He created some text and extruded it from a single point, but not every part intersected with every plate, giving each plate an indecipherable appearance. This allows a small light source (like the LED likely on the back of your phone) to cast a shadow on the wall. With some 3D printed brackets and spacers, it was mounted to a nice piece of cherry plywood. Overall, the technique is quite simple and easy to understand. [JBV Creative] didn’t include more detail on the process, which is a shame because it looks like a beautiful effect to recreate for some puzzles.
These glowing coasters are fantastic if you’re looking for engraved acrylic with a light source. Or this puzzle that lights up as the pieces are placed.
Some people really like puzzles. [Simone Giertz] is one of these serious puzzle lovers and built a transforming table (YouTube) to let her easily switch between puzzles and more mundane tasks, like eating.
While there are commercial solutions out there for game tables with removable tops and simpler solutions like hinged lids, [Giertz] decided to “make it more complicated and over-engineered than that.” A tambour top that rolls out of the way makes this a unique piece of furniture already, but the second, puzzle table top that can be raised flush with the sides of the table really brings this to the next level.
If that wasn’t already enough, the brass handles on the table are also custom made. In grand maker tradition, [Giertz] listened to her inner MYOG (Make Your Own Gnome) and got a lathe to learn to make her own handles instead of just buying some off the shelf.
To some folx, puzzles are the ultimate single-player game, but to others, they are like getting a single Tootsie Roll on Halloween. [Shane] of Stuff Made Here must fall into the latter category because he spent the equivalent of 18 work-weeks to make a robot that solves them automatically. Shots have been fired in the war on puzzles.
The goal of this robot is to beat a hybrid idea of two devilish puzzles. The first is all-white which could be solved by taking a piece at random and then checking its compatibility with every unsolved piece. The second is a 5000-piece monster painted white. There is a Moby Dick theme here. Picking up pieces like a human with fingers is out of the question, but pick-and-place machines solved this long ago, and we learn a cool lesson about how shop-air can create negative pressure. Suction. We wonder if anyone ever repurposed canned air to create a vacuum cleaner.
The meat of this video is overcoming hurdles, like a rhomboidal gantry table, helping machine vision see puzzle pieces accurately, and solving a small puzzle. [Shane] explains the solutions with the ear of someone with a technical background but at a high enough level that anyone can learn something. All the moving parts are in place, but the processing power to decode the puzzle is orders of magnitude higher than consumer machines, so that will wait for part two.
3D printers have made a lot of things possible that were either extremely difficult or downright impossible with traditional tooling. Certain shapes lend themselves to 3D printing, and materials and tooling costs are also generally greatly reduced as well. One thing that may not be touched on as often, though, is their ability to rapidly prototype solutions to complex mathematical problems, in this case taking the form of a 3D printed maze, known as a dodecahedral holonomy maze, with an interesting solution.
The puzzle presents itself as a sphere composed of various inlaid hexagons which form a track for the puzzle piece, or “rook”. The tracks create the maze for the rook to travel, as some paths are blocked when the rook is oriented in certain ways. To solve the puzzle, the player must rotate the rook by moving it around the hexagons in such a way that its path isn’t physically blocked by any of the pegs in order to successfully reach the exit. This might seem like a fun toy to have on its surface, but the impressive thing about this is that the solutions are designed to reduce the likelihood of solving the puzzle with any “brute force” methods while at the same time having more than one path that will reach the exit as well as several bottlenecks that the puzzle solver must traverse as well.
There are actually many possible puzzles that can be produced in this size and shape, and all have predetermined solutions with cleverly chosen paths. This might seem like a lot but when you realize that the entire build from concept to 3D modeling to implementation was done by [Henry Segerman] and a group of other mathematicians at Oklahoma State University it starts to become more clear how the puzzle was so well-designed. In fact, we’ve featured some of his other mathematically-modeled builds in the past as well.
[Sebastian] describes the 4×4 Color Dot Puzzle as a sort of combination of the ideas behind the Rubik’s Cube and the 15 puzzle. The aim is to arrange the 16 colored tiles on the board to form four single-colored 2×2 squares in the overall 4×4 board. The puzzle is 3D printed, using 6 colors of filament – black for the body of the puzzle, white for the control sticks, and yellow, green, red, and blue for the individual tiles.
We haven’t seen any mathematical proofs of how to beat the game, but we’re sure [Sebastian] has gotten good at beating the puzzle having designed it himself. According to tipster [Michael Gardi], who knows a thing or two about 3D printing games himself, the puzzle makes for a fun little mind teaser.
We don’t know about you, but we have mixed feelings about online puzzle fads. On one hand, they are great tool to help keep one sharp, but they’re just everywhere. The latest social-media driven fad, Wordle, may be a little bit too prevalent for our liking, with social media timelines stuffed with updates about the thing. [Ed Locard] was getting a bit miffed with friends’ constant posts about ‘Today’s Wordle’, and was hoping they’d get back to posting pictures of their dogs instead, so did what any self-respecting hacker would do, and wrote a python script to automate solving Wordle puzzles, in a likely futile attempt to get them to stop posting.
Actually, [Ed] was more interested in building a solver for a related game, Absurdle, which is described as an adversarial variant of Wordle. This doesn’t actually select a single word, but uses your guesses so far to narrow down a large pool of possible words, keeping you guessing for longer. Which is pretty mean of it. Anyway, [Ed] came up with a tool called Pyrdle, (GitHub project) which is essentially a command version of Absurdle, that has the capability of also solving Wordle as a byproduct. It turns out the JS implementation of Wordle holds the entire possible wordlist, client-side, so the answer is already sitting in your browser. The real interest part of this project is the approach to automated problem solving of puzzles with a very large potential set of solutions. This makes for an interesting read, and infinitely more so than reading yet another Wordle post.
And one final note; if you’re not at all onboard with this, love Wordle, and can’t get enough, you might like to install [brackendawson]’s comically titled (command) notfoundleshell handler, for some puzzling feedback on your command-line slip-ups. Well, it amused us anyway.
The festive season is upon us, and for Brits of a technical bent that means it’s time for the GCHQ Christmas Challenge. Sent out annually as part of the Christmas card from the UK’s intelligence centre, this is a chance for would-be spooks to pit their wits against some of the nation’s cleverest cryptologists whose work you’ll never have heard of.
This year the puzzle is aimed at those with a secondary school education, in the hope of fostering an interest in maths and science in younger people. It’s a series of puzzles of ascending difficulty, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the earlier ones being easy, to complete the set will still require some brain power.