The Golden Orb – 10/2013

The following article was taken from the original announcement of this puzzle on in 10/2013.  I am adding some behind the scenes photos at the end that were not part of the original post.


I’m happy to present the Golden Orb. It’s a higher order version of the vintage Parker Brothers puzzle “The Orb”, and a step above the Silver Orb. Instead of 4 or 5 tracks of beads, it has 6 tracks.

It has been plated with copper, chrome, then gold. Two vintage orbs donated beads for this puzzle. The white and black are 3d printed.

The rows of beads have the following counts (8-22-30-30-22-8). The number of beads are dictated by the geometry, and the fact that the smallest rows have 8 beads.

This orb can stop in 5 positions BETWEEN each 180 degree turn. They are all shown in the photos below.
Now that there are an even number of rows, there’s an exact halfway position again. But instead of the 2 orbits in the halfway position on the original Orb, this puzzle has three orbits.

Thanks for looking!

In this thread, the Silver Orb was shown:

In this thread, we discussed the number of beads that should be used on this puzzle;





The following behind the scenes photos were not part of the original post:


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SGS4 126

SGS4 636 SGS4 637 SGS4 638

Little Chop V1 – Unsuccessful Skirting Rails Mechanism – 10/2013

The following is taken from the original announcement of this puzzle in 10/2013.

This is a little chop using the skirting rails mechanism. It prevents jumbling, so internal blocking due to hidden jumbling doesn’t happen.

I was hoping a 65 mm version of the little chop would be possible. The puzzle is too small to be perfectly stable though, so a larger version is in the works.

This experiment was done with the blessing of Matt Shepit.

Video here


To understand the skirting rails mechanism, please see the Pentultimate V2 article, and the Pentultimate V3 article first.

The little chop puzzle has 6 slices, like the Pentultimate.  And like the Pentultimate, 5 of the slices can be locked to one of the exposed centers.  (Here the locked face is colored red, and any edges that touch that face are colored red, to show that they are locked.)

Only the equator remains to be locked.  I chose the center of the cube face to create an interacting nub to collide with the core, indicated here by the green dot.



Here is the core, with a red part added to indicate the colliding nub.  We can see that the part will be allowed to skirt in from above and below, but it won’t be allowed to move sideways.




The original article did not include these mechanism pictures:

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Radiolarian 15 – The Radio Chop – Skirting Rails Mechanism – 10/2013

The following was taken from my original announcement of this puzzle on TwistyPuzzles,.com in 10/2013.


This is the 15th and last in my series of increasingly deeper cut face turning icosahedrons. This is the deep cut puzzle and thus the series is now technically complete at 15. I still plan to release a V2 for the Radio Star (number 11), but otherwise this represents the end!

As you all know, the equivalent dodecahedral Chopasaurus was made first a few years ago by Andrew Cormier. My version uses an entirely different mechanism called “skirting rails”. In other words this is not a shells mechanism. It is closer to my Pentultimate V2.5 mechanism.

One very unique property of my version is that this puzzle does not jumble! Deep cut jumbling puzzles can sometimes block internally, which is a property I don’t find desirable. In those cases, external turns look valid, but can’t be done due to the internal state which cannot be seen. Since my puzzle does not jumble, it does not have this problem.

Turning is pretty tight, but it’s nice and stable. Actually starting a turn seems to be the hardest part as you can see in the video. I assume it’s because of so many parts having to align themselves perfectly inside.

Edge lengths are 88mm, making this a very large puzzle!

Video Here!


To understand the skirting rails mechanism, please see the Pentultimate V2 article, and the Pentultimate V3 article first.

On the Pentultimate, we were able to lock down 5 out of 6 tracks by locking them to the top center.

On the Radio chop, we can only lock down 6 out of 10 in this way.  I’ve colored these 6 tracks red in the image below:

Untitled-2 copy

The four remaining tracks we need to lock down are the equator (shown in yellow) and three tracks that sit between the equator and the locking top face.  I chose the points marked in green to attach pegs to the master layer that can interact with the special core.  Allowed paths are swept out of the core and the rest is used to collide with the pegs and prevent illegal moves.

In the following images, I have colored the pegs red.  Here we can see how the blue tracks will be blocked.  They can rotate in from above and below, but not move sideways:



Here we can see how the equator will be blocked.  The pegs can rotate in from above and below, but they cant move left-right.


These assembly photos were not revealed in the original post.

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