Snake Puzzle - 3D Print

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About: I like to design and build random things.

I just finished a similar wood version of this snake puzzle, see here. As I found out, making the 27 blocks by hand took a lot of time. With that, I thought it would have been nice to be able to 3D print the parts. To save material, I've made the parts smaller (1" cubed) vs. 1.5" cubed on the wood version. The STL files are included and I've also provided STP files for those that would like to modify the design.

I haven't printed it yet. However, I will give a 1 Year Premium Membership to the first person that prints and post a picture of the 3D version using my files.

Step 1: Parts

You will be printing 3 block styles and the plugs. I suggest using two colors for the puzzle so you get the pattern shown in the intro picture. The table shown in this step gives the build order and the number of blocks required for each color. The plugs should be same color as the end blocks.

Along with the 3D printed blocks, you will need 1/8" bungee cord. I used cord from an old backpack for the wood version. If you don't have that option, bungee cord can be purchased from online or from your local big box store.

Step 2: Block 1

This part is straight forward. 1" cube with a 3/16" hole through it.

Step 3: Block 2

Same as block 1 except that the hole takes a 90 degree turn inside the block.

Step 4: Block 3

Same as block 1 except for the counterbore. The counterbore area is needed to contain the knots at the ends of the snake.

Step 5: Plug

These are used to fill the holes on the counterbore blocks. Make sure to print the same color as the counterbore blocks.

Step 6: Assemble

Build as follows:

  1. Cut the bungee cord to 30" long.
  2. Tie knot(s) on one end of the bungee.
  3. Feed the bungee through the counterbore block.
  4. String the blocks as shown in the table (Step 1).
  5. Feed the cord through the final counterbore block.
  6. Remove any slack and stretch the cord slightly. I did this by hanging it vertically and shaking it.
  7. Tie a knot in each end to secure the blocks.
  8. Trim the excess bungee cord.
  9. Add the plugs to the ends. Glue these into place.

Step 7: STP & STL Files

Note how many and the correct color before printing - Step 1.

90_degree.stp

plug.stp

straight.stp

straight_counter.stp

Step 8: Solution

Two videos are included for the solution.

Thanks for viewing.

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4 Discussions

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tomatoskins

4 weeks ago

I've always wanted to make one of these ever since Matthias Wandel made one a few years ago. Excellent documentation!

1 reply
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mtairymdtomatoskins

Reply 4 weeks ago

Thanks. Dang it...I just googled his version. The video would have saved me some time figuring out the 45 hole...oh well. I don’t think I’ll ever make another wood version due to effort. I might get around to printing this one but it’s hard to beat the Amazon price.