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Silly Octahedron Puzzle

3D model description

Five pieces assemble into a ball octahedron. It doesn't sound that difficult, but this puzzle is very confusing. The pieces spell out "CCLLI" which is pronounced "Silly" or alternately "301" in Roman Numerals(?).

One thing that makes this puzzle difficult is that the pieces don't seem to work well with each other. Three of the pieces have only 90 and 180 degree angles, and the other two contain only 120 degree angles.

My problem assembling this puzzle is I can't remember what the final shape looks like! It is useful to have a photo of the octahedron, or even better an assembled Y-U or screwy octahedron. On the base the octahedron is resting on a face which is a confusing orientation for most people. Three faces of the finished octahedron are overhanging, which explains why cannonballs were never stacked this way!

3D printing settings

The pieces are all cut in half, which allows them to be printed without supports. The puzzle consists of two C pieces, one I and two L pieces. Print 4 copies of the half C, 2 copies of the half I, and 2 copies of left-L and 2 copies of right-L. I recommend a layer height of 0.15 mm or smaller for good sphere resolution.

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 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.

Print out the base plate, which holds the pieces as they are assembled.

  • 3D file format: STL

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