Cube Puzzle Quartet

Four tricky Cube Puzzles - can you get the pieces into the box?


Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share Alike

Commercial use is not allowed, you must attribute the creator, you may remix this work and the remixed work should be made available under this license.

Learn more or download attribution tags


This year at Maker Faire Bay Area, Ultimaker is offering a challenge: Solve one of our 3D-printed Cube Puzzles and you get to keep it!

Level 1: Easy

The Soma Cube has 240 different solutions, so it’s easier to solve than the other puzzles. This puzzle was very popular in the 1960’s, and people enjoy assembling the pieces into many other pleasing shapes like stairs or pyramids.

Level 2: Medium

The Hoffmann Cube is the earliest known 3x3x3 Cube Puzzle, created in 1893. This puzzle has only six types of solutions, up to symmetry. One interesting thing about the Hoffmann Cube is that all of its pieces are flat!

Level 3 = Hard

The Coffin Cube has only one solution and it is also known as the Half Hour Puzzle, created by Stewart Coffin. All four of the puzzle patterns used in our Cube Puzzle Challenge are from Stewart Coffin’s excellent book Geometric Puzzle Design.

Level 4 = Diabolical

The Nob Cube also has only one solution and it is notoriously difficult to solve. Some puzzle makers craft this puzzle out of wood and it is said that the puzzle is so difficult that solvers sometimes resort to examining the grain of the wood to figure out how the pieces fit together. Are you up to the challenge?

The 3D-printed pieces of each Cube Puzzle, as well as the container box, can be printed without supports, rafts, or brims. These prints are optimized to print on Ultimaker Fast settings, at .15mm layer height, with an 0.4mm nozzle. For other printers, resolutions, or nozzle sizes, you may need the pieces to have different clearances; feel free to message me if you have a need for such a modification.

PROJECT: Design Your Own Cube Puzzle!

Have students use their favorite 3D design software to create their own Cube Puzzles. This project can be adapted for many different educational subject areas and at a variety of levels:

Beginner: Use Tinkercad or Morphi to place boxes together to construct puzzle pieces that fit together into a 3x3x3 cube. How do you know they will all fit together into the cube? Print out your puzzle and have fellow students try it out to rate its difficulty.

Intermediate: Use Blender, Fusion 360, or AutoCAD to create puzzle pieces, and use fillets and offsets so that the pieces are pleasant to hold and fit together nicely. Create a container box that will hold the assembled Cube Puzzle. Who can make the most difficult puzzle?

Fundraising: Print out students’ Cube Puzzles and create a solving event where parents and faculty try to solve the puzzles. Raise money for your school or classroom by charging per solving minute, having solving championships, or selling the Cube Puzzles themselves. You can inscribe one of the puzzle pieces in each Cube with text to personalize it for your school or event.

Designing with Code: Use OpenSCAD or BlocksCAD to create pieces for a Cube Puzzle by translating and arranging cubes. Add code that creates clearance for where pieces will touch each other. Make this clearance customizable so that it can be easily changed for printing on different 3D printers or with different settings.

Exploring Mathematics: Which other 3D shapes could be used in this type of puzzle? What types of polyhedra can fill space, and which of those can be used to create a puzzle whose pieces can slide together? As a starting point, think about 2D space-filling shapes and puzzles by exploring tessellations and tangrams.

Advanced: Use the software BurrTools to construct a Cube Puzzle, analyze it for constructability, and test how many solutions it has. Can you find a new 3x3x3 Cube puzzles that has only one solution? You can also try your hand at more advanced puzzles like interlocking Burr Puzzles or puzzles with unit shapes other than cubes.



Issues are used to track todos, bugs or requests. To get started, you could create an issue.


