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 Post subject: Puzzle Construction made easy?
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 11:08 am 
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Hello again, it's been a while... My travels in life have moved me around but not away from my cube endeavours...

Recently I have happened across a young man who has a wonderful CNC Milling machine setup and the ability to import my Autodesk Inventor files to mill pieces for my cube designs. Since he can batch process my files I have been feverishly drafting pieces from ideas backloged over the years. Would any of you be interested in having some pieces milled also? If so, let me know and we will see about getting this done....

Also, has anyone found a cheap source for 2pt RTV Silicone and casting resins? I currently buy from Micro-Mark here in the US.

Later my friends,
_pink


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 12:38 pm 
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Welcome back. I thought you had moved on permanently for a while now. I can think of at least a couple of people who might be interested in a CNC milling machine, myself included.

As for materials for molding and resin, the website I normally used seems to be "down for maintenance" right now which could be any number of things. That's where I got Synair products for silicone and polyurethane.

However some people have gotten mediocre results when adding pigments to Synair's polyurethane. I've heard that Smooth-On products are better at taking pigments. http://www.smooth-on.com/

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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 4:29 pm 
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Hi Jin, Nice to hear from you. If you're interested in getting some pieces made just provide me with some sketches and measurements of each piece and I'll create a 3D model in Inventor. What I want to do is have my friend mill out pieces in steel so that I can create silicone molds from them. I currently have approx 36 pieces drawn in Inventor.
The puzzles that I could create with them currently include: (most are 3x3x3 variants)

Standard 3x3x3 variants like
Fishers Cube
Pillow Cube
Diamond Cube
Shuttle
Cylinder 3x3x3
Rhombic Dodec 3x3x3
Bandaged
Siamese, Trimese
etc... all of the easy truncations
and them some more obscure variants like:
Pyramorph 3x3x3
Rubik Domino

Eventually I want to create a "complete" set of steel pieces for a "Master Set" so that someone could use either a virtual or physical model to obtain the means to create their own working puzzle.
I would like to get done with all the 3x3x3 variants and then start on the Skewb variants. (although, for some nostalgic reason I'll prolly do a dino soon...)
If anyone is interested in helping me out with the sketches maybe we can work out a "pieces for work" deal or something... Lemme know...

_pink


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 4:48 pm 
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Also a great thought would be to get dimentioons for pieces for a DOGIC. you might be able to replicate them with a sticker variation. make it easy for everyone who doesnt have $600 to spare or have one bee able to play with one.


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 7:17 pm 
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Hi Adam,
Yeah, I've got a Dogic and have had it apart before... (funny story... save it for later.) It is possible to duplicate the Dogic pieces within Inventor and have them milled. Alot of pieces in the Dogic though... not just a fun afternoon put together...
Adam raises an interesting point though... what puzzles are you guys most interested in having the ability to duplicate? Let's say, list your top 10 puzzles and maybe I can start with the most wanted. For me a nice tight Domino and a pyramorph 3x3x3 were high on my list with little modeling time in Inventor. I would like it if someone had dimensioned sketches for a dodecahedral 3x3x3... save a little time for me...

later,
_pink


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 7:22 pm 
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Very high on my list right now is a blind mans 3x3x3. with the -, +, o, triangle and square. similar to a deluxe but with raised pieces. if you can make me one of those that would be AWESOME!


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 7:33 pm 
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Adam,
If you (or anyone else) can provide me with a pict I should be able to do this very quickly as I have the standard 3x3x3 pieces in Inventor already.

later,
_pink


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 8:49 pm 
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"Yeah, I've got a Dogic and have had it apart before... (funny story... save it for later.) It is possible to duplicate the Dogic pieces within Inventor and have them milled. Alot of pieces in the Dogic though... not just a fun afternoon put together..."

I could sure go for an assembly Dogic kit

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 10:48 pm 
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http://twistypuzzles.com/cgi-bin/puzzle.cgi?pid=63

this is what i am looking for if you can make one i would buy one or more!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 11:03 am 
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I think it would be really cool to see a set of 3x3 cubes in each platonic state. That would make an interesting sales package! hehe

It would be great for the dogic to make it back. I wouldn't mind assembling it myself eiher :)

jake :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 5:11 pm 
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Hmmmm, an assembly Dogic.... maybe I'll think about this someday... as for you young Adam, I can do the blind mans cube, no problemo. My thoughts are, just to do the tiles and let you stick them on a cube.... easy enough unless you're wanting the raised symbols made into each piece....

