|Project by Derakon||posted 06-20-2012 07:03 PM||2226 views||8 times favorited||8 comments|
I’ve always enjoyed puzzle and game design, so when I started getting into carpentry I naturally tried to combine the two. I made a puzzle where you have 25 pieces that you need to assemble into a cube, and where each piece is itself made of 5 cubes joined together (a “pentacube”). I initially solved the puzzle in Blender, a 3D modeling program, and then used that solution to decide on a coloring scheme for the blocks. The idea was that the person solving the puzzle should be able to use the color of the blocks to figure out where a piece should go. In practice the puzzle’s way too hard if you try to take color into consideration.
That first attempt was pretty crude—I cut all the pieces by hand and didn’t apply any finishing. The tolerances on the pieces wasn’t too great, and while the puzzle was doable, it wasn’t really all that pretty. Awhile back, I moved to a new home (with space for a proper workshop!), and recently I found that old puzzle in a moving box. “I can do better now,” thought I, so off to that workshop I went. Last time I used poplar and walnut; this time I replaced the poplar with cherry. I made the cubes bigger, rounded them off (carefully!) with my router, and used an oil finish. All told it looks much nicer. Just goes to show how much of a difference those last few steps can make!