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 Post subject: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:59 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Since I've been so inspired by E-cubes and his amazing speed-cube designing skills I decided to take a shot at it myself.
This is the result:
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lightning cube 1.jpg [ 102.7 KiB | Viewed 2324 times ]

I'm calling this design the lightning cube. (Bonus to you if you can guess why!)
The mechanism is based on a V-cube 3, however because there are numerous differences I don't think we can call this a knock-off. See for yourself:
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One of the differences is that I've removed surface area of the grooves wherever possible in order to reduce friction:
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You'll also see some extrusions on the bottom of the pieces. These act similar to a floating anchors mechanism and keep the pieces upright.
However, the biggest difference is the core, which is also the best. The core has several cylindrical extensions on the arms:
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lightning cube 6.jpg [ 67.64 KiB | Viewed 2324 times ]

The center pieces fit snugly over these. Why did I add them in? Well, when doing corner cutting on a cube, because the center is only held by the screw and spring, it can have the tendency to wobble to one side as you cut a corner (the center is pushed up by the layer). However, by adding that extrusion to the core, it makes the center move only straight up and down, which reduces the necessary force to move the center and making corner cutting easier.
I can't wait to try this out.

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Last edited by benpuzzles on Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:23 am

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:37 am
Very interesting. I wonder how that new core design will work. If it helps, I might add this concept to some of my drawings (on paper), with your permission of course. I won't implement it the same way as you though, because what you did keeps the edges from protruding as far under the center pieces because the core is thicker. I plan on making the edges go as far under the centers as possible by having them get close to the screw like in the 42mm ZanChi.

I would like to see you print this and try it with this core and a regular core to see how well your idea works. I would not be surprised to see this help stop pops because the center piece won't be able to tilt and give way to a edge that potentially will pop.

I have also just got an idea. If you were to make fillets or reverse fillets on your edges pieces to large, while increasing your reverse corner cutting ability, you will decrease your regular corner cutting. When you have the U layer slightly turned like a U turn and you do and R move, the top left corner of the FR edge pressing on the bottom of the FRU corner is what makes the layer begin to turn. By filleting to much, you make the R layer have to turn farther to make the UR pieces move with it and you leave a gap in the back. This gap in the back allows pieces to become misaligned and can cause lockups or pops.

So, if you don't fillet the pieces much, how will you reverse corner cut? My idea is to cut grooves on the edges. If you turn the U layer slightly like a U' turn and do an R move, the bottom right corner of the UF edge is being pressed on by the top side of the RF edge. This is where you should cut a groove. the groove should be angled so it makes the UF edge slide left when the UR edge goes up.

Last edited by Elrog on Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:40 am

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI
It looks like you might have problems with corners twisting, and all of that space inside the cube could allow the sticks inside to catch on each other. The edges look like they would popeasily as 45 degrees.
Just some things that I noticed.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:01 am

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Elrog wrote:
Very interesting. I plan on making the edges go as far under the centers as possible by having them get close to the screw like in the 42mm ZanChi.

I chose not to do this because I wanted to reduce the contact areas on this design as much as possible. I think for speed cubes simpler is better.

Elrog wrote:
I would like to see you print this and try it with this core and a regular core to see how well your idea works. I would not be surprised to see this help stop pops because the center piece won't be able to tilt and give way to a edge that potentially will pop.

I never thought about that stopping pops! Interesting thought.
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
It looks like you might have problems with corners twisting.

I was worried about this and I tried to make the base of the corners as large as possible to prevent this from happening. Hopefully it's not too much of an issue.
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
All of that space inside the cube could allow the sticks inside to catch on each other.

I'm 99% sure they won't catch. They are too short and too thin to do so.
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
The edges look like they would pop easily as 45 degrees.

Aug, I didn't see that. I think adding in a torpedo should fix it.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:13 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
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I also added an extrusion, so I can fit a longer spring into the center:
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The edges are truly stable at 45 degrees:
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Some more pictures of the mechanism:
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Now, dear Santa...

