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3D Twisty Puzzles


In the early 70s a new type of puzzles: Three dimensional twisty puzzles were invented.
1972 Larry Nichols invented the 2x2x2 Cube, with magnets which held the pieces together.
1974 Erno Rubik invented his Rubik's Cube and started the greatest puzzle craze of all time.

I can still remember of my boy hood, when the cube hype started.
On television and in advertising everywhere was the cube.
Newspapers and magazines published solution algorithms for the cube or
announced new championships.
My classmates were playing under the school tables with the cube.
In our Woolworth, the Cube was sold out for weeks.
When I finally got one, I ran straight home. There I opened the round box and make the first three moves.
After I successfully solved it, I tried six moves.
Instead of solving it, I mixed up.
My mother and I could not solve the cube.
My mother was very proud one day, when only two pieces were left.
The last layer, I never succeeded, I solved the cube on the standard way like the others.
I took the pieces apart and put them back together.

Now 30 years later, there is no run anymore for the Rubik´s Cubes.

But nevertheless you can notice a revival of the scene.

Thus, twisty puzzles are again offered in shops.
Many clubs notice a strong increase of membership figures.
New speed cubing clubs are founded and many Cube Days happen on different continents.

You can also notice the interest in the internet.
Many people present their hobby,
there are many good forums only for twisty puzzles
and you can purchase twisty puzzles and supplies in many special online twisty shops.

Designers:
Many things have also changed for twisty puzzle designers.
In former times, it was extremely difficult to develop a prototype,
nowadays the work has become a lot easier.
There is a variety of good and cheap 3D software available.
Some of the 3D software are even Open Source and therefore for free accessible via internet.
Therefore, the model can be comfortably designed by a 3D software
and then sent to a 3D printing service such as Shapeways.
After a few days the finished puzzle will arrive via post.
Therefore, the invention of new designs is not limited anymore to a small exclusive group.
Already pupils invent new designs.
But there are also disadvantages. Designs are very fast stolen and produced,
so that designers earn merely anything.

Designs:
Whereas in former times there existed only one shape of a puzzle,
nowadays a number of twisty puzzles have different shapes.
There is especially a lot of variety for the 3 x 3 x 3 cube.
For example, it is available as apple, valentine´s heart, star or other objects.
Since Verdes presented his 6 layered Cube to the general public,
more and more puzzles with several layers appear on the market.
Thus, the Cube exists already with 11 layers, the Megaminx with 4 layers, called Petaminx
or another example the Prof Pyraminx.
New puzzle ideas are transfered into old known twisty puzzles,
examples therefore are Void, Gear or Crazy puzzle types.

Since 2008, every month several new twisty puzzles are launched on the market,
especially from popular designers such as Tony Fisher, Adam Cowan,
Oskar van Deventer and Katsuhiko Okamoto.
As the puzzles are produced cheaply in China,
they are also affordable for the general public.

Puzzles with tetrahedral axis axes

Pyramorphinx
Pyramorphinx
Jing's Pyraminx
designed by Adam G. Cowan
made by Mefferts.com
Pyraminx
designed by Uwe Meffert
made by Mefferts.com
Tetraminx
designed by Uwe Meffert
made by Mefferts.com
Bandanged Pyraminx
Jing's Pyraminx
designed by Adam G. Cowan
made by Mefferts.com
Vulcano / Trignis
designed by Timur Evbatyrov
made by Mefferts.com
Prof Pyraminx
designed by Timur Evbatyrov
made by Mefferts.com
Gear Pyraminx
designed by Timur Evbatyrov
made by Mefferts.com

Master Pyramorphinx

Master Pyramorphinx
designed by Tony Fisher
Master Pyramorphinx
designed by Tony Fisher
Master Pyramorphinx
designed by Tony Fisher
made by Mefferts.com
Puzzles with cubical axes


marusenko Spheres


As the name already indicates, the marusenko Sphere is a sphere puzzle.
It can be moved like a 2 x 2 x 2 Rubik’s Cube / K-Ball.
On each face is additionally a disc which is composed out of four parts of the same size
and which can be rotated. Thus the puzzle is similar to the ShengShou Cubes or the Circle Ball Cube.

red & white 2 Colors Sphere
Puzzle Design Competition 2009
Difficulty: simple

Puzzle Review
designed by Aleksandr Marusenko and Felix Perez
made by marusenko
Flag Sphere
Puzzle Design Competition 2009
Difficulty: simple

