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 Post subject: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:34 am 
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The drawing below shows my original idea from several years ago. I have always wanted to make a puzzle where parts of apparently separate Rubik's Cubes could be mixed together. This desire probably goes back to my Siamese Cubes in 1981 where people would always ask if the parts could mix.
On a few occasions I looked into making this puzzle and had various ideas for a mechanism. However in early 2011 I accepted that making it by hand would be far too difficult and I would need help if it was ever to get made. This admission is a lot for me since I am very possessive about my ideas and hate asking for help and bringing others in.

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In April 2011 I contacted Oskar and we discussed my idea. I showed him my mechanism diagrams but Oskar dismissed them in a flash and immediately designed his own vastly superior one. He also suggested that we get rid of the ugly triangular join areas and replace them with neat torus sections. Great idea which I never imagined would be possible.
Oskar quickly did the CAD work and a Shapeways printing machine became the third member of the collaboration. Printing the whole puzzle has little interest to me so I only asked for enough parts to make a set of moulds from. Unfortunately the core is too complex for me to copy so each puzzle "I" make has a 3D printed core along with the hand cast cubies.
During the collaboration there were two minor disagreements between Oskar and myself. One of these was the name. He felt 'Cubes on a Ring' would be a better name but I went for 4Cubes instead. The second disagreement was the colouring. Oskar suggested having a neat logical arrangement where all sides matched. This would have made a nice conventional looking puzzle but that is not what I wanted to achieve. I wanted the four cubes to appear as independent as possible. As if you have randomly taken four different solved Rubik's Cubes and joined them together with out worrying about matching colours.
This means there is no single solved state. As long as each individual cube is solved it doesn't matter how they relate to each other. You might think this makes the puzzle much easier but I was careful to colour it in a way that meant it hardly made a difference. Ignoring complete cube rotations and positionings, each corner and edge cubie has only one correct position on the puzzle. In addition my colouring allows for a fuller looking mix-up since all six colours can appear at all locations.
One of my concerns when we started this project was the movement. I could see that all four cubes would have to be perfectly sitting on the ring to allow for the large rotation moves. This meant the puzzle needed to have quite stiff movement so the cubes are not moving around freely when you pick it up. Even with stiff movement though I discovered the best way to use the puzzle is on a flat surface when the large rotation moves are desired. The video will show this much better than I can explain it.
One other problem I discovered was that stickers can easily get damaged when cubes collide. In theory there is plenty of room between the cubes but human error means they often clash. For some reason I discovered that the non prototype puzzles are much worse than the prototype shown in the video. A few moves are sufficient to destroy stickers. At time of writing there is nothing much I can do about this other than warn potential buyers and supply spare stickers.
I am (was) selling the puzzle at this years Dutch Cube Day and each has been hand signed by Oskar and myself. I may also be able to offer some to forum members when I return but please do not ask to reserve any.
It is not our intention to have it mass produced or available at Shapeways but I have learnt from the past it is unwise to make absolute guarantees or promises.


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Last edited by Tony Fisher on Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:41 am 
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Excelent Hibrid!
Congratulation Tony and Oskar :)

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:42 am 
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Wow that's amazing !! I'm so glad you can bring so many today :D
I'll have a suggestion for you for a very similar one where corners could also be misorientated, but it'll be easier if I explain at DCD :)

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:01 am 
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Nice! i might but one in about 90 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:50 am 
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That is EPIC!

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:26 am 
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Omg. That is crazy. How did you both do this? Sick mechanism.
But the last picture is fake right? :wink: PLEASE tell me it is.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:27 am 
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That last photo looks like the outside of some of the buildings around here :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:14 am 
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katsmom wrote:
That last photo looks like the outside of some of the buildings around here :lol: :lol:
I know what you mean, maybe it could actually inspire the next one. 8-)

And for a second I thought that last picture was just one puzzle - a void 9x9x24! :shock: :shock: :shock:

BTW, amazing puzzle, both concept/design and execution. Utterly mindblowing. Now I really believe that nothing is impossible - except for neutrinos traveling faster than light, but probably Oskar already has those up on Shapeways. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:45 am 
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awesome! this is very cool. great job.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:46 am 
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KelvinS wrote:
katsmom wrote:
That last photo looks like the outside of some of the buildings around here :lol: :lol:
I know what you mean, maybe it could actually inspire the next one. 8-)
Exactly the first thought that popped into my head as well. That would make for one cool looking building.

