Saturday 27 August 2011

Sixi Cube from Vinco

Sixi Cube Supplied In Pieces!!!
Vaclav Obsivac aka Vinco recently added a whole lot of new puzzles to his site. I have mentioned before how good his craftsmanship is so whenever something new comes up, I just cannot resist it. Recently he seems to have specialised in producing coordinate motion puzzles (both 4 and 6 pieces) and I have reviewed a few of these already. Whilst they are all very attractive and beautifully made, the mechanisms are all fairly similar and vary mainly in where the joins are and this alters the ease with which the pieces can be orientated for reassembly. Having a few of this type already, I did not feel any huge urge to increase my collection of this particular type of puzzle. This time the recent batch included a number of assembly and disassembly puzzles so I jumped at the chance to get something new and beautiful - in fact I got a bit carried away and spent an absolute fortune (whilst individual pieces are cheap - they add up when you buy 8 at once!!!)

The first one I tried is the Sixi Cube - this version is made from varicoloured walnut (other woods are available). I started with this one because it was delivered in a box as 6 pieces, unassembled! It offended me to leave the 6 pieces on the shelf like that, hence it ends up as the first to be tried so I can put a whole puzzle back on the shelf! It consists of 6 pieces in the shape of a capital I. When done these end up assembled as a cube 55mm across. Now if the pieces were simple I's then it would be trivially easy to assemble, although it would be loose - so to make it into a puzzle and to hold it tightly together there are small cubelets in various positions on the stem of the I's. The effect of this is to prevent the pieces just sliding together in anything other than the correct order and orientation.

This is not as easy as it looks! Every time you think you have worked out where all the pieces go you find that insertion of one piece is blocked - it certainly should go in that place but will not do so! Starting again many times forces you to actually look at the pieces and formulate a strategy rather than just randomly trying to put it together. It took me about 15 minutes of fiddling about before I got it - the fit is phenomenal! When you do get it together it is absolutely beautiful. I have done this one several times now and each time I have to stop and think about it!

Sixi Cube
Sixi Cube
Sixi Cube
Sixi Cube alt view
I have created a Burrtools file for it - apparently there are 4 different solutions (to be honest I can't tell the difference between them easily!) If anyone would like a copy then please just drop me a line.

For €11 this is an absolute bargain - get one and enjoy it as a moderately easy puzzle and a lovely ornament!

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