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Stan's Tetrahedron

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3D model description

This puzzle was invented in the 1980's, probably by Leonard Gordon. Stan Isaacs told me he remembers finding the interlocking solution for this puzzle and it has become associated with his name. It is usually made from spheres, here I made it out of rhombic dodecahedra. There are two pieces (red in the photos) plus two more which are mirror images (yellow).

The pieces can be assembled into an order 4 tetrahedron in two ways. One solution interlocks quite well, you can hold it upside down and it won't fall apart. The other solution is made from two half-pyramids. If you mistakenly print four Right pieces (four identical pieces) you will only be able to assemble the second solution.

A wood version of this puzzle can be purchased from Kadon Enterprises. It is called the Surprising Pyramid.

3D printing settings

Each piece has been cut in half. Print two copies of the Right Top, two copies of the Right Bottom. Mirror each of these files and print out two Left Top and two Left Bottom.

The halves are then glued together with superglue. Each piece contains holes for alignment. After cleaning the holes out (if necessary) take a scrap piece of 1.75 mm filament. Insert the filament into a hole and cut it off such that about 4 mm is sticking out. After each hole has a piece of filament, fit the other half in place. If the fit looks good, remove and glue the halves together.

The pieces are made from 2 cm rhombic dodecahedra. The base plate is not needed but I have included the file to make it. This puzzle interlocks so well you can insert it into the base plate and hold the plate upside down and nothing falls out!

  • 3D file format: STL
  • Publication date: 2020/01/30 at 00:39





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