# 2x2 Magnetic Dice Cube

5 Steps
Shortly after finishing my Magnetic Rubik's Dice Cube, I began to think about the prospect of creating a 2x2 version of the dice cube.

First of all, some terminology of the cube that you need to know. A "cubie" refers to any one of the small sub-cubes that makes up the entire cube. A center is a cubie that has only one visible face. it's color or number determines what that side will be, because a center cannot be moved to another side. Edges have 2 visible faces, and are positioned betwixt the centers. Corners have 3 visible faces, and each touches 3 of the edges.

A standard 2x2(x2) Rubik's Cube is essentially a 3x3(x3) cube, but lacking the centers and edge pieces. This presents a problem for creating a magnetic 2x2 cube in the same manner as in my dice cube and gfixler's magnetic cube. In a 3x3 cube, the corners always touch edges. Therefore it was possible to use identical polarities for all internal sides of the corners, as long as all the edges had opposite polarities. In the 2x2 cube, corners touch directly to other corners. No matter what system of polarities you used, there would be some situations that would make the cube unstable or explode.

So I scrapped the idea, until I realized that I could embed a steel ball inside the cube, to which each cubie would attach via a single magnet. The ball would not be a magnet, but rather just a steel ball or ball bearing. Half of the cubies' magnets have one polarity, and the other half the opposite, so that no matter how the magnets are arranged, they will always be relatively stable.

This cube feels very similar to a real cube, albeit quite a bit heavier. The cubies do not snap into position after being turned, as in the 3x3 magnetic cube, since their attraction is mostly to the core rather than each other. Therefore, it's remarkably like a standard 2x2 cube, but that it's translucent and will fall apart more easily (more easily than a 3x3 dicecube too--because it has less than 1/10th as many magnets).
I consider the dicecube (both 3v3 and 2x2) as more of a novelty item than something you would want to use every day, so I don't mind that it's not particularly stable.
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## Step 1: Get the Materials

I decided to use blue dice this time around. If you can find dice at a local hobby or crafts store it will probably be cheaper than buying off the internet like I did, as shipping and handling charges can be a pain. I bought some playing cards at the same time, which offset the shock of spending \$5 shipping on \$6 dice. The magnets and core I purchased from KJ Magnetics. The rest of the materials and tools I already had, including the leftover LocTite epoxy from the 3x3 cube.

### Materials

• 8 3/4 inch or 19mm Dice (10 recommended)
• 8 R424 ring magnets (I bought a pack of 25, again because of shipping)
• 1 NSBA 5/8" diameter steel ball (Since they are only \$.60, get a few in case one is lost)
• High Strength Glue or Epoxy (transparent or translucent)
• Scrap wood (oak or some other hard wood)
• Wood glue
• Optional: Wood screws
• Optional: Silicone Spray Lubricant

### Tools

• Drill Press
• Dremel or other rotary tool
• 3/4" sanding drum for rotary tool
• 17/64" split point drill bit
• Belt or disk sander (or sandpaper & elbow grease)
• Utility knife
• Shop-vac
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NESmodder says: Mar 29, 2013. 2:54 PM
Maybe if you put magnets on the sides that touch it would be stronger.
NESmodder says: Mar 29, 2013. 1:09 PM
i think i'm gonna try this one, by the way good job!
geodez says: Jun 3, 2009. 9:04 PM
i made something like this, it was a 1X1X1 cube and i solved it in .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds.
joey99 in reply to geodezNov 25, 2012. 7:33 AM
o ya, well i have a 0x0 cube and solved it in a time not measurable by man.
E-R-IC in reply to geodezJul 25, 2009. 6:08 PM
oh yea, 0 seconds. pwned
geodez in reply to E-R-ICJul 25, 2009. 6:59 PM
including picking it up and setting it down, to do that it has to come in contact with your hand, leave the surface it is on, and leave your hand.
DaJesusFish says: Mar 10, 2009. 2:43 PM
wouldn't it have been easier to like the four up dice and heat the ball to melt the grove instead of drilling them they way you did? buy good job looks nice :)
flipout in reply to DaJesusFishSep 29, 2012. 12:35 PM
good idea!!!
bumper44 says: Feb 3, 2009. 12:00 PM
My record for solving is 1:41. Here is a video of me solving a Rubiks cube!