Puzzle Review
designed by Aleksandr Marusenko and Felix Perez
made by marusenko
Triangular Sphere
Puzzle Design Competition 2009
Difficulty: moderate

Puzzle Review
designed by Aleksandr Marusenko and Felix Perez
made by marusenko

2 x 2 x 2 Cubes

Topola (US patent: US 7438290 B2)
Difficulty: easy - medium
Playing Time: 30 - 90 minutes

Topola is a spherical twisty puzzle with the movement mechanisms similar
to a 2” x 2” x 2” Rubik´s cube.
However, its Sliding Shell mechanism makes it different from all other twisty puzzles.
This modularized puzzle is pieced together
so that the user can manipulate into many possible topological orientations
and shapes by a simple twist of the wrist.
You’ll notice immediately that it has no colors which are to be sorted.
Instead, you will find a magic globe on which five islands,
a lake and an ocean exist. Moreover, you see prominent
symbols and animals are present which is part of
a mysterious weave of riddles and stories leading you to the puzzle’ solution.

The big island is called Peaceland.
Six species coexist in the four territories of Peaceland in peace and harmony.
To prevent argument among the animals, the following species may not be neighbors:

In the middle of Peaceland’s lake is a sailboat.
Nearby, two whales are swimming in the ocean.
The first task is to sail into the ocean with the boat
and to catch one of the whales.
After you’ve successfully mastered this first task,
your next task would be to maneuver
the sailboat back to the lake of Peaceland with the captured whale.
In the ocean, landlocked by four islands,
is a compass that is damaged during the capture of the whale.

Therefore, the final task is to free the trapped whale
in a way that will repair the compass,
and therefore to restoring the peace between of the species.


Puzzle Review

designed by Mehdi Yahyavi
made by Fourier Idea Inc.
QUARKS!
made by Fourier Idea Inc.
2x2x2 Magic Puzzle
Darth Maul Puzzle Head
Micra 2 x 2 x 2
Simple Overlapping Cube
designed by David Calvo
made by Kevin Phelan
K-Ball
18From
From
Turbo Mind Twister
Fused Bandage cubes 2x2
Floppy Cube
Puzzle Design Competition 2006 (First Prize)
designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto
LOVE
made by www.chinaqunjia.com
Floppy Mirror Cube
Scramble Cube +4
designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto
made by Chronos Co. Ltd.

3 x 3 x 2 Dominoes

Domino
made by LanLan
Rubik's Domino
designed by Erno Rubik
Blind Rubik's Domino
designed by Erno Rubik

3 x 3 x 3 Cubes

A Rubric on Rubik Cubics

Strange imports come from Hungary:
Count Dracula, and ZsaZsa G.,
Now Erno Rubik’s Magic Cube
For PhD or country rube.
This fiendish clever engineer
ntrapped the music of the sphere.
It’s sphere on sphere in all 3D—
A kinematic symphony!

Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
One thousand bucks a day.
That’s Rubik’s cubic pay.
He drives a Chevrolet.

Forty-three quintillion plus
Problems Rubik posed for us.
Numbers of this awesome kind
Boggle even Sagan’s mind.
Out with sex and violence,
In with calm intelligence.
Kubrick’s "Clockwork Orange"—no!
Rubik’s Magic Cube—Jawohl!

Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
Cu-bies in disarray?
First twist them that-a-way,
Then turn them this-a-way.

Respect your cube and keep it clean.
Lube your cube with Vaseline.
Beware the dreaded cubist’s thumb,
The callused hand and fingers numb.
No borrower nor lender be.
Rude folks might switch two tabs on thee,
The most unkindest switch of all,
Into insolubility.
In-sol-u-bility.
The cruelest place to be.
However you persist
Solutions don’t exist.

Cubemeisters follow Rubik’s camp—
There’s Bühler, Guy and Berlekamp;
John Conway leads a Cambridge pack
(And solves the cube behind his back!).
All hail Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw,
A mayor with fast cubic draw.
Now Dave Singmaster wrote THE BOOK.
One more we must not overlook—

Singmaster’s office-mate!
Programming potentate!
Alg’rithmic heavyweight!
Morwen B. Thistlethwaite!

