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Project 4.1 Puzzle Design Challenge

Puzzle Cube CAD Modeling, Construction, and Statistics
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A local office furniture manufacturing company throws away tens of thousands of scrap hardwood cubes that
result from its furniture construction processes. The material is expensive, and the scrap represents a sizeable loss
of profit. PLTW Engineering

Design Statement
Design, build, test, document, and present a three-dimensional puzzle system that is appropriate degree of
challenge to high school students. PLTW Engineering

Made from 27 cubes
5 puzzle parts
4-6 cubes per part
No two parts can be the same
Must assemble to form a 2 cube
Parts should interlock
Average of 5 minute solve time
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Preliminary Work
Possible Combinations Conclusion
1. Why is it so important for a designer to think of multiple solutions to a design problem?
Getting stuck on one idea can actually lead to failure. Some people become so set in their ways that positive innovation is
impossible. With proper preparation, the designer can make an educated decision on which solution they should develop.
2. What steps did you take to determine the exact number of possible combinations for each set of cubes?
I used the plastic connectable cubes to rearrange them, and then I drew them out on paper. I rearranged them until I couldnt
find any more combinations.
3. Why is it so important to sketch your ideas on paper and sign and date the document?
Sketching your ideas and signing them creates a legal document that shows your original work. This way, no one can claim
your ideas for their own, and you have clear record of your brainstorming and design process.
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Preliminary Work & Decision

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I created two different puzzle cube combinations. Both of them had pieces that interlocked,
however, the first combination seemed to be more difficult than the second. I believe it was more
difficult because it had pieces where the blocks went in multiple direction. Particularly, the
second and fifth parts in combination one. I chose the second combination because it would be
easier, and I thought it wouldnt take too long to solve. Also, two of the parts are mirror images of
each other, and any way you turn them they arent the same, which I think adds a bit of trivia for
the people solving it. They would have to think about which interlock and where they go
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Testing, Analysis, and Optimization

I tested 10 people. Subjects were students, family members, and friends from another school. The average solve
Subjec Solve Time Solve Time Solve Time time was about 4 minutes. Since our requirement
t (min) (sec) sec was 5 minutes to solve, my puzzle cube is fairly
1 4 33 273 accurate. Along with this, there was a standard
2 5 49 349 deviation of just under a minute. This means my
3 4 17 257 puzzle cube has precision, since all of the values fall
4 4 29 269 closely together. The only real outlier was test number
5 3 28 208
10, who took over 6 minutes. This might have been
6 5 57 357
7 5 32 332
due to the age of the person tested, which was much
8 4 2 242 higher than that of the other subjects.
9 3 30 210 My puzzle cube was fairly accurate; however, the
10 6 1 361 average was under the five minutes by about fifteen
Statistic Value
seconds. When my puzzle is being solved, the step I
Average 285.8
Min 4
have pictured below does not connect well/latch with
Sec 45.6 the other three parts. I would definitely change my
Standard puzzle so that this section interlocked more and held
Deviation 56.59408899 the cube together. This would make it more difficult,
Min 0.943234817 and get the average closer to the five- minute mark.
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Puzzle Cube Testing



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