…that was George’s comment on my blog post about Nine Balls a couple of weeks back... and at the time I happened to be printing some of George’s recent designs, that he calls Octaballs, so it was only fair that that became the blog title.
George has designed some really interesting interlocking puzzles and spent a while a few years back doing an exhaustive analysis of possible Pennyhedrons with Chinny. More recently he’s switched gears and changed geometries a bit, and then wrapped them in a shape that’s a cross between a ball and an octahedron – which is why George christened them Octaballs.
I spotted them on my favourite 3D Printing site (George has made the designs available for free for anyone to print their own copies! Top man!!) and thought they looked interesting so threw some G-code and a pile of filament at the puzzle-making-machine and a short while later I had four identical pieces that assembled into an Octaball… and I was hooked.
Assembly isn’t trivial, but it’s pretty clear what you need to do and it’s reasonably straightforward to get everything properly aligned and Octaball one is assembled.
Octaball two was available in two flavours – the first uses two pairs of pieces and, while it’s a bit trickier than number one, it isn’t that bad an assembly challenge. (It also has a neat expand-and-contract action when you push on opposite triangles.) The alternative assembly swaps out one of each of the pairs for another piece and I like that one even more – it really steps up the “interest” factor.Octaballs three and four are both made up of four unique pieces, although they do share some pieces with one another and indeed with some of the other designs. These guys are sods to assemble – in fact George’s maker’s notes warn that they might seem to be impossible and not to give up.
Those last two provide a serious assembly challenge as the shapes of pretty much every single piece requires the other three pieces to be virtually completely disassembled in order to introduce the final piece… George’s warning is not there for nothing – I reckon these things will reduce seasoned puzzlers to quivering wrecks… you’ve been warned – they are indeed dia-BALL-ical!
Nice one George!!
All of them look brilliant! As I’m not allowed to but a 3D printer, I’ll need to see if George will print a set of these for me.ReplyDelete
Kevin, I hear you. No 3D printer and no laser cutter here. My local library does have 3D printers, but the user has to babysit the machine while in use.ReplyDelete
Allard, did you grow another pair of hands, or did Gill help you put these together? You make it sound that the first two were relatively easy. For my copies, all four puzzles are at 75% done, and so I have concluded that the co-mo cannot be done by a single human.
I’m sad for you Tyler, but pleased that I’m not the only one!Delete
Nope Tyler - no secondary assistance required - but they are fiddly as...Delete
Based on my conclusion, there is a second corollary ... ;)Delete
Shh, don't tell.... yet...Delete
I'm glad you enjoyed the OctaBalls!! I "turned" #2 into a sphere version which I have on my Etsy site now. It is not much different as a puzzle, but is harder to make and it rolls off a table, so I include a stand. Kevin, I can make you a set if you like.ReplyDelete
Thank you George. Allard had a spare set and sent them to me. I need more patience and a spare pair of hands to assemble the bloody things!Delete
I believe Mrs. S has a second set of hands. Teamwork!Delete
I can’t believe you would suggest that, George! She only touches them to move them out the way or to chuck them at me in fury!Delete
There is a YouTube video that might help ... not exactly the same puzzle but the technique may be useful.Delete
Yes, that’s the approach that I took. It took a fair while before I managed all 4 of the tricky buggers!Delete