Danielguo326 in reply to bumper44Dec 22, 2009. 5:20 PM
Mine record is 50 seconds
The Nomlack in reply to Danielguo326Feb 26, 2011. 3:47 PM
Mine is 15 secs. using fredrichs method
PKTraceur in reply to bumper44Mar 2, 2009. 5:44 AM
What algorithm are you using? I try and use the crosses but I can only get one side :( -RoAr
ichisato in reply to PKTraceurDec 17, 2009. 6:19 PM
I DO PARKOUR TOOO >.<
PARKOUR123 in reply to PKTraceurJul 20, 2009. 12:49 AM
u do parkour? So do I! awesome!
PKTraceur in reply to PARKOUR123Dec 18, 2009. 12:41 PM
PM me on APK!

WoodlandGhillie (Everyone calls me "Blanc", NOT Blank.). im trying to change my APK user to it.)

Traceurs FTW!!! I always like meeting another one.
ichisato in reply to PARKOUR123Dec 17, 2009. 6:19 PM
ME TOO :D OMFG APK FTW!!!
PKTraceur in reply to ichisatoDec 18, 2009. 12:38 PM
You know Leon of The Tribe? IVE MET HIM!

Nicest guy you will EVER meet. His precision is 11+ft!!! he also showed me a dive roll UP 5 stairs, into a roll.

My username on APK is WoodlandGhillie , PM me!
bassclarinet23 in reply to PARKOUR123Nov 9, 2009. 1:33 PM
What's "pakour"?
PARKOUR123 in reply to bassclarinet23Jan 24, 2010. 3:24 AM
bassclarinet23 in reply to PARKOUR123Jan 24, 2010. 6:53 AM
Yes, I did. That's really cool. I wish I had the guts to try stuff like that.
PKTraceur in reply to bassclarinet23Nov 9, 2009. 1:41 PM

*Parkour, mind you.

Parkour is an art of movement designed to get you through an environment as quickly and safely as possible. Its common to also have "efficieny" included in the definition.

guitarmonk15 in reply to PKTraceurFeb 2, 2011. 3:33 AM
Quickly, yes. Safely, i don't think so
elkalpin in reply to PKTraceurMar 1, 2010. 3:14 PM
I thought it was a way to get form point "A" to point "B" as creatively as possible!
PKTraceur in reply to elkalpinMar 1, 2010. 3:20 PM
The Office got it pretty darn wrong.

