A popular category of 3D printed items found on Shapeways is puzzles, with 3D printing allowing for ever more complex designs. Steve Winter from Ethereal Maze Puzzles has created a new puzzle and has turned the challenge of solving it into a contest. The grand prize is a $50 voucher from Shapeways, with the runner-up receiving a model from his shop. The elegant design looks simple, but appearances can be deceiving!
He explains why below...
"SOMA's Revenge" is a new type of puzzle inspired by the classic SOMA Cube Puzzle. It uses an inner and outer set of SOMA shaped pieces. Like the classic SOMA cube puzzle the "SOMA's Revenge" pieces can be assembled into a cube 240 different ways, and challenge players with thousands of figures to construct - so it's lot of fun. However, unlike the classic SOMA cube, the inner pieces in SOMA's Revenge can also slide into and interlock with the other pieces. This creates additional puzzle challenges to build a cube shape from the outer pieces, and another cube inside of that with interlocked inner pieces.
I designed "SOMA's Revenge" around a configuration with an inner and outer interlocking cube, but I have purposefully not tried to solve for any other interlocking cubes configurations. This means that the Grand Prize winner will also have the honor of being the first person IN THE WORLD to solve the puzzle! I will post this winner's names on my Shapeways shop and other puzzle sites so they have full bragging rights.
All entries, including partial solution entries will be up on my YouTube channel, so you can look for hints and see how others are progressing.
The contest runs till the end of 2012 - so you have plenty of time to enter. See full contest details and links to the videos at the "SOMA's Revenge" Shapeways Shop page