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 Post subject: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:12 pm 
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Hi, I'm very new to puzzle designing. I recently got Solidworks and I have been learning how to use it. I made a 3x3 using Drew's tutorial, and it looks pretty good. I'm not sure how to add the project file but I've included a picture below. There is something I am not sure about. If I wanted to get this printed on Shapeways, would it print as one big 3x3, or would it come in pieces, because when I see videos of other puzzle designers, it seems that their models come in pieces. So far, my main issue has been getting it ready for printing, because I don't really know how to do that. Sorry if I sound like amateur here :). Please help

Oh and here's a picture of it with a couple pieces hidden:
Attachment:
3x3.JPG
3x3.JPG [ 133.24 KiB | Viewed 4805 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:23 pm 
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I am not a puzzle designer, nor have I ever uploaded anything to Shapeways, but I do know that you will have to leave enough space between each separate piece so that they will not be fused together when printed. I don't know exactly how much of a gap you will need but it shouldn't have to be too large.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:32 pm 
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oBNoo wrote:
I am not a puzzle designer, nor have I ever uploaded anything to Shapeways, but I do know that you will have to leave enough space between each separate piece so that they will not be fused together when printed. I don't know exactly how much of a gap you will need but it shouldn't have to be too large.


Yeah I read that somewhere. I'm not positive how to do that, but I think I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:04 pm 
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First off you need to add fillets to the inside as well, not just the outside.

To print you also wan't your parts hollow. Use the shell feature and make them around .8 mm thick, then move all the pieces so they are atleast seperated by a mm. Save as an stl using save as and upload to shapeways.

Beyond that you should buy the cheapest puzzle you can from shapeways first just to get a feel of it, don't waste money on a failed puzzle (like I always end up doing) :lol:

Good Luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:13 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
First off you need to add fillets to the inside as well, not just the outside.

To print you also wan't your parts hollow. Use the shell feature and make them around .8 mm thick, then move all the pieces so they are atleast seperated by a mm. Save as an stl using save as and upload to shapeways.

Beyond that you should buy the cheapest puzzle you can from shapeways first just to get a feel of it, don't waste money on a failed puzzle (like I always end up doing) :lol:

Good Luck!


Ok. What about the square in the middle though? Should I delete that, because it isn't really a core?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:27 pm 
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Jake_L wrote:
PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
First off you need to add fillets to the inside as well, not just the outside.

To print you also wan't your parts hollow. Use the shell feature and make them around .8 mm thick, then move all the pieces so they are atleast seperated by a mm. Save as an stl using save as and upload to shapeways.

Beyond that you should buy the cheapest puzzle you can from shapeways first just to get a feel of it, don't waste money on a failed puzzle (like I always end up doing) :lol:

Good Luck!


Ok. What about the square in the middle though? Should I delete that, because it isn't really a core?


Also, how do I move the pieces? Wouldn't I have to resize them?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:03 am 
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Can't you just grab and move them with the mouse?

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:12 am 
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Training model cube 3*3*3 for SolidWorks learning
forum link: viewtopic.php?f=9&p=236853

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:01 pm 
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oBNoo wrote:
Can't you just grab and move them with the mouse?


No it won't let me

grigr wrote:
Training model cube 3*3*3 for SolidWorks learning
forum link: http://www.twistypuzzles.com/forum/view ... 9&p=236853


It looks like that was made differently than what I did. I've watched a couple of tutorials and they all end up being like mine


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:02 pm 
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Is there any specific tutorial or something that you guys recommend to get started?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:07 pm 
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Grigr's model is very similar to what you'd get from any tutorial, but he has some unneeded tolerancing in there that you shouldn't add. But it shows everything from hollowing out to creating the core.
The move the pieces apart you can use the Body Move/Copy command (Insert -> Feature -> Body -> Move/Copy).

