Never Lose A Piece With 3D Printed Sliding Puzzles

Have you ever been about to finish a puzzle, when suddenly you realize there are more holes left than you have pieces? With [Nikolaos’s] 3D printed sliding puzzles, this will be a problem of the past!

An image showing the sliding dovetails of the puzzle
The dovetails, integrated into each piece, keep the puzzle together but still allows pieces to move.

The secret of the puzzle is in the tongue and groove system that captures the pieces while allowing them to slide past each other and along the puzzle’s bezel. The tongues are along the top and right sides of the pieces shown here, with the grooves along the left and bottom. There is only one empty spot on the board, so the player must be methodical in how they move pieces to their final destinations. See this in action in the video after the break.

[Nikolaos] designed the puzzle in Fusion 360, and used this as an opportunity to practice with parameters. He designed the model in such a way that any size puzzle could be generated by changing just 2 variables. Once the puzzle is the proper size, the image is added by importing and extruding an SVG.

Another cool aspect of these puzzles is that they are print-in-place, meaning that when the part is removed from the 3D printer, it is ready to use and fully assembled. No need to remove support material or bolt and glue together multiple components. Print-in-place is useful for more than just puzzles, you could also use this technique to 3D print wire connectors!

I made these 3D Printed Map Sliding Puzzles! Hope you’ll like them! from Fusion360

[via r/Fusion360]

6 thoughts on “Never Lose A Piece With 3D Printed Sliding Puzzles

  1. nice! i’ve never seen one of these puzzles without a back before, impressive that it holds together that well. i guess i ought to try it myself but just thinking about the tolerances involved, i’m envious of how well their printer must be calibrated. it seems to me if i tried to do something like this on my printer, i’d have to do a bit of cleanup which might not even be possible with the print-in-place method. dang, now i want to try it myself!

    just yesterday i was thinking i haven’t played one of those puzzles in a long time…don’t know why they crossed my radar twice this week

  2. “more holes left than you have pieces” would be a pretty unusual situation. These puzzles don’t work without one and usually only one hole. I played with them in past decades and never had a tile fall out.

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