That WAS a very funny skit though! :D
elkalpin in reply to PKTraceurMar 5, 2010. 10:19 PM
I hope you know I was joking!
bassclarinet23 in reply to PKTraceurNov 9, 2009. 1:44 PM
Oh, sorry. Thanks....I'll check it out.
PKTraceur in reply to bassclarinet23Nov 9, 2009. 1:45 PM
Don't worry, the misspelling happens quite often.
PKTraceur in reply to PARKOUR123Jul 20, 2009. 7:32 AM
AWESOME!
wbrm77 says: Feb 21, 2010. 12:03 PM
ow do u make the pattern on the rubiks.com cube
pumpkin_link says: Apr 19, 2009. 12:21 PM
its a good thing to do when ur in prison :)
lawl r u in prison?
Why?
endawmyke says: Aug 15, 2009. 4:23 AM
This is cool
nicolo86 says: May 23, 2009. 10:36 PM
you know that you could have glued one dice to the magnetic ball and then only make the other holes to the other 3 dices
PKTraceur in reply to nicolo86Jul 20, 2009. 7:32 AM
No, because then you have to move that particular piece, but you couldn't because you glued it... Counter-Intuitive!!!
GnomeMaster says: May 20, 2009. 3:19 PM
is there any easer way to do this? that hole cutting I mean because I made one but it looked horrible because I couldn't get the sanded bit at the right angle so they were sticking a falling off any ideas?
ac-dc says: Jul 26, 2007. 3:54 PM
RE: Holding down the dice with your fingers whilst drilling - be very careful, this is a daring way to use a press. One inclination might be to wear gloves, but this can be a problem in that the bit could catch on the glove (which is even closer to the bit while holding such a small object than a gloveless hand would be) and then your hand is pulled along for the ride. A more elaborate jig might be the conservative route to take. Another option would be to take the jig, screwed together not just glued, and put it in a pan you fill with water up almost to the tip of the cube and freeze. Drill while it's suspened in the ice, and the ice will result in the plastic being colder so the bit cuts cleaner too. Overall this is a nice project but I can't help but think there might be some way to get some LEDs in there (just kidding).
burzvingion (author) in reply to ac-dcJul 26, 2007. 6:17 PM
You make a good point, one that I probably should have spent more time talking about in the instructable, other than the comment on one of the pictures. One problem I see with freezing the dice is that the friction of drilling tends to create a lot of heat, which I would think might melt the ice around the die rather quickly. Some of my original ideas included a round washer with a hole large enough for the bit to fit through easily, yet small enough to catch the edges of the die. then wires would be attached somehow to the washer, which would go through the base and attach to weights or tensioned springs. In the end however, I decided that since the plastic is pretty soft, my hand pretty steady, and the press fairly slow, I'd try it without the complicated washer setup. On a final note, although I never had any problems with losing control of the dice, if you do happen to, get your hands away from the work area and turn off the press.
snarke in reply to burzvingionApr 9, 2009. 11:04 AM
I'd have to agree with ac-dc: unless you're using a wholly inappropriate drill bit, there's no way you can generate enough heat to melt the ice before you've finished drilling the die. You did, alas, use a semi-inappropriate bit. There are special bits for drilling acrylic. Instead of the tip having a sharp edge, the cutting surface at the tip is perpendicular, so it scrapes away the plastic instead of digging into it. Digging stresses the plastic and creates microfractures that, over time, can propagate into "crazing." (Water, like the moisture in air, encourages acrylic fractures to spread.) You can make a normal bit into a best-for-plastics bit by just filing down the cutting edges at the tip to square them off. However, especially with smaller holes and bits, this tends to be less of a problem. Using solvent glue, or heat-polishing, also can heal the fractures before they spread. (These holes are too small to heat-polish. It involves a blowtorch. :) But I digress. I was going to say, if you wanted to lock down the die for drilling, seems to me that an ideal way would be to cut the 55-degree block into six slices instead of three. (Yea, probably start with a somewhat longer piece of wood for that.) Make two similar jigs. Put the die in the first one, as show. Drill a hole through the center of the second one, where the three guide lines meet. (Hmmm. How to get that hole centered precisely between the three blocks is, er, left as an exercise to the reader.) Set the second jig on top of the die. Drill through the hole. You really ought to be able to just hold the second jig in place while drilling, but if one were going to make many many 2x2 cubes, you could use dowels to lock the top jig to the bottom one.
ac-dc in reply to burzvingionJul 26, 2007. 10:17 PM
Unless the drill bit is incredibly dull, there is no problem melting the ice just to get a hole of suitable size. A hunk of plastic is a reasonable insulator, and a large block of ice doesn't melt very fast. It only needs to hold it still for about 5 seconds if that and the drilling can actually go faster when you're not having to be particularlly careful of your fingers. We can think through lots of ways to do it, but generally speaking you may have more skill or experience with a drill press than some and I'd hate to hear someone had their finger harmed. It's easy to get too relaxed using a drill press and to forget just how powerful it is. Suppose somehow the bit caught on your finger, it can easily force the entire hand up to the top of the bit and that's going to be startling enough that you won't be able to so quickly turn the press off, and turning it off doesn't apply any kind of braking on most presses. IMO, safety first.
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