Rubik’s groupies know their groups:
(That’s math, not rock, you nincompoops.)
Their squares and slices, tri-twist loops,
Plus mono-swaps and supergroups.
Now supergroups have smaller groups
Upon their backs to bite ‘em,
And smaller groups have smaller still,
Almost ad infinitum.

How many moves to solve?
How many sides revolve?
Fifty two for Thistlethwaite.
Even God needs ten and eight.

The issue’s joined in steely grip:
Man’s mind against computer chip.
With theorems wrought by Conway’s eight
‘Gainst programs writ by Thistlethwait.
Can multibillion-neuron brains
Beat multimegabit machines?
The thrust of this theistic schism—
To ferret out God’s algorism!

CODA:
He (hooked on
Cubing)
With great
Enthusiasm:

Ta! Ra! Ra! Boom De Ay!
Men’s schemes gang aft agley.
Let’s cube our life away!

She: Long pause
(having been
here before):
—————OY VAY!
Claude E. Shannon, December 1, 1981.

Rubik's Blind Man's Cube
designed by Erno Rubik
Bump Cube
Puzzle Design Competition 2006
designed by Hidetoshi Takeji
Bump Cube
Puzzle Design Competition 2006
designed by Hidetoshi Takeji
Magic Ball / Rubik's Sphere
Diamond Cube
Magic Heart / Valentine's Heart
made by YJ
3x3 Diamond Cube
nothing than a normal rubiks cube
QJ Dodecahedron
made by QJ
QJ Octahedron II
made by QJ
Box Cube
designed by Tony Fisher
Box Cube
designed by Tony Fisher
aXe
designed by John Lin
Edge Only Hollow Cube
Void Cube
designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto
Spinning Top
Windmill Cube
designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto
The Fisher's Cube
designed by Tony Fisher
made by Mefferts.com
Rubik's Cube
designed by Erno Rubik
made by Mefferts.com
Star 3 x 3 x3
3 x 3 x 3 Birthday Cake Cube
Apple Magic Cube
made by www.yongjuntoys.com

3 x 3 x 3 Cubes with different mechanique

Crazy 3x3 Cube Earth
made by MF8
Gear-Cube Extreme
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Mefferts.com
Gear Cube
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Mefferts.com
Latch Cube
Puzzle Design Competition 2010
IPP 30 Exchange / Osaka + Hakone

On each side is either a white clockwise arrow,
a black anti-clockwise arrow
or a mixture of black and white arrow parts.

In case of a white clockwise arrow,
the face can only be turned clockwise.
In case of a black anti-clockwise arrow,
the face can only be turned anti-clockwise.
If there are black and white parts,
the face cannot be turned at all.

designed by Katsuhiko Okamoto
made by Chronos Co. Ltd.
Mosaic Cube
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Mefferts.com

3 x 3 x 3 Bandage

Bandage Cube
made by Mefferts.com
Fused Bandage cubes 3x3
Fused Bandage cubes 3x3

Fused Cubes

Quadruple 2x2x2
Triple Mini 2x2x2

Rubik's Mate / Double Cube / Siamese Cube
Sparring Cubes
designed by Anatoli Kalinin
made by Anatoli Kalinin

Tower Cube
3x3x4 Cube
made by Cube4you
3x3x5 Cube
made by Cube4you
2x2x4 Rubik's Tower
made by MegaHouse
Super 2x2x4
3x3x7 Cube
made by Cube4you

4 x 4 x 4 Cubes

4x4x4 Cube
Crazy 4x4x4 Cube
made by MF8
Crazy 4x4 II
made by MF8
Mask Cube
made by LanLan

4 x 4 x 4 Bandage

Fused Bandage cubes 4x4
made by Mefferts.com

higher Cubes

V-CUBE 6 / Olympic Cube No6a
Puzzle Design Competition 2005
designed by Panagiotis VERDES
V-CUBE 7
Puzzle Design Competition 2008
designed by Panagiotis VERDES
Trick Haus

Octahedral puzzles (8 axes)

Octahedral Puzzles are twisty puzzles with eight different rotation axes.
Neighbouring rotation axis have the same angle.
If you imagine a cube, then the rotation axes exit on the edges of the cube.
The puzzle can be moved three times around each rotation axis in order to reach the initial point.
This means that each axis can be turned by 120 degrees.

