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 Post subject: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:23 am 
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Hi guys. This is a two part post because of the number of images. This part concerns the design, while the second part will be about the building of a Megamorphix. I just thought that you may be interested in the entire process of puzzle building the way I do it.

Inspired by this post and the release of the Witeden mini 4x4x4 (11.5mm cubies) I decided to make a Megamorphix. I don't think that I have the building skills to make one from plastic sheet (and it would be very tricky because of the small cubie size) so I of course used Google SketchUp to design the extensions.

First, create a cube of edge length 11.5m. Yes, that is meters. I do the design 1000x full size to avoid some nasty quirks SU has when it tries to create very small triangles. The scaling is taken care of during the transfer to Shapeways.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 000.png
Megamorphix 000.png [ 98.65 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Next, duplicate the cubie to make a 4x4x4.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 001.png
Megamorphix 001.png [ 159.98 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Now, I define where the turning planes of the cube are, which are then going to be used to create the extension pieces.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 002.png
Megamorphix 002.png [ 137.45 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
In this build I will have to truncate the 4x4x4 across the corner cubies as shown.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 003.png
Megamorphix 003.png [ 152.33 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
This shows the required truncation. The center triangle forms the center piece on the four faces of the final puzzle.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 004.png
Megamorphix 004.png [ 155.17 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Using the truncated faces, I add guides which will intersect at the corners of the required tetrahedral shape. As you can see, sorting which intersections I need can be a bit awkward, but once you find one edge the rest follow easily.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 005.png
Megamorphix 005.png [ 157 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
The finished tetrahedron, with the outline of the truncated cube shown inside.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 007.png
Megamorphix 007.png [ 133.15 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Now I add the turning planes of the 4x4x4, which will become the cutting planes through the tetrahedron, to form the extensions required.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 008.png
Megamorphix 008.png [ 136.26 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Using the planes, I cut out and isolate the extension pieces needed. In the Megamorphix, five different pieces are required. This is the large corner part (4 needed).
Attachment:
Megamorphix 009.png
Megamorphix 009.png [ 95.88 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Now I have to subtract the part of the cubie to which this piece will be attached, using the cubies I drew before.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 010.png
Megamorphix 010.png [ 87.75 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Now, this is where SU shows its weaknesses when compare to programs like Solidworks. I need to create a thin shell (I use 1mm thick) to minimise the costs of Shapeways printing. SU has no native shell tool, but you can download free Ruby plugins which add this functionality. They usually work OK on simple shapes like this, but can go horribly wrong on more complex ones. The image below shows a wireframe view of the shelled shape.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 011.png
Megamorphix 011.png [ 124.33 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
I now add fillets. Again, this has to be done using a plugin, and works well for this sort of shape. But again, it can be more difficult for complex solids, which may need a lot of manual work to tidy them up.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 012.png
Megamorphix 012.png [ 181.34 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Here I have added some small holes which connect the inner and outer "shells" of the part together. These make a manifold object and allow Shapeways to extract the unused nylon powder which would otherwise be trapped inside. At this point the part should be watertight and manifold. I use a plugin called SolidInspector to check this.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 013.png
Megamorphix 013.png [ 192.48 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
This is then exported to an stl file using yet another free plugin. I can now load the stl file into netfabb basic to check that everything is OK.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 015.png
Megamorphix 015.png [ 53.85 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
The next part can be very frustrating. In order to get Shapeways discount, the model density must be greater than 10%. So, sometimes I have to carefully arrange the parts to maximise the packing to achieve this. As you may notice from the image below, I added the yellow sticker template to the design, which added material to the model without increasing the overall size, thus bringing the density over 10%.
Attachment:
Megamorphix 016.png
Megamorphix 016.png [ 213.27 KiB | Viewed 2354 times ]
Now, export the whole thing to an stl file, check it again using netfabb and upload it to Shapeways (remembering to specify the units as mm!).

In part 2, I will show some pictures of the build process using the printed parts and the Witeden cube.

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:19 pm 
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If this works, are you going to sell the extensions on Shapeways?


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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:21 pm 
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I don't see why not. But as the printed pieces need to be added to a modified 4x4x4, that may put a lot of people off buying them.

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:33 pm 
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Location: frederick MD. USA
is that sketch up or sketch up pro?

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:24 pm 
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It's SketchUp 8 free edition. I wish there was a Solidworks free edition :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Location: New York
Gus wrote:
I don't see why not. But as the printed pieces need to be added to a modified 4x4x4, that may put a lot of people off buying them.

Just to clarify (as I will probably be buying this), you need to make a half truncated cube out of the 4x4 first?

-Doug

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:34 pm 
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Essentially yes, but you need to do the cuts a little (1mm) deeper than the exact cuts shown in the images above. I'll explain about this in part 2.

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:36 pm 
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I would definitely buy the extentions. The pictures explain everything. I have built my mastermorphix, but it is so horrid that I scrapped it for the most part. I am looking forward to part two.

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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:51 am 
Any news on when we can see part 2?


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 Post subject: Re: Megamorphix 3D Printed - Part 1
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:00 am 
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I am still waiting for the stickers from Dr. Sticker, I ordered them on 8th and they were posted on the 9th. Naughty postal service :evil:

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