Puzzle Master, Oskar specials

Escape Room Sword

Hysteresis Key, which was mass-produced by Bits and Pieces as the metal Locomotion puzzle in the 1990's. The challenge of that puzzle was to remove the piston by sliding it up and down, which could a pin to move sideways in a maze pattern. The puzzle could be easily reset by just pushing the piston back in. Escape Room Sword uses the same maze design, but in opposite direction. This makes it a challenge to insert the sword into the slot, but it can always easily be pulled out. The puzzle can be played in the Maya-themed "Tempel of Hunahpu" of Escape Mijdrecht."

Oreo Soma Too

Oreo Soma Too is a Soma-Cube puzzle themed after the Oreo cookie: white cream between black biscuits. The object of the puzzle is to make the cube black-white-black. However, there are only eight white cubies. So the center cubie has to be black? But which one? There are so many pieces that would fit there. Still, the puzzle has a unique solution.

Hysteresis Key

Hysteresis Key is a maze puzzle, where the object is to pull the key out. However, one can only move the key in and out. The movement of the key moves a red pin sideways. The puzzle is solved by pushing and pulling the key just by the right distances. Too far and the puzzle resets itself. This version is an experiment with transparent PLA printing. Thanks to the single layer of transparent PLA, one can see the position of the red pin in the maze, which makes the puzzle accessible.

Screwballs Too

Screwballs Too is a variation on the earlier Screwballs design. This version uses rhombic dodecahedra instead of balls. This makes the puzzle easier to 3D-print or machine. The object is the screw the six identical pins into the four balls, which are all different, and form a tetrahedron.

Balanced Soma

Balanced Soma is a Soma-Cube puzzle that was first published in the book "Puzzles of the World" (Botermans & van Delft) in 1978. The object of the puzzle is to balance all soma pieces on the middle bottom of the puzzle. Patrick Luteijn likes that puzzle and commissioned a spherical version. Both the cubic and spherical versions work well. The wooden variants are slightly more stable than the PLA plastic versions, as the plastic is more slippery than the wood.

Caged Soma

Caged Soma was designed by Andreas Roever at Oskar's request. Andreas spent many hours configuring Burrtools, in order to find a Soma design that satisfies the requirements: six "hooked" pieces going into a cage. Andreas found that there exist only four designs that work. Of those four, there is only one higher-level design ( Obviously, that is the design that I had to prototype.
All pieces hook together, so they can come out only one at a time. I printed all pieces hollow, so one can have a look inside the cube and also have some looks all the way through"

Screw Cage

Screw Cage is a pentagonal cage puzzle with five pillars. When the top and bottom pentagon are aligned perfectly, then each of the five pillars fits at one position. When they are not aligned, then only three pillars will fit, but some at multiple positions. All five pillars are different. The puzzle is also coordinated motion, as all pillars unscrew simultaneously from the two pentagons.

Skew Soma

Skew Soma is a skewed version of the Soma Cube. This makes it harder to solve, as it has fewer solution (how many) than the 240 solutions of the regular Soma Cube.
Moreover, the skewed shape of the pieces causes disorientation.

Warped Soma

Warped Soma is a warped version of the Soma Cube. All faces have a saddle shape. This makes it harder to solve, as it has fewer solution (how many?) than the 240 solutions of the regular Soma Cube. Moreover, the warped shape of the pieces causes disorientation.

Connected Soma

Connected Soma is a cubic version of Soma Pipedream Too, a piped Soma assembly puzzle. Rick Eason found this unique design that has two assemblies, of which only one can be disassembled. Moreover, Rick also suggested these hermaphroditic connections, eliminating the need of separate connector pieces. The puzzle is a lot of fun to solve, trying to make a (Soma) cube. It is even more fun to make free-space assemblies of these pieces. Rick Eason computed that there exist a total of 35 assemblies where all pipes are connected without any open ends.

Conjoined Somas

Conjoined Somas is two sets of Soma Cube pieces, made from truncated octahedra. The red set forms one cube, and the green set another. The two sets fit through each other.