Let me make sure one point is clear... I'm not making these pieces to sell for profit. I'm making the pieces as a way anyone can make puzzle "X" for their own fun. See, I have MANY hacked together mods but desire better quality. Since I have the means to accomplish this I will.... But there are many puzzles that some people will never have access to unless they make their own... unfortunately, some don't have the means to make their own very easily.... I'd hate to see someone attempt to build a 3x3x3 Pyramorph on their first try and get frustrated and never attempt a Fishers Cube....

When this project is "complete" someone will be able to obtain 1 of each piece needed to make puzzle "X" and some instruction on accomplishing this by creating molds, casting pieces and then assembling them into the desried puzzle. With this project I'll have WAY too much to do just creating the master set much less casting every piece for one puzzle to send to someone... Those who wish to obtain the puzzle will have to do some work on their own....

My buddy at work took home the disc with 30 piece designs today. Hopefully by early next week I'll have back the first prototypes for the "Master Piece Set" As I stated before, most of these are 3x3x3 variants. Hopefully some of you have sketches of other mods that you can send me to help facilitate this project. I'll recriprocate with cast pieces for your time and efforts.

lemme know,
_pink


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2004 6:09 pm 
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i was wondering if you can make the pieces similar to a rubiks game tile pieces. that way i would be able swap them out and have a good cube to go with. also would the pieces be colored or black. either way that would be cool. let me know. thank you for your efforts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 9:07 am 
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I see, thats a great idea pink, I thought you were making the whole puzzle, but thats cool, because then the builder will gain experience casting their own pieces. I like it!!
jake :shock:


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 Post subject: tiles
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:16 am 
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Hi _pink

I think it would be great if you made tiles the size and shape of the Rubik's Deluxe tiles (and the Rubik's Game variant as Adam mentioned). If people could choose the colors that would be awesome. How many colors could you do? Can you do translucent colors? How much would a full set of 54 tiles cost?

Thanks,

David J


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 6:56 pm 
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Hey all,
Nice to see there is some interest in this project! Keep the ideas comming.
See, Jake gets it... let me explain again in a slightly different manner... Ok, a Standard 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube contains 27 pieces (or so) but these pieces are not all unique! There are 4 unique molded pieces.
These pieces are:

Center Mech (Spider)
Center Piece
Edge Piece
Corner Piece

Each puzzle has many pieces but they are mostly duplicates of a small set of unique pieces...
When I create puzzles I perfect one of each of these unique pieces. At this point I can easily create a mold and cast the duplicate pieces. What I am proposing to do is to provide a person with a set of these unique pieces that they might use simple casting techniques in order to create the puzzle of their desire. The pieces provided would be cast from a "master set" (MS) of very high quality steel pieces milled by a CNC milling maching from code generated by my 3D computer models of the pieces themselves.
With the huge scope of this project I don't have time to mold every piece of a puzzle, but the MS for that puzzle would only require 1 casting session. Minimal materials, time and shipping for me to get a high quality puzzle and the enjoyment of making it yourself! Trust me, when you hold a magnificent hand-crafted puzzle that you made, you'll see why I do it... Makes you love this little hobby...
I can provide simple instructions and lists of companies who sell reasonable priced high-end casting supplies....
What I would like is for some help on the initial cpu files for each piece in the MS. I know that most of you prolly do not have Autodesk Inventor or Solid Works (but if you do please contact me if you are interested in helping out) For those of you who do puzzle mods and would like to help, you can do so by sending me sketches, photos, models or rough pieces to assit me in mentally modeling some of the more obscure puzzles. As I get the MS for specific puzzles I can make those sets available to everyone... Eventually there will be a source for someone to easily build any puzzle they wish........
Large undertaking but at least I'm starting...

later,
_pink


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 12:05 pm 
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_pink,

Thanks for so generously sharing your ideas with everyone. I don't have any specific requests right now, but I would love to build some custom puzzles in the future. Please keep us all posted on your progress.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2004 11:25 pm 
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Beyond the 3x3x3 pieces, a master set of the conversion pieces for the mini-3x3x3 to the 3x3x2 and 2x2x3 would be pretty nice.

