Introduction: Cubiks Rubes! - How to Design Your Own 3D Printable Rubiks Puzzles.

Rubiks and other branded magic cubes have been around for years and are available in hundreds of different and incredibly interesting variations. However, they all still (mostly) follow the same principle and in this instructable I will show you how you can design your very own Rubiks cube (using Tinkercad) of any variety for 3D printing or the sheer satisfaction of having designed it.

I'm first going to walk through making a cube specifically and then in less detail look at a few other variants you can make leaving the more complicated shapes to someone who uses a CAD program more friendly to order-n symmetry than my native Tinkercad (before some kind natured person makes a suggestion on CAD I'm planning to get into fusion 360 ;) ).


3D printer or access to one if you want to print it out.

Step 1: Step 1 - Splitting Your Cube and Hollowing It Out:

First you need to split the cube into the segments you want to move on the completed cube (mine are all 20mm by 20mm by 20mm). Here they're equal but you may want to shift it so you have lengths of 30mm-20mm-10mm on the edges.

Next you need to take a sphere and position it inside the segments you now have so that it ideally slips into them all a bit and entirely covers the center piece (mine is 40mm). You then make it a hole and remove it from the segments. You now have the outer segments in a position that they can rotate freely in all directions with the sphere remaining central.

Step 2: Step 2 - Segmenting the Sphere:

Now that you have the exterior pieces you need to make the interior pieces which will replace the sphere. I've started by splitting a cube with a side length equal to the sphere's diameter (40mm) and splitting it into cubes and cuboids of 10mm and 15mm edges.

I then transferred those cut lines onto the sphere so that it became 27 pieces and then removed the center of the cube and the centers of the (once square) faces bringing the piece count down to 20.

Step 3: Step 3 - Attaching the Inner and Outer Segments:

Now that we have the inner and outer segments for the edges and corners (I'm holding onto the centers for step 4 so if you're impatient skip ahead) we connect the corresponding inner and outer segments so that you end up with something similar to the image where the edges will hold the corners in place and the centers will hold the edges in place.

Step 4: Step 4 - Making the Central Assembly:

This is the key assembly which holds everything in place and keeps it from falling apart.

You first need to make some central cylindrical pieces which correspond to the central measurement from step 2 as these cylinders will replace the cuboids which originally went in the centers.

The cylinders will then need hollowing out so that you can run an elastic connector through from the two opposite central pieces. You can then attach part of the cylinder to one of the central pieces and leave the rest as a piece that fits inside your original center of the whole cube (20mm by 20mm by 20mm in my case).

Step 5: Step 5 - Putting It All Together:

Now that you have the corners, edges and centers you can put it all together and send images to your friends whilst being smug.

If you're satisfied with this level of smugness the rest of this won't be of interest but if you want to be even more smug... ...scroll down...

Step 6: Step 6 - Making a 2x2 Cube Part 1:

For this I simply re-engineered the exterior of a 3x3 by removing the centers and edges.

I began by turning the 3x3 cube into a sphere with the same diameter as it had before then taking 8 cubes of the half the diameter each and taking out the sphere I have from the center of them.

Step 7: Step 7 - Making a 2x2 Cube Part 2:

For this you now attach the corners of the 3x3 to the appropriate 2x2 piece.

This means that the corners of the 3x3 are in essence just covering the rest of the piece and the other pieces still move under the surface.

Step 8: Step 8 - Making a Tetrahedron:

I'm not going to go into much depth with this but it follows the same lines as the cube in that you start by splitting it into the moving pieces and then adding a sphere to the center.

The first image shows the octahedral piece and how the tetrahedron locks into it and the other images show the assembled and exploded mechanism.

Step 9: Step 9 - Making an Octahedron

This is one I've only just started and you can see how I've split it up into the moving parts and in the red image taken out a sphere and begun making a system for the parts to rotate around.

Step 10: Conclusion:

Overall this is quite easy to do once you work out how to fit the outer segments to the inner ones and how they will rotate around one another.

I hope I've inspired you to try this for yourself. Show your pictures but only if they aren't better than mine ;) and as I've entered this into the 'Fandom' contest please vote for me.

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