Instructables
This project is a modified version of gfixler's Magnetic Acrylic Rubik's Cube, and uses red translucent dice instead of clear acrylic cubes. I give credit for the dice idea to ella and andyholloway, who were going to build a dice cube, however I do not know if they ever finished.

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.
 
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Hello burzvingion, I made some changes that result in a great stability of all layers. The core magnetos get in the central dice of each face, avoiding the layer slip. Strong magnetos and lubricant avoid other dice to pop. Magnetos: 11X05mm (core and central), 06X05mm (central, edges and corners). I had to change the places of the central and edges pieces 06X05mm magnetos. The corners magnetos keep at the center of the dice. May this dice cube be sold or there is some patent law that do not allow? Thank you for this great project. Arthur Fierro
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hi arthur, I'm brazilian as well. where did you bought your magnets? in a fast search in the net i could only find a 05x05 and a 10x05 and both with astronomical prices...by the way, this green one is really cool!
Hello xarcanx, Thank you for your comment... Yes, I paid an astronomical price for either the magnetos and dice, that came from US, because importation taxes and freight are really expensive. I also made a fast search in the net, but it was enough to talk to a brazilian dice factory and discover that 19mm dice are not produced in Brazil, just 18mm or white 20mm. If you want, email me: arthurfierro09@hotmail.com
thanks, according to my calculations the magnetos from K&J Magnetics should be around R$46,00 taxes free. How much you paid with the taxes and all? Now, I really don't think the dices size matters anyway, the 19mm dice is just so the cube is the same size as a real Rubik's cube...
I'm really sorry, I don't remember, but freight and importation taxes are very very expensive. I got many dice and magnetos to use the same freight as You can see. About the dice size, 01mm less in each face become a enormous difference at the final result. If you need, email me: arthurfierro09@hotmail.com
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wow I really like what you did here. I just ordered my Equipment for this and can't wait to start. I am going to use your changes on the core.
Hello Jesus Wept... Don't forget that if you change the core you must change the central and edges magnetos places. Thank you for the comment. arthur
I made one following the original project and this one with the core magnetos into the central pieces and You were right about the mechanical connection. This one is far far better to solve. $295!? Wow!!! Of course this is not easy to build but I was thinking something like $150 - $180 and giving up thinking it was too expensive to someone pay.
I personally like the design idea. I found when I made mine it slips often irregularly--some magnets are in too deep, others just right, and others flush with the dice. I never considered rising above the side. As far as selling it, someone actually did sell his on ebay for $295-- a bit much if you ask me, but then again if someone was willing to pay that much, who am I to judge? Apparently they cannot be patented. On gfilxer's instructable, it is discussed the reason(s) why.
burzvingion (author)  Arthur Fierro6 years ago
Nice work! I thought about this before I built mine, but I thought that keeping the magnets flush with the die faces would yield greater recombinational potential (i.e. it makes it more fun to put together in other ways) and help keep the magnets from (explosively) popping out of their sockets. As far as selling them it's probably not a problem but you may want to talk to gfixler first, as mine is largely based on his design. Also mine is licensed as by-nc-sa, which prohibits commercial use and states that all derivative works must be licensed similarly. I'm not sure exactly what constitutes commercial use however, as I don't enjoy reading lawyer-speak, and as such haven't read the actual legal code.
:D finally made one on my own... one tip for those without a drill press but have a hand drill... good luck... mine came out to be a mess... i just kept thinkin to myself, "Man i wish i had a drill press, would make life so much easier" I used blue dice with mine :D No idea how this picture thing here works but the first is the completed cube, second is the mistake hole made, and third is where the magnets were put in incorrectly and i had to take them out and glue back in :P
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Hey nice cube, just it's kinda hard to tell from the photos, since it's transparent can you see the glue and other marks that are in the third photo from the outside? Is it easy to tell or do you have to look closely? I unfortunately lack a drill press and will have to resort to the hand drilling method , I just wanna know if it will look anywhere as clean as the others from the outside. Thanks
Wow, nice cube! I am thinking about making a 2x2 cube, but I need the magnets.
drs2991 Koontay7 years ago
You can't make a 2x2 with dice it just won't work because of the polarities... Well, you couldn't turn it... it would explode
burzvingion (author)  drs29917 years ago
Actually, you can, but better wait for my instructable on it (coming soon) before you do anything :)
Hey how exactly did you drill the holes with a hand drill? Did you need clamps and any other tools? Thanks
well... first i marked off the depth with tape, had to constantly take off and put back on... then i had work gloves that added padding for my fingers, then i held the dice extremely tight with my hand like a fist, then started to drill slowly, after i get deep enough i had a rubber pad which added grip to the dice that I put on there while i drilled with more pressure
burzvingion (author)  MastaAzumarek7 years ago
nice job, i like the blue dice. are they from uncle's? I am actually in the process of creating another project using their blue 19mm dice, but it probably won't be finished any time soon.
yep they're the blue ones from uncle's... thought i would use one of their specialty ones, but i liked the transparency
sanzai2 years ago
How smoothly does the cube turn? I want to make one, but I want to be able to carry it and solve it.
it wont fully work, when you rotate to some patterns it will fall apart
you obviously dont understand how it works.
could you use earth magnets?
what if u make them out of wooden cubes and stain the sides to different shades? it would be easier to drill and wont scratch as easy.
Michaelhot13 years ago
cool
could you use hot glue or would it not hold up?
fastback5703 years ago
You may not be down feeding fast enough if getting melting even before the drill bit is warm. increase feedrate.
calebman3 years ago
WOWWWW!!!!!!!!!! EXCELNT!!!!! MY RESPECTS!!!!!
ninjutsu4 years ago
I am about to start making mine this weekend, for anyone wondering about prices I am in Canada and in total my costs are around $50-60. I still need to go out and get glue, but I do not expect it to be very costly. I ordered my magnets from the one in the instructable, and I got my dice on eBay, which was allot cheaper.
Ill post my results when I am finished.
ok so I went out and got the glue, and after standing there staring at all the glues I finely ended up going with a very similar epoxy that tries transparent, and in 5 min. it came to about $10 after tax. I got it at home hardware, but I would assume that you could get it at a Canadian tire, or hobby shop.
ok so i have made it and it is finished ... finally : D. i will post pics of it soon. To be honest it took a lot longer than i thought, i used lapage epoxy, which dries very quickly. i could glue 4-8 magnets for each time i mixed the glue.  to apply the glue, i used q-tios that i pulled the cotton off of. and clamps, clamps are completly necessary.
the hardest part: doing the middle part, lineing up the drillpress
the easiest part .. . .... well it felt awesome to get it done XD
all that is left to do is clean up the extra glue that oosed out. lighter fluid or rubbing alchol should take it off. ill post pics in a day or two.
sorry i never posted pics, i would now but someone got a hold of it and broke it. it was fun and really cool everyone i showed it to loved it. i see a lot of people talking about their fastest times and so i thought i would share. my fastest time is 32 seconds. an other thing i have done was solved two at once (one in each hand) in under 4 min.