Sign me up as someone who sees the value of this idea. The hardest part of the mods (for me) is making the unique pieces with enough tolerance that I'm happy with the end result. Once you have the piece, casting several copies is really easy and fast. The mold might take a day, but you can make a piece from mixing the resin to fitting it into the puzzle in half an hour!

After getting started making some masters for a Trabjer's Octahedron and having to iterate so many times, I eventually gave up and stuck to the truncation/buildup of existing puzzles. It's faster to build a single puzzle by individual build-up if you're starting from scratch, but to build more than one using molds is much more efficient.

Here's a thought - rent out the master set for a puzzle to fund the process, for a nominal fee (e.g. $20). I'd love to borrow the master set pieces for a Trabjer's Octahedron, and would happily pay that. It takes a day or two to pull good molds, then ship the master set pieces back to you.

I think the Trabjer's Octahedron and the Mastermorphix are the only 3x3x3 mods I'd "vote" for, and would happily fund.


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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 7:03 am 
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I agree with Joshua about funding the project. I know you said you're not doing this for profit, but don't shy about asking for some financial compensation. I'm guessing that most of us would gladly pay and if you make a few bucks in the process, good for you.

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If you key it in manually, don't forget the /twisty. It routes you to the version of the site with the TwistyPuzzles.com discount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 8:31 pm 
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Hello to all,

Wow, the interest is growing... nice! Well there's some interesting news on the MS... There might be the possibility of molds made for injection molding in the works...!!

My friend at work (whose brother is milling the beta pieces for the MS) approached me with the idea yesterday and after some contemplation about equip etc, we are going to see what can be done.... This would allow me to mass produce pieces at a high rate of speed and quality.. Injection molding is no easy task but I have many resources being in the biz that I'm in. (I make machines that package an array of products and also help facilitate other areas for companies to get their products to you.) My boss loves my puzzles and has given me some indication of support in my future ventures with the MS.

My friend (David) will be traveling to Portland, OR next week but when he returns I suspect to see the beta pieces for my Domino design!!!

As for funding, my costs right now are simply time and effort. My materials come from scrap at work and although there has been no discussion of cost for milling, I think it will be minimal as the entire operation will be set up by me and given to David's brother to simply 'run' the file... As this can be done unattended from start to finish on his part the cost will be reduced greatly. When David returns from Portland I should know more... unitll then I'll keep drafting...

Currently I have over 40 unique pieces modeled in Inventor. Some pieces include:

Mastermorphinx (3x3x3 pyramid)
Rubik's Domino
Fisher's Cube
3D Construction Studio's "Windmill Cube"
many truncations (Cubeoctahedron, Octagonal Prism, Pillow Cube, Trunc Cube, Wayne's Deep Trunc Cube, etc)
Bandaged Cube
Siamese Cube (which would also allow for Trimese)
Cylinder Cube
Rhombicdodecahedron
and a few others....

Does anyone have the 3x3x3 variants:
Icosahedron
Dodecahedron

to pull some dimensions from or have any info on these two to help me out? Drop me a line if so or I guess I'll just do the geometry myself if not...

anyways any sketches or info on ANY mods would be helpful. This is a HUGE task for one person.

Anyways, take care and have a good weekend. I'll talk to you all soon!

later,
_pink


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 1:40 pm 
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Joshua,

I finished the models for Trajber's Octahedron (mod for 3x3x3) this morning... looks and fits very nice... Still playing with the Dodec and Icosa mods.........

chat with you all later,
_pink


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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 2:29 pm 
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how about making a model of the cube that I have for my avitar? It is basically a pillow cube with a custom piece for the top and bottom, the corners, and the center edges.

What is the official name for this puzzle?

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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 3:22 pm 
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I don't think I'll ever manage to type "Trajber" without transposing the j and b.

Very cool news, _pink. I entirely symathize with time being the gating factor on projects, vs. money. Just make sure you get *something* out of the deal so you're encouraged to keep going.

