Surprisingly Difficult Puzzle

11,160

83

17

About: Making the most of things by making the most out of things.

This puzzle of interlocking hoops seems simple enough, but will leave most people scratching their heads.

There's no 'one weird trick' to solve it. This. Puzzle. Is. Hard.

Otherwise known as a Baguenaudier, Chinese Rings or a five pillars puzzle, this is a disentanglement puzzle in which a loop must be separated from the pillars.

I won't include the solution here, you will need to try it for yourself!

Step 1: Designing in Tinkercad

I used Tinkercad to make the design, which can be done using the basic shapes it provides.

After making one basketball hoop shape, you can copy and paste to keep the proportions the same, then adjust the height.

Use the ruler function to make sure the hoops are evenly spaced.

Once finished, export to an .stl fie for 3D printing.

Step 2: Preparing for 3D Printing

To prepare the .stl file for printing, load it into a slicing program like Cura.

This design requires a lot of support material for the floating rings, so make sure 'Generate support' or the equivalent is turned on.

I have attached the .stl file below so you can print it yourself.

Step 3: 3D Printing

The design took about 10 hours to print with the settings I used, most of which was the support material.

Remove this however you feel most comfortable (I prefer a screwdriver and a craft knife), but be careful of damaging the delicate posts or your hands.

Step 4: Finished!

Add a closed loop of string to the lowest hoop and you're ready to try out the puzzle!

Good luck and have fun.

Share

    Recommendations

    • Fat Challenge

      Fat Challenge
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest
    • Leather Challenge

      Leather Challenge

    17 Discussions

    0
    None
    wyndham carruth

    4 months ago

    yess, got it, i read the comments and realised it must be simple. had another look and it hit me like a train. cooool good instructable:)

    0
    None
    GillyB2

    4 months ago

    Someone bought this same puzzle for me (made of wood) when i was little, and I actually solved it within ~30 min. I was addicted to puzzles at the time, so probably better than the average person, but I still think this puzzle is relatively simple. Anyways, still a fun puzzle, and the instructable is great!

    I think you can make the printing much more efficient if you just print the base with the poles on them, and separately print the rings with a partial hole in them to glue on the poles. Then you will save a lot of material printing it!

    2 replies
    0
    None
    snowbiscuitGillyB2

    Reply 4 months ago

    What I've found is when you give it to people, they thread the string through different hoops and pull on it expecting it to be free using just one move. Whereas it's actually about going through a process which takes logic and time. I think people who are into problem solving get on with this much better than most people.
    That is a great idea to save plastic! I will certainly do that next time and will amend the instructions if I find the time. Thank you!

    0
    None
    GillyB2snowbiscuit

    Reply 4 months ago

    Yeah, I can understand what you mean. In general, people that aren't used to thinking puzzles like these tend to look into 'intuitive' ways which usually lead to 'dead-ends'.

    0
    None
    garrettim54

    4 months ago

    I have one made out of iron. I think that they are called Black Smith puzzles, or something like that. I won't tell you how to solve it either, but i will give you a hint. Think Tower of Hanoi. Puzzle people will know that puzzle.

    1 reply
    0
    None
    caitd3

    4 months ago

    I don't have a 3D printer, but love working with wood. I can see this made using circular curtain hangers and dowels with a wooden ball at the top of the largest dowel.

    0
    None
    AndrewR254

    4 months ago

    Wouldn’t it be much more robust if you made it out of steel and welded the loops on to posts and set them into plywood?

    3 replies
    0
    None
    snowbiscuitAndrewR254

    Reply 4 months ago

    Yes, definitely. This more of project to get familiar with TinkerCad for me, but if you wanted a robust version that would be a great way to do it.

    0
    None
    AndrewR254snowbiscuit

    Reply 4 months ago

    Yeh, I think I’ll try that in the absence on a 3D printer :-)

    0
    None
    chomicAndrewR254

    Reply 4 months ago

    Same for me. I'll do it for Christmas gift.

    0
    None
    firerod2013

    4 months ago

    just a standard step puzzle got to move the string up one level at a time

    0
    None
    allison.bracy

    4 months ago

    I was looking at it and realized how truly simple the solution really is. Very cool puzzle. Won't spoil it, but it looks like it would easily confuse a lot of people.