where it sorry about the poor spelling. q-tips instead of q-tios. and the many other mistakes XD.
Sorunome4 years ago
I made it, and it's great! I don't have any pics, but I wanted to ask if it is possible to make a 4 by 4 by 4 cube?
Hunter O.4 years ago
Dang I really need to make one of these things! It would be really cool if you could make a 4x4 but for the core you would need a big marble-magnet thing
Hey can you tell me if there is a way to do this so that a persosn could make jewelry... say make the cubes smaller and make a necklace?
You did a fantastic job... I have to admire it from afar... I do not have a drill press.
Boy if someone could invent something to center a hand drill we'd all be happy.
Congratulations on a gorgeous modernistic look, and play.
smiles
grace
Sorunome4 years ago
Can you make a magnetical 4x4 rubiks cube??
Wow, that is awesome.
fastback5706 years ago
I am wondering if a 2 fluted end mill would work better esp. if the magnets are cylinder shaped. One thing I'd like to see is how do you figure out how to put the magnets so that pos+ lands to neg-. Do you start out with the positives all facing out from the center?
burzvingion (author)  fastback5706 years ago
I don't have a mill, so I can't really say if it would work better or worse, but I'm fairly certain it would work, at least somewhat. As far as the magnets, I think I covered the polarities pretty thoroughly in step 1.
I would suggest a forstner bit. It drills perfectly round, straight sided holes with flat bottoms. There is a small center spur hole that would collect the excess glue. They are not that expensive. Cool instructable.
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