# Win Pro Membership For A Year... Solve This Puzzle

This is a 3D printed puzzle that has as much to do with illusion as it does with problem solving (I'll explain that after it's solved).  Two very simple pieces shaped exactly alike, need to be assembled to form a pyramid.

It's not that easy...

...And I'm not disclosing the solution.

What I'll do is give a year's pro membership to the first person who makes these, solves the puzzle and adds a photo of the finished pyramid in the comments below to prove it.

The stl file is for 6 sets.  The pieces are small, will fit into your pocket and allow you to take them with you to hand out.  If anyone wants a single piece, let me know and I'll publish the file for a single piece.

Trust me, you'll want a lot of them.  They make great hand-outs.

Enjoy.

Update - June 22, 2012:
New Pro Member Mathlas has won this contest using "old" technology.  He posted a photo that looked so much like it was computer generated, I had to make sure he really made it.  Sorry for the delay, Mathlas and congratulations.

Update - July 18, 2012
It's been a month since the contest and time for me to explain the difficulty behind this puzzle... First, there's a mild optical illusion going on with the rectangular part of the shapes.  The square looks a tiny bit longer in one direction. your subconscious, like your boss, will tell you that rectangles only fit together in one direction, but won't tell you why.

Next, and this is more diabolical: when asked to make a pyramid, everyone will think of an Egyptian pyramid.  Egyptian pyramids have 5 sides... 4 triangular and one square (the bottom),  This pyramid, is a true pyramid with only 4 sides,,, All of them triangular.  It's very difficult trying to solve a puzzle when your blueprint is of something else.

And thanks to everyone else who replied.  I'm going to be busy sending off badges for quite a while :)

And while you're voting for me, why not check out all of my other Instructables using my own Chindogu SMARTPHONE APP (It's free, kinda cool... But, clearly worthless.  Ya gotta check it out at http://app.cat/bfksinstructables/

#### 2" Pyramid.stl

 1-40 of 45 Next »
FrozenIce2 years ago
DARN IT!! One look at the first picture and i knew the answer!!! AAAHHHH i will go mad.... okay back to sanity, it is too late to enter. Will you be making more of these challenges? Please, please please! Very smart, too :)
bfk (author)  FrozenIce2 years ago
Thanks Frozenice (I really like your user name), I've given away several memberships, but haven't been as active here of late. I've been doing more over at "Thingiverse.com" since it relates directly to 3D printing, which I've been doing a lot of.

I'm beginning to use the printer more for making parts for my latest project (which I can't seem to be able to add a photo of here). Maybe I can do a couple of instructables around it and have another contest. They are fun to do.

azharz3 years ago
Just do it yourself because my camera is not working properly.
azharz3 years ago
Just keep both face to face and rotate one of the piece in 90 d the puzzle is solved
smeet1993 years ago
Can u keep one more compitition please keep
DoctorDv3 years ago
It would probably work if you took one that is larger than the other one and put one of the smaller shapes faces onto the larger shapes faces and keep messing around until you get a pyramid. I've been thinking about this for awhile and it seems to work in my brain! I don't have access to a 3d printer so I cannot print one. Cool illusion though!

-Doctordv
bfk (author)  DoctorDv3 years ago
Thanks for your response David. Sorry for my delay, but I've been out of town. You don't need a 3D printer to make one of these. This one was made from rosewood.
Grey_Wolfe3 years ago
I didn't see this challenge till just now. I instantly was trying to come up with a paper folding pattern because I don't have a 3D printer. :(

Too bad the challenge is over, I wouldn't mind me some Pro Membershipness. lol
bfk (author)  Grey_Wolfe3 years ago
Gee guys, I wish I could hand out memberships to everyone who responds, but I'm not associated with Instructables and have to earn them like everyone else. I need to save a few for other things. If you post your own Instructables, you can begin collecting your own memberships and giving them to folks who'd benefit.

I just returned from a trip and took a couple dozen pyramid puzzles with me and handed them out to everyone from kids' parents (don't give them directly to children who don't know you) to waitstaff. Everyone appreciates small gifts and bowled over when they're from complete strangers and awed by the difficulty of this seemingly simple puzzle.
smeet1993 years ago
i borrowed it from my small brother
smeet1993 years ago
can i get membership now
Wellsinator3 years ago
This is the first page I visited on this site!

