Dec 7, 2017 | By Julia

Everyone has that person on their gift list: the hard-to-shop-for tech geek. Whether it’s your brainy coworker or your super smart kid brother, these nonconformists are notoriously tricky to handle around the holiday season. Sweaters won’t cut it, socks are boring, and they already own a fidget spinner. What’s left to buy that keeps within a reasonable budget?

One French maker by the name of Grégoire Pfennig might have just the solution you’re looking for. As a mechanical engineer who doubles as a puzzle designer, Pfennig has been making a name for himself around the internet thanks to his geek-friendly startup Greg’s Puzzles. Drawing inspiration from the traditional rubik’s cube, Pfennig has devoted his life’s work to designing geometrical puzzles of all persuasions: from simple to ultra complex, from interesting-looking to visually stunning.

Now, Pfennig is making a big splash with his newest creation: a puzzle that goes back to basics, but with a serious twist. Introducing the 33 x 33 x 33 Puzzle, a gargantuan, world record-breaking rubik’s cube designed by Pfennig and 3D printed in Holland. If that already sounds mind-boggling, get ready for the specs.

“If you wanted to stack regular rubik’s cubes to make it 33 x 33 x 33, you would need 1,331 cubes,” Pfennig explains. Instead of merely stacking all those cubes on top of each other, the French maker went back to the drawing board. What he created in the process is like no puzzle you’ve ever seen.

Whereas standard rubik’s cubes feature layers that measure a couple of centimetres thick, each layer of Pfennig’s puzzle is only 4.1mm thick. If that seems thin to you, you’re not wrong. Pfennig designed these unique dimensions in order to fit the puzzle’s nefarious number of parts, which total 6,153 moveable pieces, all 3D printed. The cube’s stickers, which keep within traditional rubik’s cube colour grading, add up to a whopping 6,534. According to Pfennig, the whole thing took about 205 hours to make. And that’s not even the best part.

“Just to give you an idea of the complexity of this puzzle, the regular rubik’s cube has 43 x 10 to the power of 18 possible combinations. This one has 1.159 x 10 to the power of 4,094 possible combinations, which is absolutely excessive,” Pfennig laughs.

What it all boils down to? The 33 x 33 x 33 Puzzle, complete with a fully functional checkerboard pattern, officially holds the world record for the largest, highest order rubik’s cube ever made.

Each component of each puzzle is 3D printed at 3D Fabriek, a 3D printing supplier based in The Netherlands. Due to popular demand, Pfennig has arranged to distribute the ground-breaking Puzzle via Budapest based retailers Oliver’s Stickers. According to their website, all pre-orders must be placed well in advance, as each puzzle takes some serious time to print, break-in, and ship out. The 33 x 33 x 33 3D printed puzzle is priced at €15,200.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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