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.
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.
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.
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.