Cube Mania

This week I had a design idea for modifying a standard Rubik’s Cube to match a different color scheme- just take off the old stickers and replace them with new ones. My idea has to do with the difference between “color” and “hue” and the subtle differences the eye can distinguish.

While surfing on how to do this (laminating, etc), I stumbled onto a huge number of cubing sites, not just “speedcubing” (solving the cube very very fast), which is impressive but way too dorky for me, but also modifying the cube into different shapes.

Suddenly I am really interested in my Rubik’s Cube… I drove to my mom’s house to fish my old cube out of her garage.

I visited the Rubik’s site– they sell the originals-

and the larger versions which had been discontinued for so long or previously only manufactured by hobbyists-

But- they also had some blank cubes! Perfect for design projects. Some kits are sold with the stickers, some are even “joke cubes” that have stickers to make every side identical.

If you’re a real psycho they also have kits for the Rubik’s Magic. I hope you like playing with lots and lots of fishing line! The kits are so complex they come with a CD-ROM of instruction videos.

One variant I found really interesting was the “Siamese cubes”- two or more cubes that share cubies. I have seen Siamese cubes which share three cubies, and even one that was kind of a joke in which the cubes share 18 cubies.

There are the Fusion Cubes,

I’m seeing a lot of 4 and 5 cubies on a side… and although someone mentions he is working on a 6x6x6, no one seems to have one. I wonder why that is?

Some of the modifed cubes are just normal cubes with crap glued onto them- like most of the 5x3x3 cubes. I think that’s just cheesey.

I’m also very curious what the Electronic Cube would have done… it was patented by Rubik but never released.

Also in the box in my mom’s garage were all my other twisty puzzles- the Skewb, the Square One, and the dreaded Professor’s Cube, with most of its stickers falling off. I never did solve that one…

I couldn’t find my cuboctahedron cube (works the same as the basic 3x3x3 but looks more complicated), and I also found the Pyraminx which I’ve never used because it just isn’t very interesting… somewhere I had an Alexander’s Star, which also was never that interesting to me.

It’s hard to say what the difference is; they are all the same kind of puzzle. The MegaMinx doesn’t look that interesting, but the Ultimate Skewb does… Similarly, I like the Bandaged Cube, but I don’t know that I’d actually play with it… it’s a vague aesthetic.


  • Jaap’s Puzzle Page lists pretty much every variant on these puzzles
  • The slightly slicker Twisty Puzzles site
  • 3d Puzzle reconstruction studio is a Japanese site which has some great photos on taking apart and fixing your cube
  • The list of cube construction articles from Twisty Megasite
  • The Twisty Megasite guy also independently re-engineered the Revenge when he was bored and Revenge-less, a few years back when the Revenge was not being manufactured
  • Another one from Twisty Megasite, the article on Cuboid Transformations, about making different geometries out of the basic 3x3x3 cube
  • Another hacking page on “puzzle building” has a lot of the “fused” cube designs
  • I love this patents page, which lists most of the major twisty puzzles patents, although if you search the US Patent and Trademark Office site you will find more.
  • This lunatic made a paper cube
  • Gliding Cube is a computer program which has a virtual cube where the tiles can slide across the faces. It’s similar to the patent on the cube which has sliding tiles, with one empty one, sort of combining one of those 15/16 sliding puzzles with a cube
  • The Lament Configuration… ok even though it is a cube puzzle which has sliding pieces, it has nothing to do with the Rubik’s Cube. Although for design projects, it’s hard to beat the Lament Configuration… if only I could make one that moves like the one in Hellraiser.

People modify their rubik’s cubes and summon demons with them.

Lab Rat Day

They are testing the fire alarms here… while we are still in the building.

Literally every five minutes, at totally random intervals, the alarm will let out a shrill CHEEEP CHEEEP and then fall silent. Occaisionally if we are very lucky the power cycles as well and everyone’s UPS under their desk clicks a few times.

I’m sure this is some demented social experiment to see what it takes to make us go on a killing spree. Or maybe just how devoted to our work we are…

Of course since I’m blogging I guess I failed that test.

Viridian Design Movement

The Viridian movement is pretty interesting- it basically codifies a sustainable philosophy for sustainable living, and can be applied to business as well as personal philosophy.

That’s important, because if you come up with a philosophy that is incompatible with business, it’s not going to be very successful!

Web link of note: Viridian Design Movement