My roommate has a bunch of cool wooden puzzles, and I thought I'd share the fun. This is the first of the puzzles, and the least difficult. Note: this is not my design. I did create the Illustrator file with the parts, but the idea of the puzzle came from a puzzle company that my friend got the original puzzle from. The box is long lost though so I do not know who owns the creative rights to this puzzle. If you know, please mention it in a comment so I can properly acknowledge them.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make the puzzle and how to assemble it.
Download the attached Illustrator file (or the DXF if you are using a different design program).
CNC Laser Cutter
Orbital sander/sand paper
~3" x 4" of 1/4" plywood or acrylic
Step 1: Laser Cutting
Head over to your laser cutter and cut the file out. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will have to assume that you have access to and operator's knowledge of a cnc laser cutter. Since both the software and hardware vary from laser to laser, instructions on how to operate the laser I am using will most likely be meaningless or incorrect on your laser.
After you cut out the pieces, bring them over to your work table and take out your orbital sander or sand paper.
Step 2: Sanding
The laser left some char marks on the surface of the puzzle pieces, and I didn't like that. I wanted a more asthetic look, so I brought out my orbital sander. You can also use sand paper for this step, the orbital sander is just a bit faster.
Lightly sand both sides. You don't want to sand off too much, or the puzzle pieces will be too loose. On the other hand, if the puzzle pieces dont slide into each other, you may find that sanding off a little bit more helps them fit better. After it's sanded, you can even apply a wood stain if you really want the puzzle to look nice.
Note: the next step is how to assemble it. If you want to figure it out on your own first, stop HERE.
Step 3: Assembly
The puzzle seems like it would be really easy since its only 3 parts, but it actually takes a few minutes of thinking to figure it out. If you're like me and aren't patient enough to figure it out, here's how to put it together:
I'll refer to the 3 pieces by the letter that their center looks like; the one with the straight slot will be I, the corner shaped slot will be L, and the other one will be T.
First, grab I and T, and slide I through T as shown in the first and second image. Next, grab L and slide it into I in the orientation shown in the third image. Once the tip of the L is above the I piece, you can slide the T piece into the L, and lastly slide the L downwards, locking everything into place.
To take it apart, you just have to do those steps in reverse. Hope you like the puzzle! If you enjoyed this, stay tuned as I will be making more complex ones in the coming weeks.