Product Idea

Polycube Puzzle Creator

This set would allow you to recreate many popular puzzles of varying difficulty or create your own, along with a suitable base, from a relatively small piece count of 360 bricks. There are a number of Cube puzzles that are very popular, and you can create at least the following puzzle pieces and bases from this set; Polyomino 8 x 8, Pentominoes 3 x 20, 4 x 15, 5 x 12, 6 x 10, Pentacubes 2 x 3 x 10, 2 x 5 x 6, 3 x 4 x 5, Soma Cube 3 x 3 x 3, Bedlam Cube (Crazee Cube) 4 x 4 x 4, Big Brother Cube 4 x 4 x 4 and Tetris Cube 4 x 4 x 4, providing puzzles of various levels of difficulty. However, this set also allows you to apply your imagination and create your own unique puzzles or variations to solve.

Background

Over  the years I have often returned to a wooden Polyomino Puzzle, containing 12 various pentominoes (shapes made up from 5 adjoining squares) and 1 tetromino (4 adjoining squares) which fit into an 8 x 8 grid and which apparently has more than 16000 possible solutions, although you wouldn't think so as it is fiendishly difficult to solve and yet rewarding when you do.

Thanks to Lego element 11203 (tile, modified 2 x 2 inverted), I decided to create my own set made out of Lego, as this element allows the creation of puzzle pieces that can be flipped over and yet have no sign that they might be upside down.

However, I then discovered that the 12 pentominoes could be used on their own (without the tetromino) providing other puzzles, in either a 3 x 20, 4 x 15, 5 x 12 or 6 x 10 grid. Not only that, I then found out that they could also be arranged in 3D if each square making up the pentomino pieces was made into a cube (making them 'pentacubes'). I also tried to choose pieces for the base which would allow the ability to create any one of these various grid sizes. After also discovering the Bedlam Cube and other similar puzzles, I looked at how I could recreate the various polycube pieces without adding too many extra parts. In the end I was able to achieve all this with 360 pieces although the colours currently available have made my built versions of the puzzle either a little garish or dull.

Looking on the ‘Wanted’ list at Bricklink, I note that different colours for element 11203 are keenly awaited by many so, with this in mind and with a desire to be able to make my puzzle in more suitable colours, I decided to post this project.

I hope this project inspires you enough to support it but, either way, thanks for looking.