About this project
The X-Cube is a twisting logic puzzle that, when solved, forms an 'X' and has all 6 colors oriented in the same directions.
The X-Cube has 52 moving parts, 102 stickers, and 125 decillion possible permutations.
That's 125,486,757,308,950,508,983,252,156,416,000,000 (1.254x10^35) permutations! That's over 2 quadrillion times more permutations than the original 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube for all you cube geeks, over 208 billion moles of permutations for all you chemistry geeks, and all you math geeks can check my math.
The X-Cube was invented using a 3D printer. Now that the X-Cube has been prototyped, I want to share it with everyone. This is a fundraising campaign to bring the X-Cube to mass production.
How are you going to mass produce and sell the X-Cube?
You can preorder an X-Cube by pledging to the campaign.
A friend of mine, Scott Brown, is the head of product development for Marbles the Brain Store. Marbles is a chain of stores based out of Chicago that sells all types of brain games. I reached out to Scott and he said he would be thrilled to carry the X-Cube in stores.
He even introduced me to a trusted manufacturer in Hong Kong. This manufacturer has given me a quote for injection molding, assembly, and packaging. That's where the fundraising goal came from.
I'll be updating the production process at http://xcubeproject.blogspot.com/.
And you're letting us download the files to print one?
Yep. The X-Cube was was born on a 3D printer. Even if you don't want to print one, you can view the STL Files (using STL viewing software) and find out how the X-Cube works. Pay what you want to support the Kickstarter and you get to download the files!
My mission is to show that 3D printing technology is a powerful tool for bringing an idea to life and sharing an invention with the world.
This technology allows me to share my invention with audiences I would never have been able to reach before. The internet now allows inventors to share their work with a vast new audience in the same way artists and musicians can share theirs. By making this project open source, it can become bigger than I could ever hope to make it by myself.
I hope people get as excited about the X-Cube as they did with the Rubik's Cube. I hope the project gets people excited about 3D printing technology. I hope it changes the way we share ideas and bring them to life.
How did you get the idea for the X-Cube?
When I was in the 7th grade, a teamate of mine in FIRST Lego Robotics taught me how to solve a Rubik's Cube. It became my first true love. We sat together every day on the school bus, and I spent countless hours learning its quirks. Two years later during the summer of 2008, we took our relationship to the next level. Using a dremel tool and a plastic casting kit, I hand built a 3x3x5 logic puzzle. You can see that here. It's not the most well crafted puzzle, but I was proud.
When I was working on the 3x3x5, I came up with a design that allowed the extension of another two faces. I decided I would call rhis one the "X-Cube." But I knew I would not achieve precision building it by hand. That’s when I turned to 3D printing. The cube’s progress was halted until I gained access to such a printer.
Four years later during my sophomore fall semester at Illinois Tech, I was inspired to revisit the project. I brought the X-Cube CAD files to our Idea Shop and had the puzzle 3D printed. I decided to share a video of my creation on Reddit, and I woke up the next day to thousands of views! The video went viral and reached 1.5 million views in 9 days. That's when I knew I needed to share this.
What about patents? Won't Rubik's try to cut your hands off?
Erno Rubik patented his cube in Hungary in 1975 but never obtained an American patent. New twisty puzzles are fair game! But I will not be patenting the X-cube. I would rather spend my time sharing the puzzle than suing people over it. A patent is for keeping something out of someone's hands, which runs opposite to the spirit of the puzzle.
Knock-offs happen. It's inevitable with any product in today's world. But knock-offs can reach markets that I cannot! I just want to get the X-Cube out to the world. I'm sure it will be successful whether or not it is patented.
I'm not completely unprotected though. As a contingency, I have filed a provisional patent for the X-Cube. This means I can still patent the technology a year from the date I filed, else the possibility expires and the puzzle is unpatentable.
Risks and challenges
This is the first venture I have undertaken. This process is new to me and will be both a great challenge and great learning experience. The X-Cube must be injection molded, assembled, stickered, packaged, and shipped, each of which will present new and unique challenges. There are even obstacles I have yet to foresee in bringing X-Cube to full production. I vow to produce a quality puzzle; if it is not up to my standards, production delays may arise.
I am working on this project full-time so I can overcome these challenges quickly. I have a solid network of supporters who can help me make it through the production process. I have an experienced manufacturer, a great mentor from Marbles, and I'm connected to the maker community in Chicago who I can turn to for guidance when I need it. As an aspiring inventor and entrepreneur, I think this is a great project to get my feet wet with.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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