I will assume, if you are reading this, that you have already read gfixler's Instructable. The primary purpose of this instructable is to highlight some of my modifications on his idea. So if you are planning on building one of these, I recommend you go and read his now.
The non-symetrical nature of some of the die patterns gives the dice cube an extra element of strategy not present in regular Rubik's Cubes. This variable of rotation is an aspect of the "sudocube," but the dice cube is easier to solve, because each face contains identical figures, and every cubie is unique--two properties of the original Rubik's Cube that are not carried over to the "sudocube."
Equipment & Parts List
- 96 D32 Neodymium magnets (100 pack recommended)
- 12 D62 Neodymium magnets
- 27 3/4" or 19mm dice (30 recommended)
- High Strength & Quick Drying Glue or Epoxy (transparent or translucent)
- 3/16" split point drill bit
- 3/8" split point drill bit
- Scrap Wood or Metal to make a Die Jig
- Carpenter's Square
- Drill Press with stop
- At least 3 clamps - more is better
- Shop Vac
- Standard head screwdriver
Update (2007-07-20)It's been a while since I've been around here; lately my internet has been sporadic at best, and nonexistent at worst. But I'm here now and I'll try to get caught up. I've noticed that the same questions tend to come up again and again in comments, so I've decided to answer some of those here.
All in all, the cube cost me about $60, although at least a third of that was for shipping and handling, as well as the drill bits that I bought specifically for it.
Many people assume that the cube spins just like a normal rubik's cube (I did too at first), but in reality, the faces move in more of a snapping motion, which is quite satisfying, though it doesn't lend itself readily to speedcubing.
If you take the time to analyze the magnet orientations and polarities, you will probably come to the conclusion that creating a 2x2x2 cube with dice and magnets is impossible. Indeed, any magnetic cube with an even number of sides presents some interesting problems, but they aren't insurmountable ones. You just have to think outside the box (or in this case, the cube). I am in fact, currently making at 2x2 cube. I started a few weeks after I finished the 3x3, but I haven't worked on it since then until today. That being said, I should probably have it finished this weekend. I believe that a 4x4 would also be possible, though more difficult and certainly quite heavy. Anything higher than that is probably a pipe dream. (probably)
Update (2007-07-21)Well, I finished the 2x2 cube this morning. It's really not a lot of work once you have the jig finished. In fact, it was more fun to make the 2x2 than the 3x3. That said, the end result for the 2x2 is less cool than the 3x3, and in retrospect, making the 3x3 is much more satisfying in the end. Anyway, check out the 2x2 cube.
Step 1: Get the magnets.
For the rest of the connections, I used the same D32 magnets that gfixler used.
A total of 108 magnets are needed: 12 D62's and 96 D32's. Buy a 100 pack of D32 magnets, in case you lose a few or glue one in backwards.
When you get your magnets, the first thing you should do is mark them. Connect them all in one long "chain" and use a sharpie or other marker to mark the same side on each magnet. Make sure that the marked sides of the small magnets have the same polarity as the marked sides of the large magnets.
As for polarities, I used this method:
- Core: All faces "Red"
- Centers: Face touching core "Silver," other faces "Red"
- Edges: Faces touching centers "Silver," other faces "Red"
- Corners: All faces "Silver"
Using this method, most of the cubes have both polarities facing inward at some point. This should reduce the stress placed on the glue and reduce the chance of a magnet coming out. Additionally, the corners are attracted to the centers and core, which should help keep the corners stable while turning a layer in the finished cube.
While gluing the magnets in with this method, clamps are only needed for the core and corners. I recommend waiting 24 hours in between gluing the core magnets, as they are strong and very close to each other.