Introduction: Laser Cut a Traditional Chinese Wooden Game Huarong Dao(Klotski)

About: Handaxe_Maker

In this article we will introduce the history and math of Klotski, and how to use laser cut to make a Klotski.

Klotski is a sliding block puzzle, usually have ten blocks, the aim is to move a specific block to some predefined location. Several different-sized block pieces are placed inside a box, which is generally in 4×5 size.

(Some content is from wikipedia Klotski , Three Kingdoms)

Step 1: History

Among the blocks, there is a special one (usually the largest) which must be moved to a special area. The player may only slide blocks horizontally and vertically. Common goals are to solve the puzzle with a minimum number of moves or in a minimum amount of time.Chinese wooden game Huarong Dao is Klotski’s Chinese variation.

based on a fictitious story in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms about the warlord Cao Cao retreating through Huarong Trail (in present-day Jianli County, Jingzhou, Hubei) after his defeat at the Battle of Red Cliffs in the winter of 208/209 CE during the late Eastern Han Dynasty. He encountered an enemy general, Guan Yu, who was guarding the path and waiting for him. Guan Yu spared Cao Cao and allowed the latter to pass through Huarong Trail on account of the generous treatment he received from Cao in the past.
– Wikipedia Klotski

In traditional Chinese wooden game Huarong Dao(华容道), the largest block represent Cao Cao (曹操), he was one of the central figures of the Three Kingdoms era (AD 184/220–280), Three Kingdoms era was the tripartite division of China between the states of Wei (魏), Shu (蜀), and Wu (吳), following the Han dynasty and preceding the Jin dynasty. Cao Cao laid the foundations for what was to become the state of Cao Wei(曹魏).

Some people believe Klotski was invented by John Harold Fleming in 1932 in England, Huarong Dao is a Chinese variation. There are other claims said Lo Shu Square(洛书) is the ultimate origin of this game.

Step 2: Tools and Material Needed

CorelDRAW or other design software

Laser cut machine and 3MM plate

Screws and nuts

Laser cut source file (can be download)

Step 3: Math in Klotski

The first published 81-step solution is in the February 1964 issue of Scientific American. Before using computer algorithm, early published solutions involves about 100 steps.

We can put the biggest block at the predesigned position first, then move the 4*4 block back, this can generate our own placement/puzzle.

Step 4: Procedure of Making