This past weekend I was at Dutch Cube Day in Eindhoven. Dutch Cube day is an annual event for people who love cube puzzles. There were about 230 puzzle people there from all over the world. People came from Spain, the USA and all over to compete in speedcubing. In speedcubing people solve Rubik's cubes in around 10 seconds. Here is a video from a few years back showing you a competitor in a speedcubing event.
Besides the speedcubing there were lots of tables where people showed their home made puzzles. A profusion of languages swirled around these tables as Spanish, French and German were interchanged. The one thing that amazed me most was that even though these people came from all over the world, were from very different backgrounds and in some cases had never met before the puzzle people community is an incredibly tight one. Everyone has had contact with nearly everyone else. Everyone knows everyone else and is up to date on their inventions. It is also a caring community and even though there is competition in speedcubing and inventing the best puzzles, information is shared widely and openly.
Uwe Meffert was there. He is one of the most prolific and best selling puzzle inventors ever and everyone could just come up to talk to him ask him for advice. Erno Rubik (as in cube) was also present and it was great to see everyone take a picture with him and get to speak to him as well.
Erno Rubik (on the left) holding Oskar's Unlucky Twist puzzle while Oskar in turn holds a version Mr. Rubik's infamous cube.
I was there primarily because Oskar was there. Oskar van Deventer is an incredible puzzle inventor and we are so happy that he uses Shapeways to make his challenging & fun puzzles. Both Uwe Meffert and Erno Rubik seemed very interested in Oskar's puzzles and played with them at length! To get some indication of how awesome his puzzles are check out his Unlucky Twist, Bram's cube (that he invented together with Bram Cohen) or Caution Cube (my favorite).
Richard Gain above with his Stainless Steel 3D printed burr puzzle.
As an added surprise Richard Gain came over from the UK. His Microcubology burr puzzles are amazing and fun. He brought a Seldom Seen Cube with him in Stainless Steel. I had not seen it before in Stainless Steel and it looks great. Indeed his puzzle is the first Stainless Steel 3D printed puzzle I've seen and I really believe that it shows you that some more amazing puzzles are just waiting to be made in that material.
All in all it was a fun day and I loved meeting both Oskar and Richard and the many other puzzle people. You can check out all the puzzle Shops and lots of mechanical, twisty, burr, puzzle rings and other puzzles on our new Puzzle theme page here.
P.s., I came across a video of someone solving a Rubik's Cube while blindfolded.