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:26 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
Grigr's model is very similar to what you'd get from any tutorial, but he has some unneeded tolerancing in there that you shouldn't add. But it shows everything from hollowing out to creating the core.
The move the pieces apart you can use the Body Move/Copy command (Insert -> Feature -> Body -> Move/Copy).


Ok. But if I were to put the model on Shapeways as it is, would it come in pieces or do I have to set it to do that?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:28 pm 
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If you upload the file as is you will get a fused block of plastic. You need to have the pieces separated by quite some distance. My favorite way of doing that is creating an exploded model like this:
Image
You have to do this inside of SolidWorks. Shapeways won't do this for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:35 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
If you upload the file as is you will get a fused block of plastic. You need to have the pieces separated by quite some distance. My favorite way of doing that is creating an exploded model like this:
Image
You have to do this inside of SolidWorks. Shapeways won't do this for you.


Ahh, thanks. I think I get it, but what about screws? Do I just use normal screws or do I need speial ones?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:39 pm 
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You can get screws from your local hardware store. M3 is the most commonly used type for puzzles. 4-40 machine screws are used also (and usually you can substitute one for the other).
The bore in the core (for threading) should be 2.75mm diameter, the hole in the center where the thread goes through but not the head 3.5mm, and the hole for the screw head should be 6mm (or more).

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:51 pm 
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@ TomZ
So having the parts designed in a part file, how do you creat an assembly without the parts being glued into one or glued to the origin? Also what feature do you use for exploding? Just move?

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:52 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
You can get screws from your local hardware store. M3 is the most commonly used type for puzzles. 4-40 machine screws are used also (and usually you can substitute one for the other).
The bore in the core (for threading) should be 2.75mm diameter, the hole in the center where the thread goes through but not the head 3.5mm, and the hole for the screw head should be 6mm (or more).


But do I need to use Solidworks to make the thread lines to screw it in? Sorry if I sound dumb, I'm new to this :D


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:01 pm 
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I first assemble the puzzle normally, then roll back before the assembling and move around the parts by hand. Then if you roll forward again you'll have an exploded puzzle.
I do not create an assembly file, it is still a normal part file.

You do not need to design the thread. A circular hole is enough and the thread will be formed by the screw itself.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:20 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
I first assemble the puzzle normally, then roll back before the assembling and move around the parts by hand. Then if you roll forward again you'll have an exploded puzzle.
I do not create an assembly file, it is still a normal part file.

You do not need to design the thread. A circular hole is enough and the thread will be formed by the screw itself.


Ok, sounds good. Put wouldn't twisting a side screw the screw in further? And are springs required?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:23 pm 
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No, for most designs, springs are not required but I like using them and you should use them if you can.
Take apart a DIY 3x3x3 to see how the screw connect the centers to the core. You want to replicate the same thing on your puzzle.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:27 pm 
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TomZ wrote:
No, for most designs, springs are not required but I like using them and you should use them if you can.
Take apart a DIY 3x3x3 to see how the screw connect the centers to the core. You want to replicate the same thing on your puzzle.


Ok. So do I get those at any hardware store? And is there a specific type I need?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:31 pm 
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I have just mentioned the screws (from the hardware store) you need a few posts earlier. For the springs you can use these (note that the screws and large washers from that package are generally not very good).
Some people have found suitable springs at the hardware store but not very many. I haven't.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:56 pm 
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This is a good thread that I would suggest get stickered or whatever it’s called.
It answers a lot of questions that you see asked a lot and has good beginners tutorials.
Of course that’s just my opinion and I don’t have the power to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:06 pm 
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Ok so I think my edges and corners are fine, and I have a picture here of each one duplicated to the right amount
Attachment:
3x3 pieces.JPG
3x3 pieces.JPG [ 123.9 KiB | Viewed 4574 times ]