Dioctipoid


The surface of the puzzle is composed of 6 squares, 6 * 4 triangles and 12 rhombs.
The difficult version Dioctipoid 2.0 has 4 triangles, 2 rhombs and one square in the same colour.
The easy version Dioctipoid 1.0 has the 12 rhombs in white colour.
With each movement, three squares, 9 triangles, and three rhombs are rotated by 120 degrees.
Dioctipoid 1.0 (Pat. GB2448484)
Difficulty: medium

Puzzle Review

designed by Spencer-Purvis Gary
made by Moulding Innovations Ltd
Dioctipoid 2.0 (Pat. GB2448484)
Difficulty: difficult

Puzzle Review

designed by Spencer-Purvis Gary
made by Moulding Innovations Ltd
Rex Cube
Difficulty: difficult
designed by Andrew Cormier
made by Mefferts.com

Rainbow Cube
Diamond Skewb
Octahedron
oktFrom
Jackpot
designed by Yusuf Seyhan
BrainTwist (US patent: US 2005/0098947 A1)
designed by Charles Hoberman / Matthew Davis
Polymorphinx
made by Mefferts.com
3D Skewb-cube
made by Mefferts.com
Skewb
Square Octahedron
a little variation of the Skewb
Rhombic Dodecahedron
Holey Skewb
designed by Tony Fisher
made by Mefferts.com

Dodecahedral puzzles (12 axes)

Dogic
designed by Zsolt Vecsei and Robert Vecsei
made by Mefferts.com
Thomasball
designed by Zdenek Blazek and Miroslav Jandora
Intellect Ball / Thomasball
designed by Zdenek Blazek and Miroslav Jandora
Impossiball
designed by William O. Gustafson

BALL.B

BALL.B is a Megaminx, in the shape of a sphere.
Ball.B belongs to the group of Dodecahedral puzzles, i.e. it has 12 axes.
Neighbouring rotary axes have the same angle. The puzzle has on the surface 12 rotary discs,
whereby each rotary disc intersects with five others. The rotary disc can be moved five times
around in order to reach the initial point. This means that each axis can be turned by 72 degrees.
Each rotary disc has a different colour.

To summarize the aim of this puzzle in very easy words,
you turn its discs until you restore the initial state.

BALL.B kropki (Polish patent: 383002)
Difficulty: easy
Playing Time: 60 minutes

Puzzle Review

designed by Andrzej Burkiet
Ball.B flagi (Polish patent: 383002)
Playing Time: > 120 minutes

Puzzle Review

designed by Andrzej Burkiet
Alexander's Star
designed by Adam Alexander
GloBall
made by Povys
Flower
Logic Star
METAMORFIX
5R Ball
Gigaminx
designed by Andrew Cormier
Megaminx

designed by Ben Halpern / Kersten Meier
made by Mefferts.com
Holey Megaminx
designed by Lee Tutt
made by Mefferts.com
Ultimate Skewb
made by Mefferts.com
Pyraminx Crystal
designed by Aleh Hladzilin
made by Mefferts.com
FlowerMinx
designed by David Litwin
made by Mefferts.com
Bolygok
designed by Jozsef Bognar
made by politoys
Planets
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Recent Toys International
Roundy
three wings

designed by Fritz Gruber
Roundy
four wings
designed by Fritz Gruber
Enigma / Combinescion
designed by Roman Massimiliano
Magic Disc
Combo Puzzle
designed by David B. Ayers
Octo puzzle / DISCO PUZZLE
Rubik's Ufo
Puck
BRAINBOW
Ufo
designed by Wai K. Chan
Ufo (Varia-Disk)
KING RING
designed by Zoltan Pataki / Istvan Varadi / Attila Kovacs
Tricky Disky
with only three wings
Tricky Disky

Puzzles with gaps


SpongeBob puzzle


Calendar Puzzle

Barrel Puzzles

Blocked Barrel 15
designed by Douglas A. Engel
made by General Symmetrics, Inc.
Barrel Shuttle 11
designed by Douglas A. Engel
made by General Symmetrics, Inc.
Barrel Slide 121
designed by Douglas A. Engel
made by General Symmetrics, Inc.
eeeFrom
eeeFrom
Kugelturm mit Zwiebeldach
Ivory Tower
Entrapment
Nintendo Billion Star Barrel
Nintendo Ten Billion Barrel
Tower
LEESHO 4 Layers
LEESHO 3 Layers
Wisdom ball II
designed by Yang Ju-Hsun
Wisdom ball II
designed by Yang Ju-Hsun
Wisdom ball
designed by Yang Ju-Hsun
Capuzle
Varikon 7 Layer
Varikon 5 Layer
Varikon 4 Layer