Crazy Crescents

Crazy Crescents is a mathematical art toy. Five colorful threaded crescent-shaped pieces are nested together inside a red ring, and inside each other. Each screw meshes with each of the other screws, as the screw angle is identical for all screws.
The object of the toy is to screw it together, and make nice shapes. More info:

Sticky Soma

Sticky Soma is a variation to the classic Soma Cube puzzle by Piet Hein from 1933, which has 240 solutions. The pieces of Sticky Soma have grooves. Eighteen sticks (hence the name!) go through these grooves and keep the puzzle together. The puzzle was commissioned by Patrick Luteijn. George Miller analysed which of the four fundamentally different designs would be the most interesting one. The four challenges have 70, 64, 56 and 50 solutions, respectively.
So we chose the latter. More info:

Markus Split

Markus Split is a four-piece cube puzzle. The puzzle is a 2x2x2 cube, where diagonally opposite cubies are connected. The puzzle-design challenge was to find a design with this property. This is my solution to this design challenge. It is based on a design by Markus Goetz, where each of his pieces is again split into two identical pieces. So the puzzle has four identical pieces.More info:

Orange Soma

Orange Soma is a variation to the classic Soma Cube puzzle by Piet Hein from 1933. It was commissioned by Patrick Luteijn, who is a big Soma fan. This variation is spherical and it is held together by 34 yellow pyramid-shaped "pits". The puzzle holds together well, and it is taken apart piece-by-piece with diagonal sliding moves. More info:

Panex Galaxy

Panex Galaxy is an extended version of the classic Panex puzzle, invented by Toshio Akanuma and manufactured by Tricks Company in Japan in the 1980's. Whereas the original Panex puzzle has two columns of pieces that need to be switched and an empty one, Panex Galaxy has three columns of pieces and an empty one. The challenge of the puzzle is to swap the silver and gold columns. If you can solve the classic Panex puzzle, you can solve this puzzle as well. However, the solution for the classic Panex is highly inefficient for this one, so you may want to find a more efficient solution. The staircase design assures that each color can only be moved down to its specific depth. More info:

Panex Junior

Panex Junior is a simplified version of the classic Panex puzzle, invented by Toshio Akanuma and manufactured by Tricks Company in Japan in the 1980's. Whereas the original Panex puzzle has two columns of ten pieces that need to be switched, Panex Junior has only a single column of six pieces. This makes it much easier to solve. The staircase design assures that each color can only be moved down to its specific depth.More info:

Screw Fit

Screw Fit is a packing problem. Four colorful helical pieces need to be fitted inside a black nut.
The nut has multiple threads with different speeds. Moreover, two are lefthanded and two righthanded. Each of the four colorful pieces slides through a different thread. The packing problem is designed to have a unique solution, but many near misses. Once the solver knows where to place the pieces, the next challenge is to slide them in together, using coordinated motion and a bit of dexterity.

Screw Pack

Screw Pack is a colourful packing problem. The object is to fit the seven screws flush into the big nut.
The pieces have been designed in a misleading way, such that many packing fit partially,
but then the last few screws don't fit.
This makes it a confusing puzzle, even when the pieces are easy to distinguish by their color.

Screw Enigma

Screw Enigma is a 3D printed variation to the classic twisty puzzle Engel's Enigma, which consists of two intersecting circles which can rotate so there is an interchange of pieces.

Screw Burr

Screw Burr is related to the classic six-piece burr. However, screws are used instead of square rods. Because of this, pieces are not slid, but screwed in. A wonderfully colourful 3D-printed variation that has been made by Oskar van Deventer. The set of six pieces took 6 hours to 3D print on a Dutchy 3D printer. 88 meter of 1.75-mm colourful PLA filament was used to print it. The puzzle weights 42 gram.


Nut Stack

Nut Stack is a packing problem. The objective is to fit the bolt and the four nuts into the pentagonal box. The way to do this is to fit the nuts around the bolt and put these together into the box. Each of the nuts is pentagonal with an elongated side. When one turns the nuts around the bolt, all nuts stacked together form a pattern. Only one of all 12x16=192 possible permutations and combinations matches the pattern of the box.

