Category Archives: Puzzle modifications

Mechanical puzzle modification projects

Diamond of snakes

Diamond of snakes puzzle

The title is like an Indiana Jones movie. But this is another simple snake cube modification.

You will need three three small snake cube. This shape contain 45 cube. For this reason I advise choosing small sizes cubes. As you can see from the picture top and bottom pieces are end pieces.
I made this shape by drawing a simple solution diagram. This shape and the combination of cubes isn’t a mathematical research result. For this reason probably this isn’t the best combination for this shape. But this is not an easy puzzle. If you like you can draw your own diagram and find your own combinations.
If you like make your own puzzle the combination is:

ECCCSCSCCCCCSCSCCCCSSSCCCCCSCSSSCSCSCCCCSCCCE

 If you wants make your own custom diamond of snakes puzzle you can download  or preview this free PDF file (0.6 MB on secure server box.com) including more information about snake cubes and some craft tips.

Custom snake cubes

Custom snake cubes

Snake cubes are folding puzzles made from cubes connected together by a piece of elastic rope. This puzzle called sometime as chain cubes or elastic cubes. The aim of this puzzle is folding small cubes into a cube shape. The majority of snake cubes are produced as 3x3x3 cube. That means each puzzle consist of 27 cubes. But on the market there are bigger snake cubes like 4x4x4. The biggest one that I saw is an 6x6x6 snake cube.

Snake cube modifications
Snake cube is today one of the most popular and also over produced puzzle in the world. You can find in puzzle shops,gift shops, toy shops and in super markets a lot of kind snake cube mostly for very cheap prices. There are wooden or plastic snake cubes. There are also different sizes on the market. All of them are checkered and looks same and unfortunately nearly all of that puzzles have same combination. I want explain some snake cube modifications and how to make them. Each snake cube made of three type of pieces.

End pieces
Corner pieces
Straight pieces

I decided to dismount some snake cubes and make my custom combinations. I made 12 custom snake cube by using 13 standard cube. If you wants make your own custom snake cubes you can download  or preview this free PDF file (0.6 MB on secure server box.com)

And If you want read more about snake cubes, you can visit “Jaap’s puzzle page” and learn more about theory and math of snake cubes.

Whip it puzzle modification

Whip it puzzle

Last month, in a small shop that sells everything I found a “Whip it” puzzle key chain. It was very cheap. As an interesting human behavior when we find a bargain we buy more than we need. I put one copy to my collection and started to think what to make with extra copies. This puzzle is an easy puzzle. I decided to make it a little more difficult by making each color tile different. Now the aim of the puzzle is arranging each color in a column and in correct order.

Numbering each tile was my first idea. But labels peel off easily. For this reason I dismounted this puzzle and drilled holes on tiles. One hole for “1”, two hole for “2” and no hole for “3”. (Or if you like you can accept for “0”). Dismounting and mounting this puzzle is very easy. There are a small screw on the top of the puzzle. You can see easily and you can reach with a small screw driver after removing the key chain.

You can modify your “whip it” key chain puzzles or big size “whip it” puzzles if you have more than one.

Ready mixed Rubik cube

Ready mixed Rubik cube

Rubik cube is one of the most popular mechanical puzzle. This is my second modification project for Rubik cube. The world record for solving a Rubik cube is about 6-7 second. I think this people spend more time for mixing a Rubik cube than solving. This is a joke of course.

My idea was making two color scheme on a Rubik cube. When you solve one, other color scheme became ready mixed for solving. This is an easy project, but may be a nice addition to your collection, if you collect mechanical puzzles.

ready mixed Rubik cube

For this modification I used a Rubik cube with plastic tiles. I don’t like labels. They peel off easily.  I drilled each cube surface. For colorful dots I used pushpins. I cut pushpins with a small jewelry saw and glued them on cube surface with two component epoxy glue. For making this puzzle, first you must mix well your cube and after drill and glue colorful dots. If you are looking for an easy way, you can print your two color labels and apply them on cube surface.

Wooden Bandaged Rubik Cube

Wooden bandaged rubik cube

This is my Rubik cube modification. According the information from Twisty Puzzles Museum this puzzle design is from Hidetoshi Takeji. You can read more about this puzzle from here. But I will describe here basic method for making a bandaged wooden Rubik cube from a standard Rubik cube. You can make different bandaged cubes with same method. You can find different bandaged Rubik cube designs from Twisty Puzzle Museum

This is a very easy to make bandaged cube. I started with a standard good quality Rubik cube. This is not an original Rubik Cube. But I think some Rubik cubes sold on the market are better than original Rubik Cube.

First I peel off all labels and clean cube surfaces with a paper towel and paint thinner. I fixed some cube parts with glue and I fixed my wooden tiles as label. If you like make your own puzzle modification you can read from here my step by step intructable from here or you can download free PDF file (0.6 MB on secure server box.com) including all explications and craft tips.