There is a center piece there, but I don't think it is good. My main issue now is that I have no idea how to make the core. Any ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:03 am 
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Most people would use a hollow sphere as a core, because you can use very little material for it if you hollow it, and it also takes away more material from the other parts. You can edit your original sketch to have an arc from the stem of the centre piece to the axis of revolution. Then you can add your screw holes and shelling to that. I would recommend that you don't hollow the core out as much as the other pieces, because it could mess with the screws.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:55 am 
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I don't have too much to contribute, except the proposition that this/some other such thread is stickied, so that new builders can be redirected there. Also, it could be a place to gather designing tips and tricks. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:11 am 
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Please have a look at Grigr's file! That file shows very accurately how to construct a core and center pieces.
Going with a ball core is not necessarily the best option. If you do make a ball core then it is okay to hollow it out quite a lot but you should have some extra thickness where the screws go in.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:50 am 
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TomZ wrote:
I have just mentioned the screws (from the hardware store) you need a few posts earlier. For the springs you can use these (note that the screws and large washers from that package are generally not very good).
Some people have found suitable springs at the hardware store but not very many. I haven't.

For springs and screws you can contact (in NL) e.g.:

http://www.biesheuveltechniek.nl
http://www.tevema.com
http://www.besteveer.nl
http://www.borstlap.nl (also in Houston, Grand Rapids, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver)

They deliver B-to-B (only), so look for someone with a business to help you out if they don't accept private orders.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:59 am 
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I have got some pretty good experience with Fabory (borstlap) and I get my screws from them. Be careful about what type of material you pick because the price for a box of 200 screws can vary between €5 and €20 depending on that. They were very friendly and definitely not hesitant to sell to a consumer or very, very small business like me.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:02 am 
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Luke wrote:
Most people would use a hollow sphere as a core, because you can use very little material for it if you hollow it, and it also takes away more material from the other parts. You can edit your original sketch to have an arc from the stem of the centre piece to the axis of revolution. Then you can add your screw holes and shelling to that. I would recommend that you don't hollow the core out as much as the other pieces, because it could mess with the screws.


That sounds a bit easier so I think I'll try it.

Coaster1235 wrote:
I don't have too much to contribute, except the proposition that this/some other such thread is stickied, so that new builders can be redirected there. Also, it could be a place to gather designing tips and tricks. :D


I looked at it and learned a couple things. Again though, I'm new to Solidworks so I didn't really know how to go about making a core like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:13 pm 
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Ok, so I have spent a while on this and I made the core and worked on the pieces, but now I have run into this issue:
Attachment:
3x3 - Copyparts.JPG
3x3 - Copyparts.JPG [ 66.46 KiB | Viewed 4466 times ]


The pieces fit together fairly well, but the centers are for away. I'm not really sure what to do about this, because if I made the core and centers smaller, the pieces wont fit.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:22 pm 
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The core doesn't need to be changed, just the centers. Chop off half of their stalk so that everything fits snug. Or you can do the opposite and shorten the core arms.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:26 pm 
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Ok thanks for all the help guys. So now, how do you all design new puzzles? I mean with a 3x3 I can know whether or not it looks right, but you can't do that with a completely new design. And when you use revolves to cut all the parts, you have to design the core separately, right? Like when I cut all the 3x3 parts, it just had a solid square in the middle and I had to make the core separately with a new sketch. But is it always like that?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:27 am 
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Jake_L wrote:
Ok thanks for all the help guys. So now, how do you all design new puzzles?

From my very little experience with SolidWorks (about three weeks now), I think I can tell you a couple of things that I have realised. Thanks to SolidWorks' revolve and pattern features, if you can get some form of mechanism on each piece than more often than not it should work *theoretically*. After that, it needs to be designed so it can work in the real world. That involves making parts thicker and thinner accordingly, making grips larger, and adding tolerances, fillets and shells, and several other things. Then the puzzle *should* work in physical form.

Jake_L wrote:
And when you use revolves to cut all the parts, you have to design the core separately, right? Like when I cut all the 3x3 parts, it just had a solid square in the middle and I had to make the core separately with a new sketch. But is it always like that?

