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 Post subject: Impressions of The Master Starminx?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:39 pm 
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Hi all

I was just reading this thread where bmenrigh showed a picture of Eric's master starminx. I must have seen it initially but seeing it again it looks stunning. On the original thread here initially there were a lot of deserved great comments and quite a few saying they'd buy it. The last post was back in March. Can I ask some of those people to comment on their impressions of it regarding value for money, solving experience, turning quality etc. I've never bought a shapeways puzzle and like buying puzzles for their solving value, as opposed to how they necessarily look, although this one fits both. I'm thinking of making this my first shapeways but would like some opinions first.
Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:46 am 
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rline, it's heavily suggested that if you are going to bump a thread then you should have something rather important to add to it, otherwise simply start a new thread and link to the old one.
[Admin: Thread has since been split]

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:28 am 
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rline wrote:
Hi all

I was just reading this thread where bmenrigh showed a picture of Eric's master starminx. I must have seen it initially but seeing it again it looks stunning.
Hey rline, the puzzle is great. The turning is very good for having two layers per face. It isn't entirely fair to compare the Master Starminx with a simpler puzzle such as the Multidodecahedron because the Master Starminx is very complex. The MD turns slightly better but I'd say the Master Starminx turns as good as you could ever expect from a puzzle with two layers per face.

I enjoy solving the Master Starminx quite a bit. I do a reduction to Megaminx and there are several ways to do this. It's a good casual solve. The Multidodecahedron takes a lot more concentration to solve because the Starminx points and Pentultimate corners both require a lot attention to get the setup moves down so that you can undo them successfully.

The only negative thing I can say about the Master Starminx is that the edge-wing pieces are very small and the stickers [b]must[b] be glued. No amount of ironing / hair dryer / heat gun are going to make them stick well enough to be solved.

I've been too busy to post anything meaningful about the puzzle but if you want to take a look at my pictures I have them all here:
http://www.brandonenright.net/~bmenrigh/tp_forum_images/master_starminx/

For me, at the $200 price range, I'd say the MD and the Master Starminx are "tied". It's a matter of preference, they offer the same quality to price.

In terms of maximum solving value for your money, I think Eric's Unbandaged Helicopter Cube is the puzzle to get. For $82 it offers an amazing solving experience.

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:45 am 
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mitchblahman wrote:
rline, it's heavily suggested that if you are going to bump a thread then you should have something rather important to add to it, otherwise simply start a new thread and link to the old one

Hi mitchblahman,
The forum rule says "Others may bump a topic if there is true value in doing so." First, it's only been 3 months, not 3 years and there's nothing in the rules giving specific time ranges. But the main reason I didn't create a new topic is because I think my post and (hopefully) its replies will definitely add value to the topic. To this point there have been no posts describing what I've mainly asked about, such as people's experience after having actually bought the puzzle. Sorry if this doesn't seem important to you.

Quote:
Hey rline, the puzzle is great...

Hey bmenrigh,
Thanks for your response. I don't have a MD but I know enough about it to know what it is adn how highly it's regarded. So to hear that the Master Starminx is on a par with that is pretty cool. I see what you mean about the edge-wng pieces. They look miniscule.

So the pictures in your folder, are they of a pre-assembled puzzle, or did you get DIY? If so, did you get the stickers from Oscar?

I thought it was all completely "straight" but photo 11 in your collection appears to show it curved. Am I imagining this?

Do you think this puzzle is ever likely to be mass-produced?

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:44 pm 
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rline wrote:
Thanks for your response. I don't have a MD but I know enough about it to know what it is adn how highly it's regarded. So to hear that the Master Starminx is on a par with that is pretty cool. I see what you mean about the edge-wng pieces. They look miniscule.
Mechanically for the puzzle they're just fine the way they are but they do make stickering more work.

rline wrote:
So the pictures in your folder, are they of a pre-assembled puzzle, or did you get DIY? If so, did you get the stickers from Oscar?
It's 100% DIY. It has also been polished in my rock tumblers.

I used to order puzzles fully pre-assembled from designers but after seeing how much work it is to count, dye, assemble, break in, and sticker a puzzle I don't think they charge enough. I don't want my orders to burden the designers with huge amounts of work. Also, since I tumble my prints now, DIY is the only option.

