A precision made logic puzzle cube that highlights six noteworthy number sequences.
About this project
The Chicago Grid - "Kinlay, founder of hedge fund Systematic Strategies and CEO of Innovation Factory, says he’s been planning the cube for years. The trickiest part? To solve it, the player needs to know historically significant mathematical sequences."
Infinispace - "If you think the original cube was frustrating, prepare for your brain to explode."
MindF*ckMath - "It's like the Rubik's Cube...just way more badass."
Aesthetic Crit - "So, what happens if you get thoroughly frustrated? Well, the folks at the Innovation Factory thought about that too. They will be building an online solver so that you will not have to break apart the cube to “reset” it."
The Magic Cube is a redesign of the familiar Rubik’s cube. Unlike the traditional Rubik’s Cube, the faces are the same color and are inscribed with numerals, each forming part of a number series that holds historic significance. It is precision engineered and can be fabricated from a variety of different materials including wood, plastic and metal. More than just an intriguing puzzle; the Magic Cube is also intended to stimulate interest in fundamental concepts of number theory, serve as a beautiful accessory, or a tactile device to hone your logic skills.
The number series on each of the six faces of the Magic Cube represent a selection of the most famous series or numerical constants in mathematical number theory. The series are as follows:
- Prime Number Series - A prime number is a whole number that is greater than one and has exactly two factors: 1 and itself. These are the first 9 prime numbers in an infinite series.
- Fibonacci Series – To obtain each number of the series, you simple add the two numbers that came before it. Each number in the series is the sum of the two numbers preceding it.
- Triangle Series – This exponentially expanding set of numbers is generated from a pattern of dots which form an equilateral triangle. By adding another row of dots you can find the next number of the sequence.
- Magic Square – A magic square is an arrangement of numbers in a square grid, where the numbers in each row, column, and diagonal add up to 15.
- Digits of Pi - Pi is a mathematical constant that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
- Digits of E – Euler’s number is a mathematical constant, an irrational number, and one of the most important numbers in mathematics.
The Software
Solving the Magic Cube puzzle can be exceptionally challenging. Unlike the Rubik’s Cube, all of the faces on the Magic Cube are the same color, making it much more challenging to find the correct configuration. Adding to the complexity, several of the numbers appear on more than one face. In order to assist users in finding the solution to the puzzle, we will provide an online solution software that will solve the Magic Cube from any initial starting position. The application is designed to run on any browser.
To use the application, the user enters the current configuration of each face of the Magic Cube. The application then finds the shortest number of moves required to return the Magic Cube to its original configuration. It displays each turn in an animated sequence, accompanied by an explanatory description. The user is able to pause the animation, or move backwards or forwards through the sequence of steps, by tapping the left or right arrows.
The first person to solve The Magic Cube
The internet is filled with brilliant people, and nothing demonstrates the power of the crowd better than this example of amazing puzzle enthusiasts who quietly do astounding things. When we premiered The Magic Cube, we shared a video with the speedcubing community. We were honestly floored by the speed with which they began to decipher ways to solve the cube. Jason Bohanon was the first to solve it (before even getting a cube!) and sent us a video of his solution. Check it out below:
The wooden and metal Magic Cubes are designed to be fabricated using a CNC mill, the plastic versions of the Magic Cube are created using injection molding. The final assembly is completed by connecting the center cuboids to the central rotating component with small bolts. Tension supplied by six springs holds other cuboids in the assembly by mechanical locking and friction.
The Magic Cube has been precision engineered so that it can be fabricated from many types of materials. These materials vary in texture, weight and cost and include wood, plastic and metals. The Magic Cube could be produced using in the following materials:
- The metal Magic Cube measures 2.9 x 2.9 x 2.9” & weighs 2.5 pounds & are available in blue anodized aluminum or silver colored aluminum.
- The wooden Magic Cube measures 2.9 x 2.9 x 2.9” & weighs 8 ounces & are available in Oak and Maple.
- The plastic Magic Cube measures 2.8 x 2.8 x 2.8” & weighs 3.5 ounces
Dr. Jonathan Kinlay is a founding partner of the Innovation Factory, inspired by the vision of enabling designers and entrepreneurs to invent, design and prototype new product ideas rapidly and at low cost through the application of new modeling and manufacturing technologies.
Dr. Kinlay is the founder of Systematic Strategies, a systematic hedge fund that deploys high frequency trading strategies using news-based algorithms. He was the General Partner of the Caissa Capital hedge fund, which managed over $400M in assets using volatility arbitrage algorithms developed by Dr. Kinlay's research firm, Investment Analytics. Dr. Kinlay went on to establish the Proteom Capital, whose trading algorithms were based on pattern recognition techniques used in DNA sequencing. Dr. Kinlay was formerly a Managing Director of the US investment bank Bear Stearns.
Dr. Kinlay holds a PhD in economics and has held positions on the faculty of New York University's Stern School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University and Reading University.
Jonathan is seeking to raise $7,500 in order to launch the Magic Cube. Your contributions will help us to produce the tooling required for a high-volume run, the accompanying book and the solution software. We want to develop the software so that The Magic Cube can be a useful, accessible & educational device.
Thank you for taking the time to look at our project! Please review the rewards we have to offer for your support and consider backing the Magic Cube!
Sending The Magic Cube as a Gift
The cubes won't be delivered until after the holidays but if you’ve bought one as a gift, you can print this PDF to let them know they have one on it's way!
Risks and challenges
We have consulted with engineers & created prototypes in plastic and metal to test the mechanics and aesthetics of the Magic Cube & are very confident in its quality. We are aware that different materials will show wear or scratches to varying degrees. We have carefully considered the quantity of Magic Cubes that we can rapidly produce and deliver, but we understand that we may run into challenges when it comes to speed of production and distribution.
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Funding period
- (30 days)