Cube Puzzle Prototype




Introduction: Cube Puzzle Prototype

About: Just an ordinary person who loves #thinking and #tinkering

I don't know why I love things that bring headache. I have to admit that solving a puzzle is complicated, but making one is much more complicated. Well, I made one. Pardon my bad woodworking. I do need a workbench and jigs and more practices :D

I made this 11 cm x 11 cm x 11 cm Twist-Push-Pull to unlock the cube. Inside we have narrow space for keeping small things such as TF cards or some paper. Actually we can make more spaces for container. My calculation is we have 2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm on every corner of the inner cube. But to keep the cube simple, then I have two 10 cm x 10 cm x 0.5 cm free spaces in the cube.

Let's take a look at the mechanical inside...

Step 1: Prepare the Cubes

Here we have two cubes and two pieces of wood serving as the lock. The outer cube I use 45 degrees angle cuts to provide 6 identical surfaces. That's what puzzles are supposed to do right? You will never know which side is which. Well, it depends on your crafting :D

Then we put two pieces of wood as the lock. The sticks have to be pulled out of the lock to open the cube.

The inner cube is made to hold the mechanical sticks so that they won't get off their tracks. This cube can be shrunk to get more container spaces, but you need to do some math so that the mechanical pieces inside do not get stuck. Here I made simple cube, with no angle cuts. 9.5 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm where the 0.5 cm of the 9.5 cm is actually the space for lock piece but I use it to glue the inner cube to the outer. We need one surface of the outer to hold the inner cube.

Step 2: The Cuts

These are all the pieces for the outer cube, the lock and the inner cube. I worked with workbench and using some scrap wood as jigs, so pardon my newbie woodworking :D

At this step, I use rubber band to hold the cubes. Do not glue them yet. We still have some work to do.

Step 3: The Mechanical Parts

I use Voxel Builder to prototype my mechanical parts. Then I make cubes from paper. These paper cubes can't be twisted because of the corners. This is just like playing Minecraft :D

As the corners are blocking us to twist, we need to go round. For the mechanical parts, I use bamboo chopsticks. They have 0.5 cm in diameter and that's is where I started calculating the box size. There you can see my scratch on a paper.

Cut 15 cm of bamboo chopstick as the base stick. Mark the center. Make 3 pieces of 1 cm stick and 8 pieces of 0.5 cm. Curve one end of the small pieces to be stuck on the main sticks. Align and glue the pieces as the models we made before using Voxel Builder.

Okay, this is only a prototype. Using multi purpose adhesive on the bamboo chopsticks will not last long. I am thinking of crafting one piece of hard wood as the mechanical parts, but that will consume much time in the making.

Step 4: Testing the Mechanical Parts

For testing the mechanical parts, I use a box to hold the sticks on their axis. This step is just to make sure that this puzzle is solvable.

Step 5: The Drills

Put the mechanical parts on the x, y and z axes. We need to determine where to drill. Locate the center of the mechanical parts. I did this with my Minecraft cubes :D Locate the center of every surfaces of the inner cube. Remember to omit the 0.5 cm from your calculation. Imagine that your box is now 9 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm without that 0.5 cm which is supposed to be the lock.

Divide the surface into 4 quadrants and locate the positions of the main sticks at each surface. Watch out for the opposite surfaces, the holes are not in the same quadrant but they are mirrored vertically.

Step 6: Solving the Puzzle

The first six photos I will call them X and Y axes.

  1. The initial position.
  2. Pull X one step to the right.
  3. Turn X 90 degrees clockwise.
  4. Pull X one step to the right.
  5. Pull X until the rightmost mechanical piece meets the wall.
  6. Pull Y downward until the bottom mechanical piece meets the wall.

Next we are dealing with the Z axis. Here I took the photos with different angle so that we can figure out the vertical movements.

  1. The initial position.
  2. Twist Z 90 degrees clockwise.
  3. Pull Z one step upward.
  4. Twist Z 90 degrees clockwise.
  5. Pull Z until the topmost piece meets the wall.

It is that simple solving this puzzle. Is it? Yes if you can see the inside. But when the box is fully sealed, you don't know which side is which. You won't know where to pull the main stick. One side is to release the lock while the other side won't. When you pull or twist to the other side, you can be far away from initial positions. Then you have to crawl step by step to unlock the box. Good luck :D

Step 7: Go Back to Initial State

When you have unlock the box, you will have every stick shows up on one side only. So at the opposite sides the sticks remain flat with the holder box. Yes, this inner cube which we called holder box is made to hold the sticks on their positions and not to fall inside.

Now we put back those mechanical sticks on the initial position, so we get the sticks come out 3 cm on every surfaces.

Step 8: Assemble the Box

Do this piece by piece. You need to drill holes on every side just the same as the inner cube.

You should pay attention on which parts are glued together. When the box is unlock, we split the box into two parts.

One part consists of one side cover, one bottom cover, one bottom lock and one side lock those are glued together. The rest will be the other parts glued as one piece.

I am planning to put "My Will" inside this box and the one who solve this puzzle can have all I have. What do I have?

Puzzles Challenge

Runner Up in the
Puzzles Challenge

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Wood Contest 2016

Participated in the
Wood Contest 2016

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    6 years ago

    Looks like a fun puzzle to solve :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    It is like "breaking the safe" game. You can only twist, pull or push by instinct, and you need a lot of patient and luck to unlock :D


    6 years ago

    This is very impressive! I really like the idea, as well as the execution. Well done for making an original puzzle!


    Reply 6 years ago

    Thank you, Sir. I am new to woodworking, so it takes time to cut precision wood pieces :D Currently working anywhere around. Planning to get a portable workbench to achieve better cuttings.

    People in my neighborhood are fighting for heritages, then I think of a way to give them some headaches before they get what they are fighting for... or simply get an empty box with wise word in it hahaha...