Fibonacci Spiral Jigsaw Puzzle




Like standard jigsaw puzzles, this puzzle has only one solution, but instead of every piece being a different shape and approximately the same size, every piece is the same shape and a different size. The placement of the pieces is based on the the Golden Angle (~137.5º), and is the same pattern found in Sunflowers, pine cones, and roses, to name just a few. The puzzle has 8 spirals in one direction, and 13 in the other. 8 and 13 are numbers in the Fibonacci series, which is an additive sequence where any number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34...

Watch this stop-motion animation, which shows how all the pieces are related to each other:


Step 1: Laser-Cut the Pieces

The puzzle is approximately 22" in diameter. You will need  24"x24" sheet of material to make it. I used MDF for the puzzle, but you could also use plywood, mat board, acrylic, etc. I've attached two different DXF files (which you should be able to open in Adobe Illustrator):

"8-13 puzzle - 22in dia - 6 deep.dxf"
This is the same as the puzzle in the image and video. The pieces get about as small as possible given the kerf of most laser cutters.

"8-13 puzzle - 22in dia - very deep.dxf"
This has many more (smaller!) pieces. I've provided it in case you want to just print an image of the puzzle, or want to scale up the puzzle.



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    13 Discussions

    I am an aerialist and artist looking to use the golden mean and drawing on a dance trapeze . And your work has inspired me . I Am not sure how this will work , But The dance trapeze is on a swivel and we spin and swing on it to create dance in the air. I draw and would love to combine the to disciplines together . Any how just getting going on this idea it is just a seed so far .....ANy suggestion would be welcome....


    4 years ago

    I don't have a laser cutter but will pay for a puzzle made by edmark....! Paypal!

    A lovely design, and very clever! How did you create the patterns? What software did you use to make the spirals and to add in the notches?

    1 reply
    edmarkphysics monkey

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I used a free 2-d drafting program called SolidEdge 2-D:

    I did not use any program or script to automate the process, I just used the drafting tools (particularly the copy, paste, scale and rotate functions). Now that I understand the geometry better, I may write a script for generating variations on these types of puzzle automatically.


    5 years ago

    I might try and make this for my mom sometime


    5 years ago

    Amazing, I think I will wait to make it until I get a laser cutter, making this in my scroll saw looks nearly impossible with my skills

    Isn't that the whole idea of a jigsaw puzzle? ;-)

    Actually, it's not so difficult if you arrange all the pieces according to size and then add them one by one, starting with the smallest, and keeping in mind that each subsequent piece needs to be added ~137.5º around the center from the previous piece. (137.5º is a special angle called the "golden angle" and is the angular version of the golden mean.)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    That looks wonderful. Tough to reassemble, but wonderful. Thanks for including the files!