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 Post subject: Final Photos - New Tetrex Build
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:24 am 
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Some of you may remember I posted awhile back about a tiny prototype of the Tetrex Magic-Style 3d folding puzzle.


I the months since that time I've been working on a machined version in acrylic. I finally have the parts for a full test puzzle, and I thought I'd post these in progress images, and then update this thread with more info when the puzzle is fully stringed.

The 40 parts for a puzzle take a full week of machining time.

4 separate batches failed days into the process.

Finally, one succeeded.
Image

Each part has to be cleaned, sanded and polished by hand - a 12 hour process in this case. The red spot on my finger is where I accidentally cleaned, sanded and polished my finger. I reccommend trying that sometime.
Image


The machined tiles are designed with the corect angles to meet perfectly at the edges. Anyone want to guess what the internal angle on an edge of a regular tetrahedra is? It surprised me...

Image

The color inserts are just temp. I'll use this protoype to finalize the mechanism, and then add solveable patterns.

Image
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And here are the parts for a 10-piece tetrex! I'll post pics and video when it's done.
Image


EDIT - Updated photo links

EDIT 2013 - Corrected the name of the puzzle in title! From Textrex to Tetrex.


Last edited by JasonSmith on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:22 am 
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Very nice! I really look forward to seeing it strung together, perhaps at the end of the month.

So given the time involved to mill them, can you use one as a master and cast them out of clear plastic? Perhaps a trip to TAP Plastics is in order...

Great job,

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: New Textrex Build
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 3:07 am 
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Hi,

I've dabbled a bit myself with Pyramid Magics, back in 1988, but I couldn't build a proper working puzzle. I believe I did mention this once on the forum.

So you understand that I have mixed feelings. I think it's awesome that you have come this far! But I'm a little bit jealous that I didn't put in some more effort myself :-)

I love the look of it so far, especially with the Rubik's Cube colours.
Looking forward to seeing it fisnished.

Thomas

p.s. I also considered putting in one or two Octahedrons. Do you think that will work?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:34 am 
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The 40 parts for a puzzle take a full week of machining time.

4 separate batches failed days into the process.


Yeesh, how much do you consider your time to be worth? 3d printing might be very cost competitive (not to mention convenient and fast) by comparison.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:04 am 
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The tiles you need could easily be injection molded as well to eliminate the need for machining, sanding and polishing the parts. A simple straight-pull mold is not very expensive. I am researching a couple of rapid injection molding shops for a future project, and found that it is more reasonable than I had previously thought.

Excellent work on the puzzle! I am really interested in seeing the final product.


The angle is 70.53 degrees. This is the same as the angle of the partial turn on the Helicopter Cube that makes it Jumblable!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:29 am 
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Puzzlemaster42 wrote:
The tiles you need could easily be injection molded as well to eliminate the need for machining, sanding and polishing the parts. A simple straight-pull mold is not very expensive. I am researching a couple of rapid injection molding shops for a future project, and found that it is more reasonable than I had previously thought.

A guy at the TechShop told me he got a quote from http://www.eliplastic.com/ for $500 for 1000 parts. I don't know the details or complexity of the part he was going to mold, but those prices are pretty attractive.

Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:04 pm 
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dlitwin wrote:
Puzzlemaster42 wrote:
The tiles you need could easily be injection molded as well to eliminate the need for machining, sanding and polishing the parts. A simple straight-pull mold is not very expensive. I am researching a couple of rapid injection molding shops for a future project, and found that it is more reasonable than I had previously thought.

A guy at the TechShop told me he got a quote from Eli Engineering for $500 for 1000 parts. I don't know the details or complexity of the part he was going to mold, but those prices are pretty attractive.

Dave


Thanks for the link. I found Protomold, and Epsilon Industries. Protomold is an excellent resource for injection molded part design, and has an online quote system. Both of them seem to be set up for larger parts than Eli Engineering.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:56 pm 
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Bram wrote:
The 40 parts for a puzzle take a full week of machining time.

4 separate batches failed days into the process.


Yeesh, how much do you consider your time to be worth? 3d printing might be very cost competitive (not to mention convenient and fast) by comparison.


Obviously there must be something in this for me, although sometimes I'm not sure what. :D
The machine can run unattended controlled by a computer, so it's not so bad, just costly. Even the mistakes have been fun though. It's amazing how much there is to learn! I have a new respect for those in manufacturing and machining disciplines as opposed to working on a computer all day like me.

Anyway, I believe a 3d printed piece would have to be sanded and polished to be perfectly clear. At least based on clear printed examples I've seen. I'm looking into ways to produce these without sanding and polishing, namely injection molding.

Puzzlemaster42 wrote:
The tiles you need could easily be injection molded as well to eliminate the need for machining, sanding and polishing the parts. A simple straight-pull mold is not very expensive. I am researching a couple of rapid injection molding shops for a future project, and found that it is more reasonable than I had previously thought.


