mathgrrl will be sharing a series of classic cube puzzles with the Ultimaker team at Maker Faire Bay Area in the San Francisco area this weekend — and check out her description on YouMagine for a few points of inspiration for why you might want to tackle this sort of design challenge yourself or with a class of students. (We shared a few of them below.)
Have students use their favorite 3D design software to create their own Cube Puzzles. This project can be adapted for many different educational subject areas and at a variety of levels:
Beginner: Use Tinkercad or Morphi to place boxes together to construct puzzle pieces that fit together into a 3x3x3 cube. How do you know they will all fit together into the cube? Print out your puzzle and have fellow students try it out to rate its difficulty.
Intermediate: Use Blender, Fusion 360, or AutoCAD to create puzzle pieces, and use fillets and offsets so that the pieces are pleasant to hold and fit together nicely. Create a container box that will hold the assembled Cube Puzzle. Who can make the most difficult puzzle? …
Advanced: Use the software BurrTools to construct a Cube Puzzle, analyze it for constructability, and test how many solutions it has. Can you find a new 3x3x3 Cube puzzles that has only one solution? You can also try your hand at more advanced puzzles like interlocking Burr Puzzles or puzzles with unit shapes other than cubes….