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Screwy Octahedron Puzzle

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3D model description

This puzzle is a difficult build, and is not easy to put together, either. The pieces are "screwy" (helical) and appear to need support everywhere. I found a way to cut them in half where the two halves are identical and only need support at their ends.

The other challenge is that the pieces need to flex as the puzzle goes together. This puzzle will break if made from PLA. Even PETG struggles as a piece broke the first time I assembled the orange puzzle in the photos. I reprinted the screw pieces with 6 circumferences to strengthen the joints between spheres.

There are two mirror image screw pieces, one screws clockwise (CW) and its mirror image screws counterclockwise (CCW). The puzzle has 4 pieces: a single Y piece is always needed. But any combination of three screw pieces can be used! It is somewhat easier to assemble the puzzle with 3 identical screws, either CW or CCW. If you use 2 screws of one type and 1 screw of the other type assembly is more difficult.

As you can see in the photos, this puzzle has been 3D printed in metal. Surprisingly, it still can be assembled. The metal version uses 3 identical screw pieces, if you use coordinate motion you can get by with rigid pieces, but only if there spheres are undersized the just the right amount. After you assemble this puzzle, it is interesting to try to disassemble and assemble it with as little force as possible.

3D printing settings

Print two (identical) halves of the Y piece. No support is needed for this piece, and it also does not need extra circumferences. Now print with 6 halves of either CCW or CW, or 4 halves of one and 2 of the other. All the screw pieces need support. Do not use PLA!

The joints between spheres are the weak point, and may break if not strengthened. The easiest way to do this is to force more perimeters, I recommend 6 perimeters for PETG. This puzzle may be stronger made from ABS. Use the highest vertical resolution you can to give the best sphere resolution.

The halves are 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 3 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.

  • 3D file format: STL
  • Publication date: 2020/01/07 at 06:45





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