Shapeways, The Community

Matthew & Mindy’s Romantic 3D printed puzzle wedding proposal

Matthew Farnsworth has the most romantic 3D printed twisty puzzle story you will read all day. It has to do with Matthew, Mindy & how a Rubik’s cube can be the key to someone’s heart. I will let Matthew tell you the story in his own words: 

Many years ago, while digging through some boxes of stuff in my grandfather’s garage, I found a small keychain Rubik’s cube. I didn’t know how to solve the cube, so my brother and I did some research and eventually figured it out. After a few months, during which I got a standard sized cube, I decided to turn the keychain cube into a sort of personal “sword in the stone.” Whosoever could solve the Rubik’s cube (and meet some standard requirements) I would then and there ask for their hand in marriage.

Time passed and the cube ended up at the bottom of a box of games. Every so often I would see the cube and think of my secret little pact.

Eventually, I forgot about the cube and life moved on without any significant change. One day, I was asked to sing at the funeral services of a friend’s grandfather. Not wanting to sing alone, I called some friends who called other friends and eventually, a girl named Mindy was invited to sing. We met shortly before the funeral to practice and before too long, Mindy and I were dating.

Some time afterwards, We were looking for a particular game and happened to come across the keychain Rubik’s cube. I told Mindy of my little arrangement involving proposing to whoever solved the cube. A few days later I noticed that the cube was missing and I realized that I really liked Mindy and wanted her to solve the cube.

It was then that I was hit with a burst of inspiration: build a Rubik’s cube that would open when solved!

I immediately turned to some engineer friends of mine to start the design process. Chris, Kevin and myself spent a fair bit of time drawing and sketching on the whiteboard many different possibilities. Most of these possibilities looked fine on paper but as soon as we tried applying a third dimension, things would get complicated. We had just about finished a design involving spring-loaded pegs, when we discovered a YouTube video of a hollow cube.

Oskar van Deventer had actually redesigned the interior of a Rubik’s cube, creating a beautiful cavity where one could hide a ring.

Now all I needed was to buy the hollow cube and edit the design so that it would open upon completion. I decided, instead of trying to setup costly experiments and purchasing multiple hollow cubes, that I would propose the idea to Oskar himself to see if he had any ideas of how to help me. And help me he did.

Within two weeks, I had the designs in my hands. a few weeks later and I had the Gift Cube.
In the meantime, I created a small wooden ring box that would fit inside Oskar’s Gift Cube. When the Cube arrived, I was ecstatic to discover that the ring box (a sphere actually) fit perfectly inside. After assembling the whole device and scrambling the cube, I hid it in the bottom of a box of my old high school memorabilia. I suggested to Mindy that we could reminisce about “the good old days” while looking through my box of stuff.

Eventually we got down to the Rubik’s cube and I informed Mindy that it was my first Rubik’s cube (a slight fib). She proceeded to solve the scrambled cube only to discover a small wooden ball. I told her the ball opened, but the lid was too tight and I had to open it for her. Getting down on one knee, I handed her back the ring box and asked is she would consider marrying me. She accepted and we are absolutely thrilled.

We would both like to thank the people of Shapeways for their part in this love story. I would also like to personally thank both Ralph and Maartje for their patience with me during a time of great anxiety. And of course, none of this would have been possible without Mr. Erno Rubik and Mr. Oskar van Deventer.

You can see a video of the Gift Cube on YoutTube. The Gift Cube model on Shapeways is here

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