Missing Link
designed by Steven P. Hanson and Jeffrey D. Breslow
Pakovalec
designed by Pavel Gebr
TURN 12
Square 1
designed by Dr. Vojtech Kopsky
Super SquareFrom
PyraDiamond
4D8
made by Mefferts.com
PyraStar
made by Mefferts.com
OktaederFrom
Morph Head
Pillow Cube / Cushion 
Diamond Style Puzzler
NATURAL
made by CLEVER TOYS
Twister
Shell
made by CLEVER TOYS
TOUCHDOWN
made by www.KANDTTOYS.COM
TOUCHDOWN
made by www.KANDTTOYS.COM
Astrolabacus
Rubik's Shell
DOUBLE DISK
made by Hog Wild, LLC
Brainstring
made by Recent Toys International
Brainstring Advanced
made by Recent Toys International
Rubik's Rabbit / Rubik's Hat
Buvos Golyok (instant insanity)
The Brain
Lockout / Puzzle Lock
Wanderrings
Tower of Hanoi
Cmetrick Too Hard
designed by Dror Rom
made by elogiq
SMART ALEX
designed by Dumitru A. Pop
Dual Rings
designed by Oskar van Deventer and Brahm Cohen
Venus Dreamball
Basketball Dreamball
Masterball Duo
Circusmaster Masterball
Geomaster Masterball / Rainbow Masterball
Logi-Vip ball
Saturn
designed by MAGNIF
Brainball
made by BrainWay

Orb / Orb-It
designed by Christopher Wiggs and Christopher Taylor
Chromo Ball
23From
Hungarian Globe
SphereXyz
designed by Lori Powers and Adam Giermek
made by LA1 Products
D-Ball World Globe
3D Creative Puzzleball
Mozaika
designed by Rudolf Destics
25From
Kabalabda Ball
Morphegg
Rubik's 360
Beijing 2008
3x3x3 Rhombohedron Cube / Devil Blade Cube
designed by John Lin
Magic Shield Cube / Hexagon Prism
designed by Adam G. Cowan
4x4 Octahedron
made by LanLan
QJ Octahedron I
made by QJ
4-axis Dodecahedron / Skewb Kite
designed by Tony Fisher
made by LanLan
Christoph's Magic Jewel / Dayan Jewel
designed by Christoph Bandelow
made by DaYan
Helicopter Cube
designed by Adam G. Cowan
made by Mefferts.com
From
Think-A-Dot
designed by Joseph A. Weisbecker
made by E.S.R., Inc.
14 face Skewb Hex
designed by Tony Fisher
made by Mefferts.com
Minimal Twist
IPP 30 Exchange / Osaka + Hakone
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Oskar van Deventer
Master Skewb
made by LanLan
2 x 2 x 2 Penta
made by LanLan
Columbus EGG
The Columbus Egg consists of an upper and a lower half.
On the upper half is a little window and a slider.
The slider can take one of three positions.
In the window you can see the edge of 5 parallel discs.
Each of the five discs has a red edge
which is as wide as the window.
The lower half can be turned clockwise.
According to the position of the slider different discs get turned.
The task is to turn the discs in such a way
that only the red edges are visible in the window.
In case of success a small weight is shifted so
that the Columbus Egg stands upright.

designed by Morichika Hatakeyama and Koichi Minami
BISHOP CUBES
Puzzle Design Competition 2011

Puzzle Review

designed by Forrest Bishop
made by Shape Games LLC
Smaz Dino Cylinder
Puzzle Design Competition 2011
designed by Li Chung Ma
Curvy Copter
designed by Tom van der Zanden
made by Mefferts.com
 
Gear Shift
designed by Oskar van Deventer
made by Mefferts.com
Jugo Flower


Literature

Jerry Slocum, David Singmaster, Wei-Hwa The Cube: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Bestselling Puzzle - Secrets, Stories, Solutions

Anatoly Kalinin THE MATHEMATICAL PUZZLES. Around the Rubik's Cube


Shops

BISHOP CUBES       http://bishopcubes.com/

BALL.B       http://ballb.pl/

Fourier Idea Inc.       http://fourieridea.com/

MARUSENKO sphere       http://www.marusenko.com/

Dioctipoid       http://mouldinginnovations.com/