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 Post subject: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2003 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:08 pm
Location: Athens, Georgia USA
Greeting all,
As by now you must surely see how my life needs structure (as well as other things) and I have been looking at a way to classify the cube mods as to difficulty of making.
I would like your input as to my current model outlined below.

Lvl 1. Stickering: An easy cube mod that will introduce someone to mods at a minimum skill lvl, effort, time and cost, while building a basis for further mods. Although we all hate it, sticker work will always be a useful tool to our work. Over time the craftsman will hone their skills as well as learn a complete hatred for the art of stickering. This mod also brings a new dimension to puzzle play with a new variable in the solution process.

Lvl 2. Glueing/Bonding: Glueing pieces together to create a Bicube (Bandaged Cube) is a simple excercise that will also be used in similar forms down the road. Again, other lvls of puzzle play are produced.

Lvl 3. Cutting/Truncation: Truncating pieces will avail the creator new polyhedral shapes to puzzle with. Filling seems to be a necessary topic in this section as truncation most always opens up cavities in pieces.

Lvl 4. Build-Ups: Milliput, sandpaper and sore fingers. There should be some info about how to align templates or the polyhedral structure onto existing puzzle forms.

Lvl 5. Multi-Process: Just as it sounds. Mix and match your favorite Lvl 'Processi' ;)

Lvl 6. Molding: Eventually the serious builder will try molding single pieces rather than settle for hacked-up plastic that looks good assembled but like garbage when apart.

Lvl 7. Custom Fabrication. I believe that Wayne is on this lvl with the Rubik's 'Whayne' 6x6x6. This would mostly be the creation of unique pieces for new puzzles.

Within each Lvl one could sort the puzzles that fall into that particular category and index them. So the "Shuttle" might be a Lvl 3.4 while the "Cubeoctohedron" might be a Lvl 3.7 because it has more pieces to modify. (just an example)

Can any of you provide any further insight into this classification system? Thanks.

_pink


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 4:03 am 
While we are being anal, can I suggest a "Beaufort" scale for puzzle stability? Something along the lines of

1: As solid as an original Rubik 3x3x3 or Meffert Pyraminx.
2: Similar strength to a Rubiks Revenge or Megaminx
3: Like a Skewb.
4: Like a Rubik 2x2x2.
5: Like a Rubik Keychain 3x3x3.

Might give an easier way to describe how stable a custom puzzle is i.e. how susceptible the puzzle is to popping pieces or falling to bits.

You could do a similar thing for smoothness of twisting e.g.

A: Like a new skewb.
B: Like a new pyraminx.
C: Like a new 3x3x3.
D: Like a new 2x2x2.
E: Like a nasty cloned 3x3x3.

Together with a photo these descriptions would give a very good idea of what a custom (or any other) puzzle was like. e.g. I would describe Rubik's UFO as C2, an Alex star as E4 and a well prepared lubed 3x3x3 as A1 etc.

Clearly this is still subjective, but it would be better than "it turns ok and doesn't pop pieces very often" which is very subjective.

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 6:14 am
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
In that case... my Mental Block is D5. My Slim Tower prototype #1 is B5, and the ones I actually sold or traded are maybe C2 (more solidly and tightly constructed at the expense of being a bit harder to turn).

And my secret project is... well, my secret for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:08 pm
Location: Athens, Georgia USA
Thanks for the input guys. I had totally neglected "Piece Transplants" but cant think if it should go before of after Lvl 2. (Glueing). I definately think it should be in one of those two places.

I like the Stability Ratings. Could they perhaps be a little more "Non-Cubehead" so others not as anal as us might understand them better? I relate to them 100% but then again I know I have more cubes than the entire population of Athens, GA USA where I live.

I got the impression that one of my classes might not have been understood entirely. Lvl 5 (Multi_Process). This lvl would include puzzles like the Fishers cube, Rhombic dodecs and such where multiple lvls are involved. Fishers cubes require both lvl 3&4 techniques. (Trunc & Build) Yes, one could argue that every puzzle could be Lvl 5 because of new sticker requirements but I think we could look at Lvl 1 as going from a group to a supergroup type alteration and not purely cosmetic. The 2 Prism mods from the Square-1 base would be Lvl 5 because of the "Piece Transplanting" and truncing or Buildup needed for the center slice.

Thanks again to all and please feel free to make sure my list is inclusive of all mod types.

Later,
_pink


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 6:14 am
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
That's a pretty nice classification system, although I'd probably ditch Level 5. Also by assigning the techniques "levels" it implies that difficulty increases as you go up on the scale which is not always the case.

And what about taking into account puzzles that require several techniques or puzzles that can be made in several different ways?

I think "filling" would probably fit in along with Level 4. While technically it's the same technique as Level 6, you are not creating whole new pieces but rather are filling pre-existing gaps which can also be achieved with puttys like Milliput.


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2003 7:51 pm 
Sounds about right to me. I would add a level between 2 & 3 for hybreds, eg Skewb star. Puzzles built from parts of other puzzles.

I do think 5 & 6 are separate. It is harder make computer models for stereolithography to cast (6) than say duplicate existing parts or slight modifiation of existing parts (5).

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 6:14 am
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Actually I understood Level 5 quite clearly, but it's just not descriptive enough. Might as well just call a puzzle a 234 or a 24 or something along those lines rather than just calling it a "5" and guessing about what methods were used.


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2003 4:11 pm 
Yep, probably transplanting is better before 2. It is easier to hybred puzzles than do a good job of gluing.

I can't think of a better way to describe stability etc. You have to compare to existing puzzles and I tried to think of very common ones for that. I don't see non-cubists ever being interested in the relative stability/twistability of puzzles.

Max


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 Post subject: Re: Classification of Cube Mods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:08 pm
Location: Athens, Georgia USA
Ah yes, points well taken my friends (and a few rethinks of my own)

Revised Mod Classificationm (MC) System:

Class 1: Stickering
Class 2: Transplanting
Class 3: Bonding
Class 4: Truncation/Cutting
Class 5: Augmentation
Class 6: Custom Fabrication

I have deleted Multi Process and also removed Molding as I think of it more of a means of production rather than Fabrication.

I have toyed with the idea of adding a component as in:

'mod class'.X

where X=the number of pieces altered by the MC (1-26)

e.g. 3x3x3 Trunc Cube would be MC-4.8 (a trunc of 8 pieces)

Multi-Process mods would be listed with the highest MC first.

e.g. 3x3x3 Fisher = MC-5.12 & 4.12

and you're right Max, the avg Joe probably dosen't care about the structural integrity of his cube... ;)

take care all and have a good night.

_pink


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