I have a video guide to buying DIY puzzles from Shapeways about 90% done. I have just been too bogged down with life/work duties to finish and present it.

rline wrote:
I thought it was all completely "straight" but photo 11 in your collection appears to show it curved. Am I imagining this?
The shallow "Megaminx" cut is straight and the deeper "Starminx" (actually it's roughly a 1.1.4 depth cut) is curved outward slightly. This does not change the piece types in the puzzle. All it does is increase the size of the center and Starminx point pieces. It also seems to make the turning of the face + slice very smooth and less catchy than it probably would be with a straight cut.

rline wrote:
Do you think this puzzle is ever likely to be mass-produced?
Do I think it is likely? No. Factoring in all aspects of the puzzle like solving and mechanical complexity is it a good candidate? Probably.

The way Eric has designed it, it's really not much more complicated than a Gigaminx. It has a Gigaminx as the inner shell and then some of the Gigaminx piece extend out to the surface with rails / grips on them so that they can hold in the additional Starminx pieces.

The trouble with trying to mass produce the puzzle exactly as Eric has designed it is that the inner Gigaminx pieces are too small and intricate for injection molding. They'd have to make the puzzle bigger (40mm edge length at a minimum). The other hurdle is that Eric added a redundant rail to the Gigaminx pieces for more stability holding in the outer pieces. This adds to the complexity of the puzzle and probably is beyond what you could reliably do with injection molding. It isn't strictly required but it most likely adds to the stability and smooth turning of the puzzle.

In order to be mass produced the mechanism would need to be redesigned to work around these limitations that printing in WSF don't have.

Eric made a video of the mechanism, explaining much of it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-PMefTmo8g

If it were made Teraminx size and other tweaks were done to the curve, cut depth, etc. I don't see any reason why it couldn't be mass produced and be a functional puzzle. Also, for its complexity I find it to be very easy to assemble. Assembling it is positively fun.

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:07 pm 
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I'm not trying to start a fight here but three months is a long time, and I'm sure if you ask any mod they will say that making a new topic is a better idea. I know you may think you're adding something by bringing it up, but your inquiries don't add value to the thread. When I first joined I payed little attention to the bumping rule and had a talk with an admin because of it. Honestly it's quite annoying when people bring up old threads.

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:56 pm 
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Does anyone have any mech pics? Other than the ones clause posted, I mean.

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 Post subject: Re: The Master Starminx by Eric Vergo
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:55 pm 
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rubixwiz031 wrote:
Does anyone have any mech pics? Other than the ones clause posted, I mean.

Check out the mechanism video. You can't get much better than that.

If you want images to help you assemble it, trust me, it's easy to assemble. If you need help, the ones in this thread are more than enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Impressions of The Master Starminx?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:11 am 
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mitchblahman wrote:
I'm not trying to start a fight here but three months is a long time, and I'm sure if you ask any mod they will say that making a new topic is a better idea. I know you may think you're adding something by bringing it up, but your inquiries don't add value to the thread.
Mitchblahman understands the policy correctly.

rline: It is quite subjective, but anything over two weeks is generally considered a bump. It would probably help if we note that in the rules (I'll consult with the other staff on that). [Edit: Rule updated!]

Regarding adding value, that does indeed mean the bumping post. So a bump that leads to potential value added isn't necessarily adding value. A post from someone who had recently purchased it and wanted to give a detailed review would probably balance out the three month bump. But a post asking someone to do so does not, as there is no way to know if anyone will respond or the detail with which they will respond.

In this case the more important factor is that you are changing topics from general reaction of the new puzzle to a review and value proposition. This deserves its own topic and fits well linking back to the original.

I have split the new posts into a new topic and edited your message to add the link back to the old.

Dave :)

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 Post subject: Re: Impressions of The Master Starminx?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:06 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
I have split the new posts into a new topic and edited your message to add the link back to the old.

Cool. Thanks. :)

bmenrigh wrote:
It's 100% DIY. It has also been polished in my rock tumblers.

This sounds like some serious commitment! Rock tumblers? I'll say that the photos are wonderful. A great selling point for me.

bmenrigh wrote:
I have a video guide to buying DIY puzzles from Shapeways about 90% done. I have just been too bogged down with life/work duties to finish and present it.

I look forward to looking through it when it's done. I'm sure it will be helpful to people such as myself.

And thanks heaps for your detailed answers to my queries. Really appreciated. :D

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