As for the puzzle. NICE!!! I don't have this puzzle so I'm making a bit of a guess as to its movement but isn't this a higher order version of this?
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The museum calls this a Sando Ring.

And I'm thinking the Sando Ring is to the 2x2x2 what the 4Cubes is to the 3x3x3.

If I'm correct... Tony you should mod a Sando Ring such that the four spheres looked like four 2x2x2's with the same sticker pattern as your 4Cubes puzzle.

And the next logical question... who is going to make the 4x4x4 version?

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:15 am 
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Nice collaboration between you two. I never thought I would see the day when TF used 3D printing like this. Any more collaborations on the horizon?

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:18 am 
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Tony also used a similar method of combining 3D printing and casting when creating the 11x11x11.

Excellent puzzle Tony and Oskar! Absolutely brilliant. I would love to buy this fantastic puzzle. It's annoying I can't reserve it though. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:21 am 
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:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: shocking puzzle!

Excellent work! Amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:40 am 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
I am (was) selling the puzzle at this years Dutch Cube Day and each has been hand signed by Oskar and myself. I may also be able to offer some to forum members when I return but please do not ask to reserve any.
Is the selling price at DCD something you can disclose? Not sure if I'm asking something I shoudn't or not.
Tony Fisher wrote:
It is not our intention to have it mass produced or available at Shapeways but I have learnt from the past it is unwise to make absolute guarantees or promises.
I can easily understand not wanting to mass produce this yourselves as that cost is beyond most puzzle designers but I still don't get why there is so must resistance to Shapeways. That's what this thread was for. Not everyone that might want one can make it to DCD and/or have the cash on had now to aford one. Having puzzles on Shapeways gives those the option that want it bad enough to save up for it and shouldn't cost the designer anything. As a designer, I'd want to give as many as possible the opportunity to enjoy any of my creations as possible. And as a collector, I know there is such a small market for Shapeway puzzles I really don't see this having an impact on rarity or value. Just my 2cents, I certainly understand others feel differently.
Tony Fisher wrote:
At time of writing there is nothing much I can do about this other than warn potential buyers and supply spare stickers.
And regarding the sticker issue... this won't help any puzzles that have already been made but have you considered making a recessed area on the face of each cubie where you could place the sticker and offer it a bit more protection?

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:28 pm 
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alaskajoe wrote:
Omg. That is crazy. How did you both do this? Sick mechanism.
But the last picture is fake right? :wink: PLEASE tell me it is.


The last picture is NOT fake. But after DCD the stack will be somewhat lower.

Let me assure you: it's much harder than the sando ring.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:33 pm 
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What's next? Six 17x17x17s on a ring?

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 2:46 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:
What's next? Six 17x17x17s on a ring?


No five, so you'll have two consecutive Euler primes.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Amazing puzzle! It's cool how you can switch the face centers around between the cubes. I wonder... could you do this with six cubes and three rings at 90 degree angles to each other?

Tony Fisher wrote:
During the collaboration there were two minor disagreements between Oskar and myself.
I can't help but envision this as some sort of clash of the titans.... The God of Mods vs. the Sorcerer of Shapeways. BEGIN!

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:48 pm 
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pirsquared wrote:
I wonder... could you do this with six cubes and three rings at 90 degree angles to each other?
Wow, that would be (even more) incredible, but now I don't see why it couldn't be done...

EDIT: But wait, you would no longer be able to rotate the layers of an individual cube, so wouldn't the whole thing then behave and solve just like one very big but otherwise very normal 3x3x3?

