Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dark Matter Burr and 32nd Puzzle Auction Results

We have released our third puzzle of the year, the Dark Matter Burr. This puzzle was inspired by a visit to a timber yard where we were introduced to black wood. It is crafted from our original plywood, combining Koto, resulting in a visually striking product.

The total amount raised in our 32nd auction has set a new record. We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who participated and contributed to the excitement. The total winning bids for the seven puzzles amounted to AUD $16,231.01, of which approximately half, AUD $8,120, was donated to a homeless support organization. Australia, located in the Southern Hemisphere, is entering a period of increasingly harsh winter weather. We hope that our contribution will help those without stable housing to live more comfortably during this challenging time.

This year, we have fewer puzzle releases, but we are currently working on several new projects simultaneously. We will notify you through our newsletter as the release date for the next puzzle approaches, so please stay tuned and be patient.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Hugo the Hippo - a trick opening puzzle box

Although it's already the second half of May, we have finally been able to release our second puzzle of the year. The new product is a trick opening puzzle box called Hugo the Hippo, inspired by the shape of a hippopotamus.

Hugo the Hippo is a relatively simple puzzle, but it took a lot of time to produce. If we were to produce it in quantities similar to Mittan or Dial Case, it would take us an entire year to make just this puzzle, so the production quantity is limited. We hope that dedicated puzzle enthusiasts will enjoy this puzzle.

Hugo the Hippo required CNC machining from five different directions and numerous jigs just to process the top panel. However, thanks to this effort, we were able to achieve a visual effect where the hippo's eyes appear to be always looking at you, no matter which direction the hippo is facing. This is unrelated to the essence of the puzzle, but it is one of the things we, as the creators, are glad we did.

We will continue to take on new challenges. Please look forward to the puzzles we will create in the future.

Sunday, March 3, 2024

31st Puzzle Auction Results and New Products

We successfully concluded our 31st auction yesterday, featuring three puzzles: two Dial Cases and one Scramb L. The sales results are outlined below:

  • Scramb L (Last stock) - AUD $213.00
  • Dial Case (NYPDC version 2 of 2) - AUD $575.00
  • Dial Case (NYPDC version 1 of 2) - AUD $420.00

In total, we reached AUD $1,208.00 in sales. As promised, we have donated AUD $604.00 to The Salvation Army Australia, as evidenced by the attached receipt. We hope that this donation will help those in need. We want to thank all those who took part in our auction.

With the auction concluded, let's shift our focus to our new puzzle and science toy.

Introducing our latest puzzle, the Tetracircles, a packing puzzle comprising five exquisite pieces and a tray crafted from six different timbers: Damar Minyak, Wenge, Zebrano, Bubinga, PNG Rosewood, and American Cherry. Each piece features a connected circle shape, with the convex part of each piece fits into the concave part of another piece. Despite its apparent simplicity with only five pieces, solving Tetracircles is more challenging than it appears. While accidental solving is not impossible, the probability is relatively low.

We believe "Tetracircles" will appeal to those new to puzzles, enticing them to take on the challenge due to its simple appearance and straightforward rule of packing all pieces into the tray.

For those unfamiliar with puzzles, Moire Gears, an aesthetically pleasing decoration designed by Yukari several years ago, would be enjoyable. Yukari created the Moire Gears when the CNC routers were not being used to machine puzzles to avoid interfering with Juno's puzzle production process. Although Yukari is currently working on a marble-run machine, she has an interest in creating automata. While the timeline for this project remains uncertain, she would like to build an automata someday. Please refer to the blog to view the automata she has previously constructed.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Looking Back to 2023

 Looking Back to 2023

Hello, puzzle lovers!

It's time to look back at what puzzles released this year.

We Have released the following 8 kinds of new mechanical puzzles in 2023.

5th March - Grooved 6 Board Burr #7 and 6BB Oddly Extended Version #02

Grooved 6 Board Burr #7 is one of the most challenging puzzles to solve. It has a unique solution in a relatively small number of 91 assemblies. Many of them also had trouble disassembling the burr puzzles. Hence, this puzzle has the most requests to send the solution file generated by Burr Tools. If you would like to challenge it, we still have some stocks.

6BB OEV #02 has a unique level 28-9-3-1-2 solution, far beyond version #01, which was sold in 2021.

7th May - Strugg L

Strugg L is a puzzle where you take six pieces shaped like the L tetromino out of a box and then put them back in. It may look easy, but it takes 23 moves using only linear motions to remove the first piece from the state where all the pieces are in the box. Another feature of this puzzle is that there are grooves on the side of the box. These grooves make the puzzle difficult to solve.

18th June - Dial Case

Dial Case is the only sequential discovery puzzle we produced in 2023. It requires about 15 moves to open the box. The number of puzzles we produced was large considering our capacity, so we spent a considerable amount of time producing the puzzles.  That was one of the reasons why fewer new puzzles were released the last year.

6th August - Scramb L

Scramb L consists of five pieces and a box, one less than Strugg L. The number of moves required to remove the first piece is 17, which is fewer than Strugg L, making it less challenging. However, this puzzle will surprise you with its bold movement of pieces.

After the release of the puzzle, Juno took about a month's vacation and visited Japan for the first time since 2011. While paddle boarding on a river near his hometown, his board capsized and he lost his glasses and mobile phone. It happened when he was about 12 kilometers down the river. Fortunately, it was near the end of his itinerary and his relatives were waiting to pick him up.

29th October - Neptune

Neptune is a relatively simple and easy burr puzzle, requiring only 6 moves to disassemble. At first glance, it may appear to be an ordinary 6-piece burr puzzle, but like many puzzles designed by Juno in the past, it has unique features that set it apart from typical burr puzzles. This puzzle was also reproduced by Cubicdissection and sold out immediately. It was the last puzzle product released by Cubicdissection. Their legend will continues in Ars Ænigmæ.

24th December - Gravitational Burr and Dual Meanders Box

Gravitational Burr may appear to be a regular 6-piece burr at first glance. A distinctive feature is the ball bearings inside. Because of the novelty of this puzzle, I (Yukari) personally thought it would attract more attention than the Dual Mendars Box.

Dual Meanders Box is an expanded version of the Meanders Box and is extremely challenging. In the Meanders Box, the top plate slid along with the four side pieces. In the Dual Meanders Box, not only does the top plate slide, but the bottom plate also slides. This puzzle was assembled and sold with the maximum number of moves, 506. As it takes a considerable amount of time to assemble, we made it possible to remove the pins (screws) that go back and forth between the maze-like grooves through holes drilled in the top and bottom plates.

Just after 24th December, a severe thunderstorm attacked our area, and the power was out for about one and a half days. Luckily, we could post the orders on 27th December. We would appreciate your understanding that the parcel might be delayed due to the damage caused by the thunderstorm.

A little information about our products in 2024

We plan to release something different from puzzles at the beginning of 2024. Sometimes, it's good to try something different.

A relatively big project is progressing in parallel. It will take lots of time to complete, so please wait patiently. Juno is still working together with our CNC routers on the last day of 2023 and New Year's Day 2024.

As in past years, we will also be releasing several puzzles. We often hear from our long-time customers that they have missed a puzzle release.  The best way to find out about upcoming releases is to subscribe to our newsletter, so please do so.

We have appreciated lots of puzzle lovers playing with our puzzles over the past year.
We hope 2024 brings you lots of love and joy.