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Pre-Engineering Makes Puzzle Cubes

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One of my favorite projects in the Project Lead the Way curriculum is the 3D puzzle cube. The puzzle cube consists of three wood blocks cubed. Each wood block has a length of .75 inches to make a total of a 2.25 inch cube, similar to a Rubik’s Cube.


The first step was to design our cube in our engineer notebook, and we had to follow some guidelines: The cube needed five pieces -- no more, then five cubes per piece, and no duplicate pieces allowed.


After it got approved by our instructor we got a caliper and measured every single cube and documented in our notebooks. We did the standard deviation (formula below) to find which wood pieces were acceptable and not acceptable. After that we glued the pieces and let them dry. Next we colored coded them with markers. Then we timed how long it took to solve everyone’s puzzle cube. Finally we did a 3D CAD model in inventor software. I had so much fun with this activity; it was a great project.

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