My first print - a puzzle ring

Discussion in 'My Shapeways Order Arrived' started by Alecat, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Alecat
    Alecat New Member
    The ring:
    With gold rub'n'buff applied:

    Some back-story:
    My ongoing fascination with Celtic knots has often made me think about the physical realities of knot patterns. I've previously explored making knots out of clay, and tying Chinese knots to explore this idea.

    When I was little, my big sister brought home some Turkish puzzle rings. They were pretty and confounding. I never really got the hang of how to solve them! But when I found Shapeways, I knew i wanted to have a go at making my own puzzle rings.

    My first attempt at the idea was a perfect intertwining of over-and-under loops.

    My rusty 3D modeling skills meant that progress was slow... so it came with a slow and crushing realisation that this design wouldn't come apart and function as a puzzle ring in the way I'd imagined.

    The next step was to do some research into how puzzle rings are constructed and how they're solved. I learned that unlike Celtic knots, puzzle rings don't follow a convention in the way that the loops alternate over- and under-lapping. One loop may go over two other loops before passing under the next.

    Armed with this knowledge, I modeled the next version of the puzzle ring.

    And then came the problem of unraveling these interlocked pieces to ensure that they would print properly. I tried very hard to follow how the loops would remain loooped through each other when jiggled loose. Here's what I submitted to Shapeways for printing:

    A few weeks later, they arrived! I got the scissors and glue out, expecting that I'd be too incompetent to solve the rings the normal way. I also suspected that I'd gotten the loops wrong (I had). As it turns out, once the loops are correctly hooked through one another, it's not too hard to solve the ring. The white S&F was a little bit too flimsy, but the black worked quite well, and I'm hoping to do some metal prints next.

    Thanks for reading about my little project! I'm working on some other Celtic-knot inspired jewellery as well (including less confusing rings), so I hope to be able to share those with you soon.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013