra. Technically this is what the term "Pillowed" to me means but this method doesn't produce a constant radius of curvature on the surface and its orders of magnitude more complicated to model. At least I have no idea how to do it at the moment in SolidWorks but I wouldn't be surprised if it was in there someplace. I'm sort of curious what others are doing as well... at least for 3D printed pillowed puzzles. I think many of the pillowed puzzles are hand made.

Carl

P.S. It is problems like this one, which I generally associate with "pillowed" shapes. Not certain at the moment if that is a reasonable association.

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