In 1974, the world of puzzles changed forever with the introduction of the Rubik’s Cube. This puzzle, for anyone who has managed not to have seen one yet, is a cube constituted by smaller squares that can be twisted and shifted with the goal of getting one solid color on each side of the cube. Since then, we’ve witnessed some incredible puzzle solving skills, like a 14-year-old who solved the Rubik’s Cube in under six seconds. Some 3D designers have also broken new ground, as they attempt to 3D print large cubes that are still functional. Most recently, “corenpuzzle” has managed to design and 3D print a 22 x 22 Rubik’s Cube that is even larger than the previous record holder Dutch puzzlemaker Oskar van Deventer’s “Over the Top Cube,” which measures 17 x 17.
For a brief history of the 3D printed Rubik’s Cube, we first turn to Oskar van Deventer who holds a Guinness World Record for his 17 x 17 Cube. Completed in 2011, van Deventer received acknowledgement of his world record and has comfortably maintained this record for almost five years. But now the record has recently been outdone by corenpuzzle’s Cube that is larger than van Deventer’s design. corenpuzzle reports that his Cube was also inspired by Matt Bahner’s “Yottaminx,” which previously held the title of the “highest order twisty puzzle ever created.” Now, corenpuzzle’s own design is considered the “highest order end by end by end twisty puzzle ever made” and it has broken van Deventer’s own record, too.
Corenpuzzle’s Cube was 3D printed with a Prusa i3 3D printer — a “low end consumer 3D printer.” In fact, the designer states he built the puzzle with the intention of demonstrating how far consumer 3D printers have come in the past several years. It took him eight months to complete the Cube, which has an edge-length of 200 mm and 2,691 functioning parts. With this many parts, the number of possible position variations is almost incalculable!
After printing and assembly, corenpuzzle’s Cube initially came with some big problems mainly related to the inability to easily twist the puzzle. In fact, you can see here that in his first livestreamed attempt to twist the puzzle, the entire thing falls apart — ending in a disastrous pile of plastic pieces (see below photo)! Since then, he has posted better results on YouTube (see video below) that features accelerated footage of him more easily twisting the puzzle to create a checkerboard pattern. It took him 3 hours just to do that!
Corenpuzzle attributes early twisting problems to the lack of a strong puzzle core. After two fully-assembled puzzles fell apart on him, resulting in all of those pieces in one big pile, corenpuzzle was finally able to design a puzzle core strong enough to withstand any twisting motions. More than 869,00 people have viewed the video that demonstrates the puzzle’s record breaking qualities, and over at Thingiverse the puzzle has received 2,742 views and 694 downloads.
I am sure that this is not the last 3D designer who will attempt to break the Guinness World’s Record in this competitive category, and corenpuzzle has just raised the stakes a little higher with his 22 x 22 Rubik’s Cube design: a true sight to behold. Tell us your thoughts on this 3D printed puzzle in the 3D Printed Rubik’s Cube forum over at 3DPB.com.