New Technology allows new puzzles to be invented.

Moby Puzzle

This puzzle was designed by Oskar van Deventer in The Netherlands on a computer using 3D CAD software.

This enabled him to make a fully working virtual model on screen. He never had a real prototype. When he was happy with the design he emailed the computer file to George Miller in the USA.

When George received the email he put the file into what he calls his "Santa Claus Machine" and then went to bed. In the morning he got up and removed the first example of the puzzle that anyone had ever seen.

The object of the puzzle is to remove the red part from the maze on the yellow Moebius strip. Because parts of the maze "walls" are on opposite sides of the strip it is very difficult to perceive the actual path. Being an Oskar Design there is an additional parity problem and the red has to pass twice around the loop before it can be removed.

The new 3D printing technology allows very complex and accurate prototypes to be made which would have been impracticable with earlier techniques.

The "Santa Claus Machine" is in reality a 3D Printer:

An inkjet printer goes from side to side spraying 1D lines of ink to create a 2D image on paper.

A 3D printer sprays thin strings of plastic making a 2D layer then the first layer is dropped by a few thousands of an inch and another layer is put on top of the first; and so on, until many "2D" layers have stacked up into a 3D object. In the photo opposite you can see the residual markings left by the layering. (checkout George Miller's website where you will find greater detail on the process).

2005