So, I saw the challenge while at my podium at work, designed and constructed the pieces within twenty minutes (paper and scotch tape), and solved the puzzle in about ten seconds.

Such a fun challenge! Wish I had come to this site earlier in my life, so amazing!
bfk (author)  Wellsinator3 years ago
Thank you for your great comment and the pictures of your puzzle. And because this was the first page you came across on instructables and because you actually made the puzzle, I'm sending you a 3 month. Pro membership. This is your lucky day:-)
Pranavthegreat3 years ago
no when i was small i got it in a chips pack
Pranavthegreat3 years ago
here it is!!!!!!!!!!!
bfk (author)  Pranavthegreat3 years ago
Beautiful! And for all your trouble getting it to me, I'll send you a 3 month pro membership as well!

Is that printed? I made one like that (in black) that's been polished up and looks pretty good, but yours has finished edges and everything. NICE work!
the dashing hero3 years ago
hello, is it too late to enter?
bfk (author)  the dashing hero3 years ago
Hi:

Yes it is, but I'll send you a 3 month membership for being 2nd!

It looks good. Did you make it out of paper?
sahilverma3 years ago
Hi I am sahil verma from India ( 16 yrs old)
I would like to state that there is one fool proof method .
This is BRUTE FORCE ( Its the method that can even be programmed into a robot in order to solve puzzles)
The only pre requisite is a little bit know-how of permutations and combinations.
how this works is like this :-
each peice has 5 sides so the total number of possible arrangements is 5x5=25 . So its a sure shot way to figure out the answer in 25 chances .
ONE of the 25 permutations is the answer.
bfk (author)  sahilverma3 years ago
Hi Sahil Verma:

Thank you for your insightful comment! Because you are thinking, I'm sending you a patch.

There is one flaw with your solution. What your propose is correct IF all of the sides could fit the other sides only one way (like a jigsaw puzzle).

The sides of these shapes are completely flat, therefore they can each be rotated to any degree and placed against another side, which in turn can be rotated to any degree, creating an infinite number of possible combinations.

Of course, people do not place the shapes together and say to themselves, "hmm, that didn't work", and then, rotate one of the pieces a few degrees and say "hmm, that didn't work".

But in this puzzle's case, the two square sides need to be placed together (and because of that optical illusion thing I've mentioned, those sides usually get put together so the pieces are facing the same direction) and then one of them needs to be rotated 90 degrees.

I like the way you think, because of all the comments so far, you are the only one who has tried to explain the solution scientifically. Keep up the good work, and maybe someday we'll hear about you in your career, whatever it is you decide you'd like to do. (hint: Physics is nice).

And because you are the only one who has tried to explain the solution scientifically, I'm also sending you a 3 month pro membership!

Enjoy.

3 years ago
Yeah ! I too figured out the direction issue in the placement of the pieces which will exponentially increase the number of permutations, but couldnt add that in my comment as my mom was after me " switch of the computer at ONCE !" haha!!
AND THANKS ALOT for the PRO MEMBERSHIP !!!! yaaaaaayyyy !!!!!
you just made a 16 yr old occupied for 3 months !!!!

Thanks again !
Pranavthegreat3 years ago
how can i post my picture
bfk (author)  Pranavthegreat3 years ago
At the bottom of the comment box, directly under the "be nice" notice, there's an "add images" box. Click that and it will allow you to select what you want to post from your computer and then, upload it to your "library" where you can add it to your post
Pranavthegreat3 years ago
thnxx for the measurement but how can this triangle??
bfk (author)  Pranavthegreat3 years ago
This is a pyramid cut exactly in half. Each piece has 2 triangles. Look at the drawings others have posted to see how they fit together. I am a little confused by your question. Please ask again with different words. I want to make sure you are getting the right answer from me.
Pranavthegreat3 years ago
i know how to make it but i just need its layout of it
bfk (author)  Pranavthegreat3 years ago
What do you mean by "layout"? The only dimensions missing in the drawing are the angles (assumptive Sketchup limitations), but they're all 30Âº, 60Âº or 90Âº and it's easy to figure out which are what.

