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Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009, 09:58 am
Trigears video

When I last posted about this several people guessed that it's easy. It's not, it's quite difficult, and the logic behind the solution is very interesting. It also has no planar equivalent. 

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)

And I know someone who would want one. Can I get one somewhere? :)

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)

Video not available... damn. I really want to see it in action.

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)

umm, this this puzzle really $425 bucks?


You've got to be kidding me.

How about you post a link to a solid works model of this puzzle, and I'll whip out a few on a 3d printer. :)

Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC)

The particular model is fairly large - halving the length and using a cheap outsource 3d printing place would probably get the price under $50, but George says that he enjoys taking vacations too much to try to get the price down as much as possible.

Seriously though, there's a non-3d printed version in the works which should be much cheaper. The solid works model and stl files are currently being kept under wraps because (a) they aren't mine, and (b) such things are generally kept hidden until actual production happens, for fear of knockoffs. (This isn't really paranoia - it isn't possible to stop knockoffs, but it is possible to hit the market first, and chinese knockoffs have been coming out fast and furious lately, including for the gigaminx, which hasn't even had mass production in the west at all.)

Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)

uhh, ok. Selling $1.00 worth of parts at 425 greatly encourages knockoffs. 3d printing is still expensive... raw material costs on something of that size on a large 3d printer is around $15 or so.. (on our dimension Elite 3d printer, it's about a dollar per sq inch or so, PVC, but it doesn't need to be solid; a hollowed out shape is much cheaper, faster, and nearly as strong).

Doing a bulk run can likely get the price down to under a buck, in qtys of about 2-3k.

But again - - as it seems you are trying to make cash from this design, vs. opening it up for the masses to play with - - I should just leave you alone to sell your wares. :)

Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)

There's amortized cost of the printer as well, and I think your dollar per CUBIC inch number is low, although prices may have come down a lot (last number I heard was 40). In any case, I didn't set the price, George did. What's being worked on now is a cast building, which will likely have a price point under $20, assuming the technical hurdles are overcome (not exactly sure what state that's in at the moment, actually).

Releasing a CAD doesn't really open something up to 'the masses'. That just lets a handful of people with the necessary skills and/or 3d printers mess with it. Making a production run is a far better way of getting the puzzle in peoples's hands. Keeping the designs moderately hidden is mostly a courtesy to the person who sticks their neck out for doing the experimental first run, before there's any proven market at all. (Getting some pocket change in return in case of success wouldn't be bad though, although to date the sum total of my earnings from puzzle design is two prototypes which I own.)

Thu, Feb. 26th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)

I mis-spoke: the costs on a modern 3d printer is about 1.00 USD per cubic inch, including amortized cost of the printer, assuming a 5 year life @ 50% duty cycle.

Sat, Feb. 28th, 2009 06:34 pm (UTC)

Very cool! I'll definitely be onboard when you get the price down in the sub $100 range. (I love physical puzzles, but having been laid off as my Christmas bonus this year, I can't really justify the prototype price.)

You might want to consider a color change and a little detail styling on the base piece to attract the steampunk crowd. I think it definitely has the potential to grab 15 minutes of fame on something like Brass Goggles with that sort of look and the more people who buy the big run the cheaper it'll be for me! :P