Dodd - "official" ? You should know better. :) Greenhill's Octahedron is probably the closest thing, but given that he's probably designed several octahedron's, it might require being explicit as "Greenhill's 3x3x3 Octahedron" to make it unambiguous. Or you could come up with a catchy name like "pointy pillow".


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2004 6:31 pm 
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Dodd,

Got that one done already! Let you know when the pieces are available!!!

_pink


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 12:56 am 
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_pink,

I think this is the most exciting thing that I’ve ever read about in this forum! Not that we’ve not had other exciting news… but the possibilities that you are opening here are really much much larger than anything else I’ve seen yet.

I am aware that each of us, members of the Twisty Puzzles community, probably have different interests or goals which we are pursuing regarding our Twisty Life… Still, I am assuming that we share some common interests:

o We would like to come up with new ideas for Twisty puzzles or mods… and if we have them, we would like to see them come to life.

o We would like to build some puzzles on our own (or try to learn how to do it)

o We would like to own at least one copy of ALL the puzzles we’ve ever seen created by other people.

o We would like to continue seeing more and more new variations being created and produced

o We would like to minimize the investment required to achieve all of the above…

It seems to me there is a possibility for the creation of a “Value Chain” definition, with respect to the puzzle life-cycle process, which perhaps could help us all improve on the ability to fullfill some of the goals just stated. This Value-Chain could be something like this:

a) Inventors/Designers: They come up with the new ideas for mods or even brand-new puzzles. They provide designs in an appropriate format. This could be any of us, if creative enough…

b) Master Set Builders: They (or perhaps, more specifically, you, _pink) use designs to create a Master Set of molds for each unique piece required for a particular puzzle. Master Sets are built and sold (or rented) to puzzle builders.

c) Puzzle Builders: They use Master Sets to cast multiple copies of some puzzles. In a perfect world, I imagine perhaps each Puzzle Builder could specialize in just one type of puzzle. Another possibility would be for Inventors to try to keep their creations “reserved” for production by themselves, or “licensed” to some of the people more skilled (or with the time, or the interest) for doing the casting.

d) Puzzle Consumers: We all can buy any puzzle we like (or trade for it), from any puzzle builder willing to produce multiple copies…

Now, some tough questions…

Should inventors get some kind of “royalty” every time one of their puzzles is purchased by one of the Consumers?

Should the Master Set builders get some compensation as well for each puzzle being produced with their Master Sets?

Would it be beneficial for everybody in this community to try to define some rules to control the puzzle production process? (as opposed to leaving it open for a free-market approach)

Again, in a perfect world it would be nice if we could forget about the costs involved in all this, but in practice, some kind of funding or compensation for the different efforts involved will probably be needed…

Any comments or additional ideas on this?

Jorge


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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 5:48 pm 
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Thanks _pink.

I do have one question. If I understand this process correctly, you are making molds so that the pieces can be cast by someone. The "pointy pilliow" cube (never heard of that one before, lol) has specialty pieces on all 6 of the centers. How are you designing center pieces. Are they to be glued onto exsisting centers, or is there a way to screw them into the center spindle? I am trying to visualize how to attach a custom piece to the center. If you could explain this a little better, I would appreciate it.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 6:45 pm 
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This is very interesting. I also have a couple of questions.

You are making the pieces in metal. With them we can make our own molds and cast some pieces. I bet that this will be a satisfying experiece for those who complete the process, as you suggest. My problem currently is

a) My mother was correct, I have 2 left hands and I'm not a lefty. I tend to think that I have 4 feet.
b) I currently don't have enough time to make puzzles. Three children can do that to you. It's taken me more than 2 months to make some simple modifications to some puzzles.

So, once someone makes a mold from your pieces, will they be able to make multiples relatively easy ?. If so, does anybody want to give a hand to this poor soul for an agreed price?


