A Dutch man has set the record for the world's most complex "Rubik's Cube-type twisty puzzle." (Didn't know there was a record for that kind of thing? Neither did we!) Here's the cool part: It came out of a printer.
Oskar van Deventer used Shapeways, the Dutch rapid-prototyping giant, to produce a cube that's got a whopping 17 rows and columns on each side, beating out the old record of 12 and making puzzle geeks everywhere squeal like school girls. (The record is "unofficial," by the way, per the press materials, which has us thinking there's a mad genius toiling away in his basement somewhere on a cube sized INFINITY!!!)
Personally, we're less interested in how you solve this thing -- we can barely tackle a basic Rubik's Cube, let alone one that makes quantum physics look like fingerpainting -- than in how van Deventer made it. Over the Top, as the puzzle's called, was 3-D printed in 1,539 individual tiles of white plastic. Each had to be sorted and hand-dyed, before pieced together, resulting in a fully functioning 5.5-inch cube. The design process, apparently, took 60 hours. Sorting and dying took 10; additional labor, five.
Sounds like an awful lot of work for something you'll just want to throw across the room. And the puzzle ain't cheap: $2,000 gets you a DIY kit through Shapeways's website. Yoikes. We might hold out for the infinity model.
[Images courtesy of Shapeways]