Not always. As I said earlier, it's quite common to use spherical cores with the puzzle, not only because it's more often cheaper, but also be it can be incorporated into the sketch. If you follow how I described how to make a core in an earlier post, you should then get a sphere as your core. Then you can add screw holes in it, and hollow it out, making sure that the material around the screw holes are thick enough that it doesn't break when screwing the screws in.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Luke wrote:
Jake_L wrote:
Ok thanks for all the help guys. So now, how do you all design new puzzles?

From my very little experience with SolidWorks (about three weeks now), I think I can tell you a couple of things that I have realised. Thanks to SolidWorks' revolve and pattern features, if you can get some form of mechanism on each piece than more often than not it should work *theoretically*. After that, it needs to be designed so it can work in the real world. That involves making parts thicker and thinner accordingly, making grips larger, and adding tolerances, fillets and shells, and several other things. Then the puzzle *should* work in physical form.

Jake_L wrote:
And when you use revolves to cut all the parts, you have to design the core separately, right? Like when I cut all the 3x3 parts, it just had a solid square in the middle and I had to make the core separately with a new sketch. But is it always like that?

Not always. As I said earlier, it's quite common to use spherical cores with the puzzle, not only because it's more often cheaper, but also be it can be incorporated into the sketch. If you follow how I described how to make a core in an earlier post, you should then get a sphere as your core. Then you can add screw holes in it, and hollow it out, making sure that the material around the screw holes are thick enough that it doesn't break when screwing the screws in.


Ok, so I took your advice and added an arc in the sketch and it made this:
Attachment:
3x3 Spherical Core Pieces.JPG
3x3 Spherical Core Pieces.JPG [ 86.15 KiB | Viewed 4335 times ]


So I'm wondering, after I add the holes for the screws, will it be ready for print and use? And that brings me to my next question, how do I add screw holes? I would assume there are certain spots I am supposed to put them in the spherical core, but what about the centers? Am I supposed to add center caps?


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:46 am 
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Again, the file by Grigr shows exactly how to add screw holes and a center cap. Your final file should look very close to a 3x3x3 DIY kit, which center caps and all.
A sphere core is just another alternative, which, while it is good for many puzzles, is not my fist choice for cube(oid)s and is definitely not always cheaper and also not any easier to construct (you always need to add screw holes to an armed or spherical core, and constructing the arms can be done simultaneously). You should add holes in the core in the same places as they were in your armed core.
You're still going to want to hollow your parts out, because right now you're looking at a pretty hefty price tag. Again, Grigr's file shows this.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Ok. Sorry its been a couple of days, but I have gotten caught up in some work. So I think I understand the 3x3 and I'm starting to try some other things. I made an axis cube and a fisher cube using Drew's tutorial and I tried to make my own using the same method he used. I have the part file here if you wanna take a look. Its a 3x3 mod. I think it looks interesting, but I have no way of knowing it can actually turn. I am a bit tight on cash so I don't want to spend a lot of money on getting this printed if it then doesn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Jake_L wrote:
Ok. Sorry its been a couple of days, but I have gotten caught up in some work. So I think I understand the 3x3 and I'm starting to try some other things. I made an axis cube and a fisher cube using Drew's tutorial and I tried to make my own using the same method he used. I have the part file here if you wanna take a look. Its a 3x3 mod. I think it looks interesting, but I have no way of knowing it can actually turn. I am a bit tight on cash so I don't want to spend a lot of money on getting this printed if it then doesn't work.


No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:shock:

Do not waste your money!!! :?

Shapeways uses "mesh medic" to fix non manifold files for 3d printing. This means all hollow shapes become solid. When shelling, select a face to delete and problem solved. Also you still need fillets and might want to add some clearence.

-Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:56 pm 
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PuzzleMaster6262 wrote:
Jake_L wrote:
Ok. Sorry its been a couple of days, but I have gotten caught up in some work. So I think I understand the 3x3 and I'm starting to try some other things. I made an axis cube and a fisher cube using Drew's tutorial and I tried to make my own using the same method he used. I have the part file here if you wanna take a look. Its a 3x3 mod. I think it looks interesting, but I have no way of knowing it can actually turn. I am a bit tight on cash so I don't want to spend a lot of money on getting this printed if it then doesn't work.


No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:shock:

Do not waste your money!!! :?

Shapeways uses "mesh medic" to fix non manifold files for 3d printing. This means all hollow shapes become solid. When shelling, select a face to delete and problem solved. Also you still need fillets and might want to add some clearence.

-Mike


I know that. I was planning on adding fillets and everything later. But I didn't want to spend time perfecting it until I knew it would work as a puzzle. Which I'm not sure about.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:17 am 
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Your file looks fine as is. It's just a Rubik's 3x3x3 without too many changes.
It's going to work fine once you prep it for print with center caps, a core, poper hollowing and fillets. Contrary to what PuzzleMaster is suggesting, you should not add any tolerances to a mechanism this simple.
You should recognize that many parts are duplicated and you should only do the finishing on one of each. This will save you a lot of time and make the file more manageable.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:50 am 
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TomZ wrote:
Your file looks fine as is. It's just a Rubik's 3x3x3 without too many changes.
It's going to work fine once you prep it for print with center caps, a core, poper hollowing and fillets. Contrary to what PuzzleMaster is suggesting, you should not add any tolerances to a mechanism this simple.
You should recognize that many parts are duplicated and you should only do the finishing on one of each. This will save you a lot of time and make the file more manageable.


Ok thanks I'll try it. I'll put it up when it's done.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:37 am 
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TomZ wrote:
Again, the file by Grigr shows exactly how to add screw holes and a center cap. Your final file should look very close to a 3x3x3 DIY kit, which center caps and all.
A sphere core is just another alternative, which, while it is good for many puzzles, is not my fist choice for cube(oid)s and is definitely not always cheaper and also not any easier to construct (you always need to add screw holes to an armed or spherical core, and constructing the arms can be done simultaneously). You should add holes in the core in the same places as they were in your armed core.
You're still going to want to hollow your parts out, because right now you're looking at a pretty hefty price tag. Again, Grigr's file shows this.


So I'm trying to add center caps to my new puzzle and I'm having trouble. I see how grigr did it on the 3x3 but it doesn't to help a lot on this one because the centers are shaped differently


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:23 am 
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Okay, I'm not sure I can help you here. Designing puzzles is tricky business and it'll take time to learn yourself the tricks.
I can offer you some hints: try making a plane that would slice off part of the centerpiece in a sensible way. From there you could build the cap. It's slightly harder because the plane won't be coplanar with the outside of the cap due to the shapemodding but it should still be easy to make. Just pick your plane to be parallel with one of the principal planes (top, right, front) and pick a point on your center.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:18 pm 
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hey might sound stupid but just upgraded to solidworks 2012 and my split tool isnt under where it used to be, anyone know where the heck it is?!


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:19 pm 
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I don't use SW but I'm sure you can find info about it under a Help menu.

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:31 pm 
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That's odd. It didn't move when I upgraded...

It's under Insert>Feature>Split

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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:09 am 
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Hey just wondering, would it be possible to make a cubic megaminx using Kepler's mod from the video twisty puzzles a la vi. It seems pretty simple, but I doesn't seem like anyone has made it


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 1:54 am 
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Ok. I have been working for a little while and I made a 3x3 dodechahedron. I have the link here if you wanna look at it. Again I haven't added holes for screws or anything, but I wanna see what you guys think


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:23 pm 
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You just described the Hexaminx it’s from 2007 and it’s a very cool looking puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Puzzle designing help
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:14 am 
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eye2eye wrote:
You just described the Hexaminx it’s from 2007 and it’s a very cool looking puzzle.
Aww I thought I was the only one who thought of it :( . Oh well, but what do you guys think of the 3x3 Dodecahedron?


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