Thursday, 2 December 2021

The SKULL

Its here on Kickstarter! Click the link HERE.


I designed the Skull (aka Cranium) sometime in 2019 and back then several puzzlers/crafters had made 3D prints of my early designs including Jeremy Rayner from the UK and a puzzler (can't remember his name) from South Korea. Eric Fuller of Cubicdissection made a very small batch out of acrylic for sale on his website as well. I think it was pretty well received. The Skull here post-dates another "skull" design of mine; the Berro-Skull (haha, yes a play on the famous Beroccal). 

The Berro-Skull was my first skull design. As you can see its a bit crude looking



Skull (aka Cranium) generously 3D printed and gifted to me by Jeremy Raynor, UK

A South Korean teacher made this early version of the Skull out of plastic cubes

Final Prototype from PuzzleMaster

The original Skull design was 50 or so pieces pieces but I managed to refine my design over several months and bumped the piece count up to the current 67. The Skull is a serial interlocking puzzle which basically means that there is a particular order of sorts to both disassembling and assembling the pieces.


I tried to find ways to produce a copy of the Skull in stainless steel on my own but was not successful. Laser cutting 67 pieces was not only prohibitively expensive for one or two copies, but the real challenge was to ensure that the pieces could interlock together without getting stuck. This would required very precise cutting and tight tolerances. If any of pieces jammed or did not fit properly, the whole puzzle was wasted. Unlike wooden puzzles, you can't simply "sand" a piece down to make it fit, not without the correct equipment which I certainly did not have. My local fabricator was experienced in heavy metal works but not puzzles, so could not quite understand how puzzle things worked.

I was fortunate that Leon Stein from PuzzleMaster of Canada decided to give the Skull a go at commercial production in stainless steel...on Kickstarter. This is my second collaboration with PuzzleMaster. For their first Kickstarter campaign a couple of years back, they chose my Dirty Dozen and Lattice puzzles, two interlocking flat burr puzzles. The campaign then was successful, which gave them confidence to attempt the second one here. Youtube videos of DirtyDozen and Lattice also started appearing soon after from several notable Youtube puzzle solvers. As of this writing, Dirty Dozen is sold out but PuzzleMaster has indicated to me they are producing more copies which will be available soon.

Trying to fabricate 67 steel pieces which fits together nicely with one another is no easy task. A lot of work went into the prototyping of the Skull with their manufacturer (this took well over a year, Covid-19 didn't help either) before they were happy with the final version for the Kickstarter campaign you see here. Also a very Big Thank You to Rex Rossano Perez for his time and effort to come up with laser-cut computer drawings of the Skull for me.


To back this Kickstarter Skull campaign, click HERE.




Saturday, 10 August 2019

Berro-Skull

My Berro-Skulll puzzle, which I made a prototype in stainless steel a while back is now available for sale. It is crafted by Eric Fuller and cost US$69 plus S&H.

https://cubicdissection.com/collections/all-puzzles/products/berro-skull-interlocking-puzzle

Berro-Skull photo from and courtesy of Eric Fuller

The write up about my steel prototype is found on the link below.

http://mechanical-puzzles.com/3d-puzzle-berroskull/


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Aluminium L(8)tice & Dirty Dozen on Kickstarter

For lovers of interlocking puzzles (and those of you who missed out on my Dirty Dozen), there is a Kickstarter project ongoing now which features two of my designs, the Dirty Dozen and L(8)tice. The third design Slideways, comes from Ray Stanton. All the puzzles are made of heavy aluminium and anodised in attractive orange, blue and magenta. Lovely to look at and challenging to solve.


I had produced a couple of dozen (no pun intended) copies of Dirty Dozen in stainless steel previously for sale in small batches and these were always sold out the moment I listed them on my puzzle site www.mechanical-puzzles.com. Same for the L(8)tice which was manufactured in acrylic.

Here's the link to the Kickstarter page. 

All three puzzles are very affordable, considering they are all produced in anodised aluminium. The Slideways is $20, while both the Dirty Dozen and L(8)tice are going for $25 each. If you buy all three puzzles, there is a package price of $66. Shipping and handling not included.

Both the above designs and their piece shapes are also featured on Puzzlewillbeplayed.com

Dirty Dozen - 

http://puzzlewillbeplayed.com/CombCross/DirtyDozen.JL/

L(8)tice - 

http://puzzlewillbeplayed.com/CombCross/Leighttice/


Saturday, 5 January 2019

Coin Puzzles by Rex Rossano Perez

A very Happy New Year to my puzzling friends and blog readers. This is my first post of 2019.

I have just played with two of Rex Perez's Coin Puzzles and uploaded a post on them to my puzzle site below.

http://mechanical-puzzles.com/coin-puzzles-by-rex-perez/