Last weekend I bumped into puzzle maker Bram Cohen at Make HQ, where we had the opportunity to check out some of his amazing mechanical puzzles and talk a bit about the various processes with which they are made (please excuse the A/V quality of my mobile).
One of the tools Bram uses to make these mind bending objects is a piece of software called Burr Tools. It’s a 3D design program that builds puzzles out of basic units. Puzzles created with Burr Tools can be exported to an STL shape file that can be printed on a 3D printer.
Bram also showed off a prototype he designed that was milled from hardwood by a friend on their woodworking mill.
We also get to see Bram’s first commercial puzzle. It’s called “Cast Marble” by Hanayama. It’s a captive marble inside a block. Both the marble and block are composed of cast metal segments that twist and turn into each other.