3D Puzzle

We were required to design a press-fit 3 dimensional puzzle which almost anybody could recreate using the tools at a Fablab. The intention of this project, was to allow children within the Fablab community to make an educational yet fun puzzle, while learning to use a range of Fab tools in combination to make fun and innovative things. This required that ‘users’ of the lab have access to a physical prototype of the puzzle that we developed, as well as the “instructables” or instructions that are required to be followed to re-make the project.

The community
The Fablab which we partnered with is located in a township called Soshanguve, which is situated 45 kilometersnorth of Pretoria in South Africa. The Tshwane University of Technology Campus is also located here. The Fablab is situated in block TT and is run by The Bright Youth Council, a group of unemployed youth in the community. The name Soshanguve stands for; Sotho, Shangaan, Nguni and Venda, which are also the languages spoken within the community.

Problem statement
Some of the problems faced by this Fablab include:
A limited access to a wide range of materials,
Although machinery is functional, the lab to not have a databse of instructables or instrauction materials to assist new comers to the fab lab, although the Fablab does provide instructors, or interns which are able to tutor and help out when needed.

Design solution
We created a 3 dimensional puzzel which could have an educational application. The shape is that of a polyhedral which already is inherently educational. While ‘users’ build the puzzle they will be able to figure out that if the proper angles are not used, then the shape will not be assembled properly, so in making these mistakes while assembling the shape they can learn the importance of trigonometry. Future applications of this simple puzzle system, may be include printed graphics (which may be cut from adhesive vinyl materials using the labs laser cutter), to produce graphically enhanced 3 dimensional forms, such as a map of the world.