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Last edited by KelvinS on Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:57 pm 
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wwwmwww wrote:
Tony Fisher wrote:
I am (was) selling the puzzle at this years Dutch Cube Day and each has been hand signed by Oskar and myself. I may also be able to offer some to forum members when I return but please do not ask to reserve any.
Is the selling price at DCD something you can disclose? Not sure if I'm asking something I shoudn't or not.
Tony Fisher wrote:
It is not our intention to have it mass produced or available at Shapeways but I have learnt from the past it is unwise to make absolute guarantees or promises.
I can easily understand not wanting to mass produce this yourselves as that cost is beyond most puzzle designers but I still don't get why there is so must resistance to Shapeways. That's what this thread was for. Not everyone that might want one can make it to DCD and/or have the cash on had now to aford one. Having puzzles on Shapeways gives those the option that want it bad enough to save up for it and shouldn't cost the designer anything. As a designer, I'd want to give as many as possible the opportunity to enjoy any of my creations as possible. And as a collector, I know there is such a small market for Shapeway puzzles I really don't see this having an impact on rarity or value. Just my 2cents, I certainly understand others feel differently.
Tony Fisher wrote:
At time of writing there is nothing much I can do about this other than warn potential buyers and supply spare stickers.
And regarding the sticker issue... this won't help any puzzles that have already been made but have you considered making a recessed area on the face of each cubie where you could place the sticker and offer it a bit more protection?

Carl


The (special) Cube Day price was 200 Euros. After that it will be a fair bit more.
I am not openly offering it at this time because I have a priority customer list plus I have to make post Cube Day decisions regarding it.
Please remember that I am a professional puzzle maker who loves making puzzles. Putting it on Shapeways simply means you are buying it from them and not me which defeats the object of being a professional puzzle maker who loves making puzzles. We all have things that motivate and drive us and for me it has to involve getting my hands dirty.
Yes we have considered recessed faces as well as separating the cubes some more.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Tony Fisher wrote:
The (special) Cube Day price was 200 Euros. After that it will be a fair bit more.
Fair enough.
Tony Fisher wrote:
I am not openly offering it at this time because I have a priority customer list plus I have to make post Cube Day decisions regarding it.
Also fair...
Tony Fisher wrote:
Please remember that I am a professional puzzle maker who loves making puzzles. Putting it on Shapeways simply means you are buying it from them and not me which defeats the object of being a professional puzzle maker who loves making puzzles. We all have things that motivate and drive us and for me it has to involve getting my hands dirty.
Not trying to promote one over the other. But you can easily have a markup on shapeways equal to the cost of the puzzle so if someone were to buy it they'd be buying if from you and shapeways. If you'd prefer to get your hands dirty simply have the cost of the kit assembled by you cheaper then the cost of the kit from Shapeways. I can't envision anyone buying a kit when they can get a finished puzzle made by the designer at or below the cost of a kit. And the kit would remain as an option after you had moved on to other projects or couldn't keep up with demand. My point wasn't about limiting your options but maximizing the options of potential customers. To look at the extreem case, where would we be today if Rubik was only willing to sell cubes he had assempled himself? This is your design and you are certainly welcome to do with it as you wish. But just as with the eBay vs Shapeways thread I simply don't see it as one or the other (in this case be that hand cast and assembled or Shapeways print). Why can't it be both? You can control the demand for each option with the markup you'd put on Shapeways. Just wanted to present my point of view... not force it on anyone else.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:55 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:
EDIT: But wait, you would no longer be able to rotate the layers of an individual cube, so wouldn't the whole thing then behave and solve just like one very big but otherwise very normal 3x3x3?

*Facepalm* Yup.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Almost identical puzzle was patented by Sergey Abramenkov in 2010. You can find the patent here http://www.google.co.uk/patents?id=qBHW ... &q&f=false
I've asked Sergey about the details. He sent two photos and mentioned a few points.
Since we comunicated in Russian, I've asked Sergey to list them in English for Twisty Puzzles Forum readers. So, here they are.
1. I invented the puzzle in 2009, and the first and only prototype was made in 2010.
2. Those triangle prisms are the parts of the puzzle and create additional challenge.
3. The puzzle is very interesting and I like to play with it more than with any other one I have invented.
4. I named it Octogonzo.
5. I like that I had the same idea as famous Tony Fisher
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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Wow, this is *exactly* the same concept as Tony's pictured above.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:12 pm 
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As I read Juozas' post I though to myself oh boy here we go again. And KelvinS has just shown me that there is potential for argument/accusations to occur (not because of your flagging, but rather because you had to post the thoughts that were already forming in my head)

