Thursday, 21 July 2016

Dot box

3D printed puzzles are being more and more common and available to puzzle collectors. Actually you can do things with 3D printers that would be either impossible or too difficult with normal techniques.

So here is a new kind of puzzle designed by James Dalgety and exchanged in London in 2014.
By new, I mean that he invented a new principle. And yes, I am sure you have no other puzzles in your collection that you can open in the same way.

Despite being made out by 3D printers, the quality is pretty fine and you should not have issues regarding fit for example, but remember that it's not metal and thus you have to manipulate the puzzle with care!

The goal of this puzzle is to open the small box on the right picture above.

You can open the puzzle with several method, but one (the official one) work always or more often than the other ones.
Once open you will see how simple the mechanism is but you will face another puzzle: how does it really work. Even the designer does not really have the explanation!
I think that if the puzzle was made out of plexi (or any other transparent material) and then the solving process recorded with high speed camera, you would have more hints to understand it.

To reassemble the puzzle I used an external tool, because you cannot apply the same method as you should do when you solve the puzzle. And you will understand why you cannot when you hold the puzzle. So 2 possibilities: use external tools or some patience and dexterity (that I am sure it's not the expected reassembling process!)....It's up to you, needless to say which method I used :-)

To conclude, an intriguing puzzle that will keep you puzzling for some time. Good, isn't it?


  1. I also originally thought reassembly required luck or dexterity. But in an email conversation James steered me towards a clever reassembly technique which works every time. Getting it back together elegantly is a second puzzle!

  2. Really? Can you please PM me the solution for this elegant reassembly?
    Do you understand the mechanism of this puzzle?