Yes, I've been looking closely at this too, although even the fairly good quotes I've received would make the result too expensive, so far.

I got a quote of about a doller per tile. Sounds ok, until you think- $4 per tetrahedra. And then $40 per puzzle, not including printing and cutting of the patterns, and making string loops, and stringing time. In the end, the market of people willing to pay more than $100 for a puzzle in relatively small.

I have also looked into using casting resin. I used to make prosthetic foam rubber appliances for character effects makeup, so I'd be comfortable working with those materials again. But I think labor would be an issue.

I haven't given up yet, though! I have some ideas on methods to mold these without much labor.


Puzzlemaster42 wrote:
The angle is 70.53 degrees. This is the same as the angle of the partial turn on the Helicopter Cube that makes it Jumblable!


Yes! That was a fun one to figure out. :)


Thomas wrote:
So you understand that I have mixed feelings. I think it's awesome that you have come this far! But I'm a little bit jealous that I didn't put in some more effort myself Smile


Man, based on your amazing mods, you should be happy you moved on! I want a cubic megaminx and skewb of the same shape as a set... :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:42 pm 
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io, this is wonderful!!!

Plus, it is more colorful and the pieces seem bigger than the prototype.

Just one question, how much detail is there on the triangles? I would love to know because I would most definitely love to buy some too!!!

:D


Pantazis

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 12:05 am 
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What a spiff job! I don't know how I managed to miss this...

Question, though; Why would it take a full *week* of machine time to make one puzzle? That is, I have recently also been CNC-ing out a bunch of pieces for puzzle and assembling them by hand, with 60 pieces per puzzle, 6 sets of 10 distinct parts per puzzle. The program had one tool change, and I fiddled with the feed / spindle rates to get everything as fast as possible, which led to a production of about 1.5 hours per set of pieces (machine time). Now, looking at yours on the surface of things, it looks like you have a much simpler design than I had (in terms of machining, not the puzzle itself :) ) and less pieces too!

Thus, I cannot see why yours should take more than one hour (tops) per puzzle. Of course, I could really be missing something here...

If you would like me to take a look at your design (again, in terms of the maching plan, not the puzzle itself) I'd be happy to take a look to see if I could help you knock off a bunch of production time.

Cheers!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:54 pm 
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Sorry this is a quick post! Heading out in 5 minutes.

Here's a video of only 2 tets strung up. It feels nice to play with. It's got that satisfying click when it folds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7WbtB46Zr4

More to come very soon...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:02 pm 
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Just throwing this out there... Would it be possible to make like an icosa-magic with these?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:13 pm 
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Thanks Pantazis! The triangles are detailed to match my Maya (I know, I should use something more solids based) model up to about 1/100 of a mm. I tried to use Rubik style sizing for the grooves, tile thickness, and edge lengths of the tiles. I would love to see what you would do with them!

the.drizzle- I've been looking for someone to give me some machining tips. The problem is the small grooves dictate a small tool, and the fact that I'm milling scan-line. I'll PM you so you can help me out! :D

Here's a final You Tube video of the finished prototype in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCQ_jgC7cY8

And here are a few shapes I made while trying to get familiar with the puzzle:

Image
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EDIT - Updated Photo Links


Last edited by JasonSmith on Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:19 pm 
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I WANT IT! GIVE IT TO ME NoW!!!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:21 pm 
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He posted the wrong link.

Here's the correct one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCQ_jgC7cY8

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:31 pm 
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Thank you Noah! I have modified my last post to have the correct video. Not sure how I got that one wrong...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCQ_jgC7cY8


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:47 pm 
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i love this puzzle. it looks absolutely beautiful. i think its a great new type of magic like puzzle. You and pantazis really have created some amazing masterpieces.
Keep building!!

Sam

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:21 pm 
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that is one sexy puzzle :shock: :shock:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:15 pm 
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No problem, still very nice job. It's a great concept. Way to produce! :o

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:27 pm 
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completely awesome, great job !!!! :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:46 pm 
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Amazing. Flexagons in their full power: 3-D and twisty! Beautiful!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:25 am 
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That looks great! Some crazy shapes going on!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:24 am 
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That is so cool!
I love it!
Vadim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:48 am 
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Aahhh... the connected parts and the bright colors.... this must be one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen!

Ask anyone here, and I am sure they agree with me, I can never get tired just looking at it!