Any time anyone comes up with a puzzle that is remotely close to one that has been seen it is immediately snapped up as being a "I did it first" type of cat fight... We don't want to see this continue. If you have proof (can anyone really prove anything? Oh wait, different argument) that Tony or Sergey copied one or the other, then bring it forth, but since none do and Juozas' posts point number 5 seems to sum it up very nicely, without accusation I might add, let's all keep our opinions to ourselves on this shall we?

Any posts along this line of argument will be deleted. Warning posted.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:13 pm 
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I just received that picture through a PM and am totally shocked. Here are two absolute facts. I did not copy my design from him and he did not copy his design from me. I never shared my idea with anyone but Oskar and that was only April 2011. And if I had copied, seeing as our final puzzle is different I would have been crazy to reveal the first design.
The fact that he patented his in 2010 before I showed mine to anyone I would certainly concede to him. He may well have thought up the idea before me anyway. I doubt we will ever know since to be honest I am not sure when I thought it up myself. I believe on my web page I estimated 2009.
Hopefully our final design is considered significantly different and can see the mechanisms are not the same.

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Last edited by Tony Fisher on Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:19 pm 
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Turning a 3x3 rubik's cube into a UFO/Tricky Disky like puzzle~Great idea!


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:00 pm 
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I like both versions... I like how the cubes are colored on the octagonal one, but how Tony's has stickers (but I don't really like how the stickers don't seem to follow any pattern between cubes?).

I wish there could be some sort of hybrid, with colored cubes that have stickers (that are uniform somehow).


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:01 pm 
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*sarcasm* TONY IS A KNOCK-OFFER! :twisted: *sarcasm*

^^^Only kidding of course. I find it amazing how 2 people can have the same ideas at the same time independently from one another. The human mind is a crazy thing.

What a great puzzle. I would like to see a version with only 2 cubes connected opposite from one another rather than 4. Is this possible?

BTW, I recognize the pic with the green stickers as your old avatar, and I assume that the newer avatar (with the white stickers) was supposed to serve as a hint? Nice....

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:13 pm 
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Adman234 wrote:
BTW, I recognize the pic with the green stickers as your old avatar, and I assume that the newer avatar (with the white stickers) was supposed to serve as a hint? Nice....


Yes I like to tease before Cube Day.

VIDEO now online.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Tony, in the video, the orange and red stickers are very similar in color, and I can hardly tell them apart. Is this a problem in person?


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:53 pm 
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Very cool puzzle, but I too would have preferred colors to be uniform.

Ben


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:23 am 
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Jared wrote:
Tony, in the video, the orange and red stickers are very similar in color, and I can hardly tell them apart. Is this a problem in person?


Photos and videos often give the wrong impression when it comes to colours. I can assure you they are totally different. For the prototype shown in the video the orange is a smooth version of the fluorescent textured style Meffert uses whereas the red is a basic.... well, red. I used a duller orange on the batch to sell since it is thinner.

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:46 am 
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Is it possible if improve this version into turnable the red line


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:33 am 
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I would also like to see that improvement, making the cubes really independent of eachother as well as linked together. The last towery picture is just a stack of them right?? Or else solving is trivial ...

Per

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:49 am 
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Cool puzzle.
You actually did the full scramble in the video. Didn't expect you to. :mrgreen:
Btw I think the picture of you at the beginning of the vid looks kina cool. 8-) :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:17 am 
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I just want to say, Tony, Oskar, I love you guys. :solved:


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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Haha, very clever. Really nice puzzle and concept, I think yours is better when playing with the puzzle as it is easier to grip on to the black rings but Sergey's is more visually appealing. Both phenomenal puzzles.

--JC--

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 Post subject: Re: 4Cubes by Tony Fisher & Oskar van Deventer
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:50 pm 
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Interesting idea. I like it.

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