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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 12:11 am 
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Seeing that these molds are for specific pieces and a lot of them are based on a 3x3x3 puzzle. Would you want to make a whole puzzle from custom molded pieces, or just replace certain 3x3x3 pieces with the custom ones and resticker the puzzle? A total custom puzzle may turn a little better, especially if old or cheap 3x3x3 cubes are used. I am just wondering what most people plan on doing. It would probably be a lot cheaper to just buy certain parts from anyone who could cast the pieces, however, the puzzle will not be of the same quality all the way around.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 12:25 am 
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Hi _Pink

Here is another puzzle that I would be interested in a mold for. The Halpern Pyramid. I think you already had the 3x3x3 master pyramorphix in your listing. This puzzle is not 3x3x3 based

Image

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2004 8:57 am 
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Jorge wrote:

"Should inventors get some kind of “royalty” every time one of their puzzles is purchased by one of the Consumers? "

I don't know about royalites, but the people who put the time and effort into something like this should make some money. I'm sure most of us are willing to pay for quality products and encourage the producers to produce more.

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If you key it in manually, don't forget the /twisty. It routes you to the version of the site with the TwistyPuzzles.com discount.


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2004 7:40 pm 
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Hello everyone,

Working hard lately at work, sorry I've neglected you all...

Wow, alot of chatter on this topic... The chain idea is wonderful, if it can be implemented. With my current barrage of pleas for help lately... it might be more difficult than expected... lemme clear some minor things up first.

Someone was asking about specifics of the pieces... My plans are to provide persons with a physical piece. The exact piece that would have come out of a puzzle. A usable piece molded from the same kind of plastic as a normal Rubik's Cube. The person would then make an RTV Silicone mold of this piece. ($30 worth of silicone will pour you 20 or so molds if used sparingly) You will spend less than an hour doing this. (Although you will need to let the mold 'dry' overnight for best results) Pouring pieces is basically the same process, mix and pour (10 min of time) wait overnight, de-mold your new piece and repeat as many times as needed.

I am NOT creating pieces to glue onto a puzzle. It will be a complete piece. I'm even doing molds for the mechs too...

I have 3 different plans currently for 'center' pieces...

-Some can be molded with holes in them (as the sticker can cover it easily like the 'normal' center)

-another design would be for a solid piece (as the 'stems' in your mold for the 'holes' in your piece aren't going to withstand hundreds of de-molds) so one could make a simple jig on a drill to drill the holes out of the pieces they cast.

-The last design is a 'capped' piece. Basically a '2-part' center piece. This would make for an attractive product but it would create another mold for someone to make...

Hope that clears up the center piece question...

Currently, there are 2 possible avenues I MIGHT be able to go...

I could either make steel 'positives' and make my own RTV Silicone molds then distribute as needed,

OR I can make steel molds for an injection molding application. The injection molding would be my choice but there are things to consider...

-costs: Milling molds could run into some money, but I've cut my costs down a bit and I'm trying other things too. Also, I'm just now starting the process of learning about injection molding and it's fairly complex to try to pull off on a small 'home shop' scale... Still might be feasible though, not counting it out yet.

On the subj of the 'chain'... hey, I'm all for it... SEND ME SOME DRAWINGS... and I'll have the pieces milled and send you a set. If you want to put some 'reserve' on it, then fine. You can control your own designs. All I ask is that you consider very strongly to make the puzzle available to others.

I plan on doing ALL mods I can find a picture of... It might take some time to figure some of the unusual mods out but I eventually will. Just go ahead and accept the fact that If I find a pict of a mod on the net, I will have a duplicate of it sooner or later. Not that I'm gonna sell them but I will make them available for as little compensation as possible. (If I could send you all complete puzzles for free I would, but hey, I just can't afford to do that...)

I can only work so fast.... So my latest plea is this:

I could complete MANY more pieces per night if I didn't have to calculate so many dimensions. Plain and simple. If you own ANY custom mods, PLEASE drop me a line and I can draw the info outr of you that I need, whether its a simple .jpeg sent to me of different angles. I know you can do this at least. No fussy measuring or drafting on your part. Just a jepg of several angles. Just send me a list of your mods and I'll tell you if I need picts of what you have. Remember, if everyone sent me a list, then everyone should only have to take a few picts...

I'm not doing this for money, I'm doing this so that I (as well as anyone who wants) can play with another wonderful creation, inspired by the eyes that stare at me from my desktop image of a modern day Erno Rubik.

Ok, I've rambled enough tonight. Consider all I've said and drop me a line.

Later all,
_pink


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