:)



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:48 pm 
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Great job! :)

the peculiar shape reminds me the work of two german mathematics (and artists), who wrote a book about the work of M. C. Escher. The book was published - as I know - in Germany and Italy; I owe the italian version and this is the cover:
Image

The book is about the figure patterns of Escher, and how those planar patterns can fit in geometric solid figures, depending on their simmetry (triangular, square, hexagonal, etc.).
In the book there are also schemes of how to build revolving paper models: the following example is an hexagonal ring of tetrahedrons:
Image

I'm not saying that your work is not original: it IS! Because the works above are not puzzles, they are a kind of 3D artwork, some of them "revolving", but definitely not puzzles. Yours is a puzzle: it changes shape, it is tied in magic style and belongs to magic family, no doubt. But maybe, if you could read this book, you can get new ideas... expecially for patterns!
An Escher pattern on your puzzle would be amazing... please, consider the way figures match together in the images above. Amazing, isn't it? :)

Ages ago I made a couple of those revolving paper models in blank paper, just to try... I made a little video just now, but youtube now is down. I will try to upload it tomorrow, if I have time. :wink:

Compliments again for your masterpiece!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:38 pm 
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Thanks everyone for your comments!


Thanks Gianni-
That's great inspiration for patterns. Thanks to your tip, I just ordered the English version of this book, or at least a book on Kaleidocycles by the same two authors. :) Maybe I can come up with an Escher-like patterned version of this puzzle... The magic-style properties of this puzzle could lead to some interesting Escher-like ideas. I had never heard of Kaleidocylces before, but I can tell I'm going to like them.

The more I play with this prototype, the more fun I'm having. I have been happy to find that it has some distinct states it can be in - perfect for hiding solved states.

I'm looking very serously into producing these and a few other designs commercially, but I only want to do so if I can keep the prices low.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:51 pm 
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Scott Bedard wrote:
Just throwing this out there... Would it be possible to make like an icosa-magic with these?


Just saw this reply for some reason.

If you're talking about these regular tets forming an icosahedron, then yes that's possible and I'd like to use that as a solved state. Even having a chain of 20 tets in kind of a rubik snake configuration would be really fun to form into an icosahedron.

If you're talking about stringing solids, I haven't been able to figure out a good way to string icosahedra in this way since the angles get really oblique, or the paths the two solids take get really boring, more like rotating gears.

But it does work on cubes, and it might work on Octohedra, although I haven't confirmed that one myself. Actually, I think octohedra might not be very exciting - I believe only 4 faces of each octohedron in a connected pair would come into play. This is because a tip has to rotate to a tip and an edge to an edge. So the two pieces would be stuck rotating around a single tip. But this is the kind of confident statement that gets proven wrong all the time. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:33 pm 
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From the videos it looks like ten is kinda a large number of pieces for this kind of puzzle, with few positions which it isn't obvious how to get to. Does the puzzle have hard to find positions with six or eight pieces?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:34 pm 
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First off all I love this puzzle and to have both of them soon. I think its some what more or less looks like a Nob Yoshigahara folding Flexagon(sorry I don't know the name of the puzzle) but IMHO it this hold together better and looks better.

Are you just going to be making the triangle version? Any cubes at all? I hope.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Bram wrote:
From the videos it looks like ten is kinda a large number of pieces for this kind of puzzle, with few positions which it isn't obvious how to get to. Does the puzzle have hard to find positions with six or eight pieces?


Hi Bram-

Choosing the number of pieces was definately tricky. I built 6 other smaller painted test versions with 6 (2 of these) , 8, 10 (2 of these) and 12 pieces.

6 is trivial, and only has a few more positions than a kaleidocycle.

8 gets a bit more interesting, and I may make it as a "junior' version of the puzzle later. It has some interesting configurations, but it didn't feel like something that would be chewy enough for the people who enjoy these kinds of puzzles.

10 was my favorite, obviously, and I felt it could be closest in complexity to the original 8 tile magic, so I decided to go with that number for the first real version. (I found all these positions in the first hour or so of fiddling around with the real puzzle.)

12 is great, but very involved to work with. I would consider it a master edition *when* I make it.


Darren Grewe wrote:
Are you just going to be making the triangle version? Any cubes at all? I hope.


I'd really like to make a cube version too. There are 2 other totally unrelated puzzle designs I'm working on first.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:06 pm 
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I managed to upload a short video of two kaleidocycles I made: hexagonal (6 tetrahedrons) and square (8 tetrahedrons). Once again: they are not puzzles, but could help for problems involved in "tetrex" rings. Here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIZP1AFNw1s

They are made from A4 strong paper, just cut, folded and glued.
By the way, the tetrahedrons are not similar between the two paper models: their proportions depend on how many ones you want to bound in a circle (assuming that you want no space left in the center while revolving the kaleidocycles - that gives them an "elegant" look).

I also found an italian site with a tutorial, if you are interested in building them:
http://utenti.quipo.it/base5/geosolid/caleido.htm
The images should be quite clear, even if you don't speak italian.

Io, if you are interested to discuss about kaleidocycles once you get and read the book, just send me a PM and maybe I can help you: I experimented a little on these fascinating shapes :wink:

Compliments again to IO and greetings to everyone! :)


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