Mar.25, 2013 | By Geraldine Bouvry

Let's see if you can guess which 3D printed item its creator is referring to when saying:

- "With the freedom of 3D printing, I wanted to design something brand new, innovative and that to my knowledge does not exist anywhere else in the world".
- "It also had to be small enough that is did not cost too much to 3D print".
- The item is "solved in a unique way like no other in the world".

Definitely puzzled?!

The item is a 3D printed centrifugal puzzle box, designed by Maundy who worked together with Shapeways for the actual 3D printing part.

Maundy explains what triggered his idea: “most puzzle boxes are solved in a number of moves by moving parts of the puzzle to certain precise locations in a certain order to open the box so I wanted to make mine different”.

This 3D printed puzzle box can store anything with dimensions of less than 39x39x13 mm and is opened by “simply” spinning the puzzle box on a flat surface, the lid will be unlocked.

Sounds relatively easy so far. Wait and read the rest:

Six sliders of different shapes have been placed on the lid of the box as well as three buttons which can be pressed and released. However, both sliders and buttons have absolutely no purpose at all in helping solve the puzzle and open the box! Pure distraction to confuse the user.

The clue to open the box is to decode the sequence of numbers which are around the top face of the lid. Those numbers actually refer to the alphabetical letters where A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. When decoding clockwise, one can read: “give-me-a-rapid-spin-to-unlock-my-lid”.

For those who are not there yet or simply wish to experience more 3D printed technology, there is another clue provided: a 3D printed key-ring containing a QR code and the word 'CLUE' above it. Both are embedded within the key ring, using a special wax trapped during the 3D printing process.

One can also choose to reveal IOS device with a camera (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch 4g) to read the QR code by using a bar-code reader application (tested with an app called 'Scan'). It will then reveal the text "A=1 B=2 C=3" on the device's display.

For those who are still puzzled by the “unlocking” mechanism, the video below speaks by itself:

Not much of a brainteaser finally!

The 3D printed puzzle box can be purchased here from 52.35 euros for the “White strong & flexible”. The item is also available in black.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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