If I'm missing something, I'll add it.
Hawkeye_bkj3 years ago
Unfortunately, I don't have have access to a 3d printer and haven't built one yet either. So to show the solution, I modeled it and have an exploded view.
bfk (author)  Hawkeye_bkj3 years ago
Nice graphics Hawkeye. Don't worry about a printer. I didn't have a printer either when I was designing and patenting ideas for decades. I used to make prototypes by hand with the same slicing technique these printers use (with .020 styrene). The results were far better than printed. The down side was it took tons of time to make every prototype. The printers aren't speed demons either, but the advantage is, I can design something, send it to the printer, go back inside, sit on my butt. watch TV and eat ice cream.

In 10-15 years, everyone will have one. Businesses will probably give them away... Here's why:

Mr. businessman wants to sell product, so he spends the money to buy materials, have tooling built and product made. Then, this product needs to be packaged and shipped back to his warehouse where it sits on a shelf . Mr. businessman has just spent a lot of money in the hopes someone comes along and wants it. Meanwhile, he's still spending money to store it.

Now, if all his potential customers had a 3D printer, all he would have to do is store his product on his server. When someone wants one, they pay hime via PayPal and he sends them the code to print it out. He doesn't even have to spend money on materials, packaging or shipping. The customer supplies all of it. For the businessman, it's 100% profit. For the customer, it's 100% instant gratification, like downloading an app or a song.

Right now, we're in the Stanley Steamer / Model-T era of these printers, even though slicing technology has been around since the 1970s.

The longer you wait to get a printer, the better your prints will be. Try using the slicing technique or, if you use a program like Sketchup, the folding technique.
3 years ago
you are so damnnnn funny! at first i thought you were being serious then i was like no thats not possible, who does the slice method when they dont have a 3d printer? dude that was hilarious
bfk (author)  Brandon23z3 years ago
Actually, slicing was used in the 1970s when auto manufacturers needed to get prototypes quickly from their suppliers. The supplier would "slice" their drawings and fax them (faxes were a "new" technology, back then) to Detroit where the engineers would cut the shapes out and glue them together, just like a 3D printer does today.

All technologies are offsprings of earlier technologies. If the inkjet printer and plotter hadn't been invented, we most likely wouldn't see fused deposition printers today. I'm not saying there wouldn't be 3D printing, just not fused deposition 3D printing. Why? Because all the knowledge about X-Y printing wouldn't have been available to the designers and inventors of 3D printing technology. They would move toward the most understood technology available to produce the results they wanted. Maybe stereo lithography lasers (laser printers) would have been the most cost effective way to produce a solid object today.. Who knows? We all could be knee-deep in resin... And you thought changing your own ink is messy:)

Bottom line, I may be funny, but I'm dead serious about technologies and how we got where we are today.

But thanks for the comment. I mean that. You just gave me an idea for an instructable.
alindsey33 years ago
bfk (author)  alindsey33 years ago
Sure did... But don't let that stop you, make a pair and have some fun.
mathlas3 years ago
I made my own template and printed on carton
3 years ago
Old tech wins...fast.
bfk (author)  smessud3 years ago
I don't think this is old tech. This looks like a CG image that is very photographic looking, but I need someone to make a physical set... Not too cool showing your buddy an image of the puzzle and saying "Bet you can't figure this out".

Technology is great, but we still operate in the real world... Make me a physical puzzle.. How hard can it be?

But yes, sometimes the old way will beat out the new... I suspect that may still happen here.

Make it out of putty, send me the photo and you'll win... Cheeeeese
3 years ago
I don't have any putty, but I assure you that it is real, I printed it on 185g carton and glued it together. Here another photo with other REAL stuff :)
3 years ago
And some more photos from different angles
bfk (author)  mathlas3 years ago
Congratulations Mathlas!

I will PM your pro membership to you ASAP!!!

Nice job on those pieces :)
3 years ago
Mathias has obviously made a "Real" version of the puzzle...So are you going to award him the prize..?
 1-40 of 45 Next »