One of the many niche-uses for a 3D printer is building on the work of fiendish puzzle maker Ernő Rubik. While Rubik’s 3x3x3 cube presented 54 coloured squares for puzzle solvers to sort by colour, this custom 19-layer creation features over 4,800 coloured panels that could take an entire lifetime to return to uniformity.
There are actually tried and true techniques for solving a traditional 3x3x3 Rubik’s Cube puzzle, which mostly consists of a series of chained face turns that are executed on a cube depending on how the puzzle appears to be scrambled. The techniques aren’t hard to learn (there are even interactive cubes that can help teach you the strategies) and when mastered they’re what allows record-holding ‘Speed Cubers’ to solve the puzzles in just a few seconds.
Rubik’s Cube fanatics are always up for a harder challenge, and over time the cube version of the puzzle gained more and more layers and complexity. But puzzle designers realised they didn’t have to limit themselves to just the six sides of a cube, so the Megaminx was born, which brought the rotating mechanics of a Rubik’s Cube to a 12-sided dodecahedron puzzle. The multi-faceted design ups the complexity immensely, and as with the original cube version of the toy, custom puzzle builders have been endlessly working to upstage each other with outlandish creations.
That brings us to corenpuzzle’s new Atlasminx. Inspired by Matt Bahner’s massive Yottaminx, the Atlasminx features a hollow core all of the various layers revolve around, but still weighs in at over 8 kg because the puzzle was assembled from 4,863-pieces. A coloured filament was used to help monitor the progress of the 3D printing, which contributed to the majority of the 100 hours it took to create the Atlasminx. The use of coloured plastic also meant that it was unnecessary to apply thousands and thousands of tiny stickers after the arduous assembly process was complete.
The complexity of the Altasminx does mean that sometimes turning the layers can be a bit of a challenge if everything isn’t in perfect alignment. Speed Cubers set incredible world records using simple 3x3x3 cubes that are lubricated to spin with almost no friction whatsoever, but there’s little chance someone is going to set a speed record with the Atlasminx. In fact, depending on how scrambled it actually gets, the odds of someone successfully solving the Atlasminx in their own lifetime might be just as slim.