Arch Burr

Arch Burr is a six-piece burr, but not a regular one. Six bent pieces intersect each other at two different places. The object is to take the six pieces apart and then put them back together again. In the past, a metal version of the Arch Burr was produced by Bits and Pieces.
This one however, has been made using a 3D printer by Oskar himself.


Abbott's 3D maze

The puzzle is a remake of a classic maze design by Robert Abbott. The puzzle is a 4x4x4 cube grid with holes between adjacent cells. The holes come in two sizes: small and large. The ball goes through large holes, but not through small ones. The ball starts at the marked cell in the corner. One of holes at the outside is a large one. This is where the ball exits. The brilliance of this classic Abbott design is that the maze has a whole bunch of interconnected loops. There is one place in the middle of the puzzle where one "inner" loop connects to an "outer" loop. It is very easy to miss this place and just keep wandering around.

Cubic Trisection

Cubic Trisection is a three-piece assembly puzzle, suggested by George Miller to Oskar van Deventer based on a idea by Robert Reid. George Miller protogyped the first version on his 3D printer in 2004. At that time, 3D printing was prohibitively expensive. This version was 3-D printed on Oskar's new Dutchy 3D printer. Each of the three pieces takes 2 hours and 13 minutes to print and 9.45 meters of PLA plastic filament. The material is translucent, which was chosen to highlight the inner 15% infill gyroid structure that makes the pieces rigid and robust, while light at the same time.

Cubic Trisection (3D print wood version)
is an assembly puzzle of three identical pieces, but it requires symmetry breaking to solve

Four Knot

FourKnot is a five-piece assembly puzzle. The object is to put the pieces together, such that they form a continuous loop. The solution is a knot shape that has four crossings, according to knot theory. This makes it the second simplest knot. The knot pieces loop like rope with five stands. The piece are held together by ten 5x5x5-mm magnets. The puzzle is quite confusing. Other than making the knot, one can fold various rope shapes.

Designed by Oskar van Deventer and printed on his Dutchy 3-D printer using a material called
"3D-printed wood."

Boston Subway
is a ball maze with 10+10 parallel lines and several transfer “stations”

Dovetail Cage
is a twelve-piece assembly puzzle, held together by dovetail connections

Markus Ball
is a tennis-ball variation to Markus Goetz’ classic two-piece cubic assembly puzzle
are four different balls held together by six identical screwed pieces
Andrea's Maze
is a double-side maze designed by Andrea Gilbert,
where path on one side form the walls at the other side
Cold Fusion
is a six-piece burr with helical pieces
Dovetail Burr
is a six-piece assembly burr puzzle, held together by dovetail connections
Dovetail Cube
is an eight-cube assembly puzzle, held together by twelve dovetail connections
Dovetail Soma Cube
is a seven-piece Soma Cube, augmented with dovetail connections, making its solution unique
Eight Track
is an eight-band puzzle ring that was designed with a puzzle-ring-creation algorithm by Bram Cohen
is a six-piece burr puzzle, based on the impossible Penrose/Reutersvard triangle
Rainbow Ring
is a rainbow-colored puzzle ring where the six rings actually do come apart
Spiral Burr
is a six-piece burr puzzle, where all helical pieces are screwed together
Star Beams
is a six-piece assembly puzzle, where all beams are at a 63.5 angle, and each beam has a pentagram cross-section
Ring Bracelet
is a ten-piece puzzle rings, where the rings form a loop when scrambled, so it can also be worn as a bracelet

Fractal Megamaze

Fractal Megamaze is a dexterity maze that is based on the fractal "dragon curve".
The object is to remove the small 3-mm ball from out of the maze. The start and finish are the two corridors at the side and bottom of the maze. This puzzle was designed specifically for Puzzle Master by Oskar van Deventer and was printed on his Dutchy 3D printer.
The maze is a single 0.4mm layer of purple/lilac PLA plastic.
Topologically, it is a flat sheet. As the maze is 37 layers thick,
the 3-D printer had to solve the maze 37 times using the "right-hand rule."