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:47 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Got some more pictures to share.
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Ok, the main reason I wanted to make this post is because I just had another epiphany about the new core design. I've already mentioned it should make corner cutting easier because it spreads out the force of the cut more, and Elrog pointed out that it may also prevent pops. However, I just realized it could also prevent corner twists too! Here's why:
First I'll get a picture of a normal style core for reference (I'll be printing this too to experiment):
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nrml core.jpg [ 79.64 KiB | Viewed 2148 times ]

Imagine a corner twisting on a 3x3 speed cube. What is actually happening that causes this? When a corner piece is being twisted, 2 things happen:
1) The centers adjacent to the corner will rise up (assuming there are springs in the puzzle).
2) The edges next to the corner will get pushed, and then push up the other 3 centers on the opposite sides, making them rise up as well (again, assuming there are springs in the puzzle).
But in what direction are those centers actually getting pushed? In a normal core design, the centers will get pushed off to the side. This is because the corner twist only happens next to one corner of the center piece, so all of the force will get exerted on that one end of the center piece only. This causes it to get pushed diagonally rather than straight up.
However, imagine if the puzzle instead uses the new corner design, which prevents the centers from getting pushed off to the side, and only allows them to move straight up an down. When you try to twist a corner, the centers will get pushed straight up rather than off to the side, which actually means they will rise up less overall (next to the corner). This greatly prevents corner twists from happening (or in the least, makes it MUCH more difficult to cause one).
I swear, this core design is proving to be amazing!

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI
I think that the plastic core will still bend some, and the centerpieces will still move to the side.
I think that I should also point out that V-cubes has a core like that in their 7x7x7, and other than the torpedoes, it looks like a V3.
If you produce this, I think that V-cubes would call it a KO, even though it is different, it is more similar than the guhong, and this could cause problems.
No offense.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:13 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:37 am
I don't think they can do anything about it unless if its for personal use. If he tried to make money off of it however, I can see this causing a problem.

That is interesting how it would help with corner twists as well. The only reason I'm waiting to see if it actually performs well when it is real is that I'm not sure if it will help with corner cutting or hinder it.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:18 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
I think that the plastic core will still bend some, and the centerpieces will still move to the side.

Of course. However it would be greatly reduced.
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
I think that I should also point out that V-cubes has a core like that in their 7x7x7, and other than the torpedoes, it looks like a V3.

Interesting...I'll have to look that up.
EDIT: turns out you're right. But there are more differences: the edges and corners don't fill up space to the core, the corner pieces have gaps to allow rcc, the edges have some groove material removed, parts are chamfered etc. Personally I think there are enough differences to make this unique, imo.
DOUBLE EDIT: I just thought...if this is a KO, then why isn't the [Under investigation]? It honestly resembles a V-cube 3 mechanism more than my design does.
Elrog wrote:
E-Cubes Designer X wrote:
If you produce this, I think that V-cubes would call it a KO, even though it is different, it is more similar than the guhong, and this could cause problems. No offense.

I don't think they can do anything about it unless if its for personal use. If he tried to make money off of it however, I can see this causing a problem.

Exactly. I don't plan to mass-produce this. Of course if someone else does, it's their problem if V-cubes calls it a KO.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:20 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Only some small changes today:
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Reduced the size of some of the chamfers, to help with normal corner cutting:
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But at the same time, I cut a tiny groove in the edges for rcc:
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And also added some concave rounding to the bottom of the sticks, so they have more support:
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I think this is now ready to print.
Oh, another note on this being a knockoff: I'm really starting to think it could be. Why? Because if you take a V-cube 3 and only remove material from the parts (without adding any), you CAN get to this design. However, it has a spherical core drawn in the cut sketch, rather than a spider:
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It also has an extra groove (for the torpedoes).
So, it's still debatable.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:48 pm

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
benpuzzles wrote:
Oh, another note on this being a knockoff: I'm really starting to think it could be. Why? Because if you take a V-cube 3 and only remove material from the parts (without adding any), you CAN get to this design.
If you take a slab of marble and chisel away the right parts you'll end up with Michaelangelo's David.

Material removal is a poor measure of how much something is a KO.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:33 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Brandon Enright wrote:
If you take a slab of marble and chisel away the right parts you'll end up with Michaelangelo's David.