66851a80cac700a2bace4148dee4ff20?default=blank&size=40Wzh added this to the All collection ago
200a21b25a49dc78e613f5ee730d668e?default=blank&size=40Gustavo R added this to the Didácticos collection ago
8e2b36e849bc64def329c42bb18346f6?default=blank&size=40olf247 added this to the Games puzzles etc collection ago
4fea67df080cad6ba66239f840cd7773?default=blank&size=40ISP.piraeus International School of Piraeus added this to the Educational collection ago
1db3ef390feb4fe7817507ae2e478d6c?default=blank&size=40Matija Vratislavski added this to the Raditi collection ago
Mini logotipo4fun3D added this to the Didacticos collection ago
13f7dad49813e11031fe7e41f7344801?default=blank&size=40Dustybird added this to the Puzzle collection ago
1fc5a8565d7a95d31f7d9e81c3ea73ab?default=blank&size=40GGS added this to the puzzle collection ago
36aaf3218fcb6362c4597035e6672164?default=blank&size=40georgeyang316 added this to the cooper collection ago
A48d28c262932cf70207b6bb0d1c01c3?default=blank&size=40espariz added this to the Toy Others collection ago
Cf5fe4d66771f9b2c21e28faed083724?default=blank&size=40jedikangaroo added this to the Puzzles collection ago
E151ab6d1892cd2ffe89ab9cccb4c02f?default=blank&size=40Thomas Ward added this to the Things to Make collection ago
3b7bec0f762825a0ec6ed54834b06d9b?default=blank&size=40Golpe de Remo added this to the varios sin catalogar collection ago
2c44a9aec6491e8ec90595f0e0fbb1d9?default=blank&size=40jaapaap added this to the puzzle collection ago
F02b16476bffd2535f391c9b42a29159?default=blank&size=40liu bing added this to the toy collection ago
48c4380b0b9175dcc4c1bb2162cc49fa?default=blank&size=40compalmane added this to the Things I would like to print collection ago
019695420ffc933135e77ccf3f2e14ea?default=blank&size=40cc ye added this to the 123 collection ago
Mini bad clown  custom Jari added this to the SPASS, PUZZLE, SPIELE collection ago
73e687e7e1e3d550e062dffa3a4b0c55?default=blank&size=40stormzak added this to the Other collection ago
040f736ae7fd3b038650faea098ab5ec?default=blank&size=40Sciuruz added this to the Toys collection ago
37a70d71586f9edc3d1f8cd227397df0?default=blank&size=40Nicole Lakusta added this to the Math collection ago
957beafb118487f49ee3a94f9ad12324?default=blank&size=40ksoocho added this to the Puzzle collection ago
Ee49bb72ead07ddc9162282610563236?default=blank&size=40RenegadeNiz added this to the Gifts collection ago
99b4f7453383815fc4d90b88446c72b6?default=blank&size=40offshoreair added this to the Toys for cousins collection ago
3a90a1d334c131093f9aac75e561e4d5?default=blank&size=40Kelvin Rafaeli added this to the jogos collection ago
4e3d7a407550fefbc4f8d04b4a5e2c8b?default=blank&size=40Etienne Kestelyn added this to the cool kid stuff collection ago
Mini img 9959gardenia321 added this to the zmrd collection ago
Afce3a6e30542209e92df0d44e85d2d6?default=blank&size=40Tesseret added this to the Trinkets / Toys collection ago
9430d7ed71063fecf9b8fbcdcce28a3c?default=blank& added this to the puzzle collection ago
209ff747962e23d4f33ba5ab8f974cf0?default=blank&size=40snoehmer added this to the to-print collection ago
29c178f73765f17401ed7145298daf48?default=blank&size=40fjviejo added this to the Gadgets collection ago
94e665ccb32a664f699962024873c567?default=blank&size=40divendres added this to the Per imprimir collection ago
Mini ocieicon101 squareOcie Ward added this to the learning collection ago
Mini ocieicon101 squareOcie Ward added this to the fun collection ago
82fbd75e552f3a118c08bb7149569378?default=blank&size=40Ippolit added this to the Головоломки collection ago
Efe146d1547c08763c13ed56ef676579?default=blank&size=40Guillaume Ludwig added this to the Casse-tête collection ago
A3a00d3356b4370df03b4a075d7f3dc4?default=blank&size=40jbkoffel added this to the To Print collection ago
B563349cce6a35e7cef780844be15859?default=blank&size=40DjoN added this to the Børn collection ago
936e8a6d513cfb1e35dc113aa93941d2?default=blank&size=40MakerKirk added this to the Stuff to Print collection ago
70af42ca011fd18531d54723a18f26da?default=blank&size=40Nuke added this to the new collection ago
Mini me 300by300Richard M added this to the Cute collection ago
2341055c4728c8b0f8480e8b1551618a?default=blank&size=40Kevin Justice added this to the ToPrint collection ago
Fbacffd03861779727199228f71f9ec1?default=blank&size=40Dennis Lipovsky added this to the things to make collection ago
0496896ead72a355c6a82134cc988544?default=blank&size=40tvance929 added this to the Todos collection ago
9a76bb2a993663377e307563bbea3023?default=blank&size=40makerme123 added this to the Games collection ago
Mini  mtr0032GreenFrog68 commented ago

I've printed the coffin's cube two days ago, the same cube found on the SD card delivery with UM2 and ... successfully resolve yesterday at the morning in one minute after many and many fails. I'm happy.

Mini screen shot 2016 05 28 at 12.40.32Jacques Wainwright added this to the To Print collection ago
44d601aecb373b87fdddd0fbb222273d?default=blank&size=40mils24 added this to the Things to Print collection ago
Ff71fa0c8907c5a4a033ea72f13c7f2c?default=blank&size=40char.enar added this to the Toys collection ago
Mini screen shot 2013 07 15 at 6.49.36 pmErik de Bruijn commented ago

This is also a great replacement for the default Burr puzzle currently on the SD card of every Ultimaker.

0579cc1b92ce53f051563403e2391d64?default=blank&size=40schultzms added this to the ToPrint collection ago
Mini laura creepermathgrrl published this design ago