Puzzle Box

Project By: Sherpa

puzzle box

A small Puzzle box about level two complexity

Puzzle top - https://a360.co/31ZqY0L
Puzzle Middle - https://a360.co/2DT1LgF
Puzzle Bottom - https://a360.co/2FpyQAW


Type Length Width Thickness Origin
Name Type Tool Feedrate Plungerate Cut Depth

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Puzzle top - https://a360.co/31ZqY0L
Puzzle Middle - https://a360.co/2DT1LgF
Puzzle Bottom - https://a360.co/2FpyQAW

OK so i present to you my adaptation of a puzzle box that i called "First. I gave it this loving name because it was genuinely my first for doing just about anything really, pocket, contour, cry it was all in this little bundle of joy.

Reflecting on this design i can and will improve it, but at the time i simply was not capable of making these refinements, such as pocket offset cutting, two sided cutting, these seem trivial in nature now 2+ years on.

I love looking back at this, and whilst it would be ace to win (after all this is what the contest is about), this is a little more deeper for me, this box like all our designs are not just a fabricated piece of material, these objects tell a story, this story / Piece is proof to all the people who have throughout my life told me again, and again that i will not achieve that much or account account for anything.

This is my puzzle box and a symbol to all those who face these challenges, we can and are able to do anything! we are only limited by ourselves!

Right before this turns into a deep Dr Phil / Oprah Winfrey Session lets have some fun!

So first off i will upload this to Cut Rocket, and share this design file, but please note the following warning


Seriously though, i would verify everything to make sure there are no crashes lurking. if time permits i will create version 2.0 of this with every design issue ironed out and new tool paths etc. but this is my genuine original design.

I can confirm no end mills were harmed in the making of this project.

Also please note this design will get you to what you will see in the pictures but it has flaws that i will cover.

OK now that that the health and safety police are happy for me to proceed, onto the design

The Puzzle

This is at its heart a level 2 puzzle, and is based on some very simple physics and puzzle piece placement, though it is very effective and repetitive (important for a puzzle). The puzzle does not require brute strength or force.

The Puzzle has two compartments the first has no lock or mechanism, and in my version holds a piece of paper with the rules outlining what they will get if they solve it and that if they need to force or use strength then they are doing it wrong

The second compartment holds the prize / treasure / money / insert word to describe the swag. this can only be opened after the puzzle has been defeated.

The Mechanism

The fundamentals of this puzzle is to get it to "unlock" and it does this by having a simple but effective slide lock gravity fed ball bearing mechanism.

A dowel is glued into position into the Bottom piece, then the Middle Piece is also slid down with the down going through the slot, the top piece then is also fed on in the same manner, only leaving enough Dowel sickout to allow the cap to be placed onto it, thus hiding the swivel point / axle.

The most important point here is before you glue the top cap you MUST make sure to drop in the ball bearing in

(DESIGN FLAW ALERT) when i made this, i had to draw it in Fusion360 from a technical drawing, not from an existing file, nothing wrong with that but i simply did not understand tolerances enough to realise that what i was doing was a drawing design / not a product - i hope you know what i mean, as in when i made the slot, i did so per drawing no +/- tolerance and as such was sticking allot, and as the usage increased it became stuck (more on that in a min)

Once the ball bearing is in you have the "lock" mechanism in pace.

When the puzzle if upright the ball bearing sits in the slot in the middle piece between the dowel and the slot in the piece, thus stopping you from opening the middle section because the notch prevents the piece from swivelling, because you are unable to pull the middle piece back.


I was able to do the notch on the bottom piece (mutters under breath, the second time) however i just did not have the ability or skill set to understand how to notch the Middle piece so that it would slide into it (i cheated and used a small wood chisel), but to design this flaw out i would simply cut this out first then flip part and do the rest, DUH! JON! obviously lol

This then once dry fit together should work, once happy simply glue the cap on.


There is a guy i know who put too much glue into the cap so that when i.... um he, put it on to the dowel, the glue spilt out and stuck the cap to the top of the puzzle. I have now told him how to fix that problem

The solution

Hard to hide this, and also if you are making it you are going to know - so will say spoiler alert but in honestly that is like saying you are waiting for a surprise purchase from Carbide 3D after you just bought something lol.

The first step that you need to do is to turn the puzzle box upside down - gravity will then make the ball bearing fall from Middle part into the slot on the top puzzle. When the ball falls in, it will enable the Middle part to slide backward away from the notch.

Only after sliding, the Middle part back can be turned on the dowel / axle, if done correctly the ball bearing is transferred and then exposes the opening in the Bottom Pocket.

Claim the swag and #fistpump

I tend to put money in or something that rattles as this disguises the noise the ball bearing makes when it rattles around or transitions into the slot correctly. The ball bearing is hidden within the puzzle and cannot be seen.

This will drive people mad (unless they have seen it before or know how to do it., because as they will turn it and manipulate it to try and find the was to defeat the puzzle, the box will sometimes open, however If someone accidentally opens the puzzle box, the reality is if you reset it they will be back scratch their heads!!.

So there we go, a warts and all original fail fast fail cheap puzzle that means an awful lot to me, and i hope you can use this to bring a bit of fun to your friends, family, grandchildren.


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