True, but it has to be a slab of marble and not another material.
I guess my point here was to provide an analogy. Of course you can't determine if something is a knockoff by material removal, but it does help you determine if they have different geometries. For example you can't take a (patent) V-cube 3 and shave down the parts to get a Dayan GuHong. It simply can't happen because they have different geometries.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:53 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
I just ordered the parts for this puzzle today.
I can't wait to see how this works. They are expected to arrive in mid-January.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:46 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Ok, so I decided to look more into the mechanism of this puzzle and whether it is a KO or not. I actually discovered something pretty interesting, and that's the fact that the mechanism in this puzzle is more similar to the MF8 legend II than any other cube.
Here are some pictures:
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I designed my Lightning cube without knowledge of that mechanism and I've come to the conclusion that it has an identical mechanical approach, but there are a few differences (the main one being that my design uses spherical cuts while the MF8 uses cylindrical). The pieces have a cylindrical extension on mine, the core in mine is also different, and so are the groove sizes. But honestly those are the only differences. Both contain torpedoes, have a gap between the edge and corner, and have the same groove structure.
Is the MF8 legend II protected by any patents? If so that could be a problem as this is a clear "KO" even though I had no idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:29 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:37 am
There is also the fact that you are building it differently. Just the way that Fangshi assembles their pieces is different enough from Dayan that I think the could get away with having a fairly similar cube if they wanted to. I think the same applies here. I would not call your cube a knock off, though I am biased against the whole idea of knockoffs.

I understand why copyrights and patents exist, I just resent them. In my opinion, a designers goal should not be personal gain, but to help the community with a better cube (or whatever it is). If you present a new design with some good ideas, and someone else takes and combines it with something else better, that is a good thing! It is petty if not just plain silly to keep them from doing it just so you can be the one making money. Another good thing is that, without patents, whoever could find the cheapest way to produce the puzzle and sells it for less will be the ones who make money off of it because people will buy the product. Patenting ideas keeps others from taking it and improving it dramatically or a bit at a time. In other words, it slows if not prevents forward progress.

I think you shouldn't be allowed to keep someone from using your design, though I'd be fine with them having to pay a small amount back to the creator/designer/builder/whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:13 am

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA
benpuzzles:
I haven't taken any time to review the MF8 as a potential KO. It certainly has many features that remind one of the Verdes design, but cylindrical cuts are not one, and that is one of the more innovative parts of the Verdes patent that made >5x5x5 puzzles practical possible.

Elrog:
If you search on the forum you can find a wealth of discussion on the ethics of copyright, patent and our own KO policy. Many of the points you bring up are addressed and so I'd prefer not to have this thread derail into repeats of those discussions.

Note this isn't meant to discourage discussion (some have felt this was the goal in the past) but it is meant to diminish the number of times that often contentious discussion is repeated, and to make sure it happens in a proper place (i.e. not derailing another thread or bumping very old, contentious threads). This isn't something the community in general wants to wade through again if they have seen it one, two or many times before.

For new members this can be awkward as there is a lot to say on the matter and it is hard not to just launch into it. My request is that before doing so please take the time to catch up to the rest of us on the matter. Just because a lot has been said doesn't mean there is nothing left to say, but it does mean most of what you might bring up may well have been covered before.

A great place to start is our search page. Start with rule #14 and its associated link, but you may also try searching for "respect" and the user "DLitwin" for a head start, that will lead you to a very many discussions on the matter, which can then lead to others.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 1:36 pm

Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
This is a good Idea. Could you make a video once you have the parts? Thanks!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:28 am

Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:10 pm
While I do love this community's ability to intelligently discuss topics of interest to us solvers, I really wish KO discussions didn't stray so often into designer threads.

Ben, I don't think any 3x3x3 is copyrighted other than the Verdes design? And of course the Rubik's was but that expired. I'm also completely shocked that no puzzle has used the name Lightning Cube before!

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:45 am

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
TheCubingKyle wrote:
I'm also completely 'shocked' that no puzzle has used the name Lightning Cube before!

That made me chuckle. But I named it that because of my logo (if you didn't tell has lightning in the background).

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:43 pm

Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:28 pm
Wow, I was just thinking of a design for a cube today, and I came along this and it looked pretty similar.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:24 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Exciting news: I received the parts today!
I decided to order this in polished material (it was only 5 extra dollars plus it was a good opportunity to try it out). Personally I think it makes a HUGE difference, as the parts feel perfectly smooth unlike the grainy feel on normal WSF. But I probably won't be using it from now on in the future. However, I did notice the parts felt wet in the package. Is this because they wash the parts in water during or after the polishing?
Now it's picture time!
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Anyways, I decided to assemble this puzzle WITHOUT screws (using the new style core), just to see how well it would hold together:
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The results are surprising: even when I violently shook the puzzle in my hand it didn't have the slightest tendency to come apart
Unfortunately I don't have the screws for an actual assembly yet, but I'll be doing so this weekend, and I'll make a video.
For now, enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:43 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:47 pm
Looks like it will be fairly zippy

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:59 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:37 am
Great news! How long will it be before you get the hardware for it?

Also, I was wandering why you didn't have the center caps on in the pictures of your cube fully assembled. They do fit, don't they?

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:19 am

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Elrog wrote:
Also, I was wandering why you didn't have the center caps on in the pictures of your cube fully assembled. They do fit, don't they?

Look at the first picture.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:42 am

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI
It looks like it will lock up a lot. Torpedoes don't prevent pops, they can reduce them. Type 1 has screws that look similar to the extensions on your corners, but they are much longer.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:43 pm

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Near Las Vegas, NV
Well, I lied...
VIDEO
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DSC00467.JPG [ 1.6 MiB | Viewed 1341 times ]

I managed to find some spare screws I had, and decided to correctly assemble the puzzle. It works pretty well and is very smooth and fast.
I haven't assembled it with the old style core yet so we'll wait and see how it works with that.
Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:43 am

Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:53 pm
There seems to be a lot more friction with shapeways material than normal ABS plastic. Any chance you'll get it printed in that from another service any time soon?

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Last edited by Zem on Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:42 am

Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA
Zem wrote:
There seems to be a lot more friction with shapeways material than normal ABS plastic. Any chance you'll get it printed it that from another service any time soon?
I think in general printed products are going to be at a big disadvantage compared to injection molded for a few key reasons.

The first is that you are starting from something inherently chunky (layer based) and then applying grinding or friction to try to knock down these big bumps. Polishing can get you a long way, but there is a long way to go compared to the smoothness of the liquid skin of the molten injected plastic.

ABS can be really, really slick, as PuzzleMaster42 taught me long ago when solvent smoothing FDM pieces.
Even without sanding you can get a bumpy but very slick surface. With sanding you can get a great surface. It highlighted for me the difference between the levels of smoothness: The print and sanding level (macro) vs. the plastic skin itself (micro). Sanding without solvent smoothing, so far as I know, just doesn't go to the same level. Perhaps our resident tumbling expert Brandon has more info on the limits of abrasives and polishing, however.

With injection molded you start from (presumably) a polished metal surface (non-bumpy) and then get the further benefits of the slick liquid skin, which is pretty hard to beat when done right.

The place printed can beat injection is the lack of seams. For injection to work you wind up with artifacts of the injection process, particularly on complex pieces. If done well, these are in places that aren't critical to the movement. If done poorly, it can negate any of the advantages.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:25 am

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
I'm not sure I can really compare various materials to each other. They're just too different to directly compare.

I have a few thoughts I think are worth listing though (random order):

• Two very smooth plastic surfaces that fit together perfectly can stick rather significantly due to a vacuum effect from many tiny trapped pockets of air. Lubricant can make this vacuum effect much more pronounced.

• Injection molded ABS has many advantages in terms of hardness and smoothness, but the injection process itself can have many drawbacks like plastic burrs or pieces that aren't ideally shaped (in order to simplify molds). The MF8 Rex Dodecahedron is a great example of relatively poor turning not due to the material but the piece shapes and injection process.

• Two fine-grit sheets of sandpaper placed face-to-face actually glide past each other quite easily despite how rough they are. The feeling and sound certainly isn't great but the uniform roughness doesn't have the sort of gripy effect your intuition tells you it should have. Once broken in, Shapeways WSF is very similar in behavior.

• I've had cases where my tumbling made puzzles smooth and shiny but harder to turn. When I lubricated them they got even worse. I think this is mostly due to the vacuum effect described above. I've also had cases where my tumbling makes the puzzle turn better. It's hard to know how much I can attribute this to smoothing of the pieces versus just breaking in and increasing mechanical tolerances.

• I think the difficulty and cost in working with ABS and injection molding results in many mass produced puzzles that turn worse than an equivalent 3D printed version of the puzzle. I think most of MF8s mediocre-turning dodecahedrons are examples of this.

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 Post subject: Re: Designing a Speed CubePosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:08 am

Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:57 pm
Location: Green Bay, WI
For a more stable design, I suggest longer corner stalks, as that will move the primary contact surface closer to the core, like Type 5.

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