FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Which puzzle is the hardest?  Which is the easiest?

A1: This is, as you might expect, a subjective question and there is no 'exact' answer, but generally the list of puzzles from hardest (1) to easiest (7) is as follows:

 

         1) Puzzometry Squares

         2) Puzzometry Original

         3) Puzzometry Six

         4) Puzzometry Steps

         5) Puzzometry Hex

         6) Puzzometry Jr 2

         7) Puzzometry Jr

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Q2: Are these puzzles REALLY that difficult?   There's only a few pieces..how hard could they be?

A2: Short answer: YES!!  These puzzles, especially those in the top 4 positions above, are VERY VERY challenging.   It is extremely rare for anyone to solve them in under an hour.  Mostly commonly, these puzzles can take days or weeks to correctly assemble.  In spite of the fact that there are just a few pieces, there are countless combinations for placing the pieces in the frame.    Puzzometry Hex has a few possible ways to successfully assemble all the pieces inside the frame, so that makes it a bit more approachable and doable.  Puzzometry Jr and Puzzometry Jr2 can generally be solved in about 10-15 minutes, so they serve as a great introduction to problem solving for puzzle lovers looking for a quick challenge.

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Q3: Where are Puzzometry Puzzles designed and made?

A3: All Puzzometry Puzzles are designed by me, right here in Kemah, TX.  Over the years, I've had three different manufacturers for the puzzles, but ALL of them have been right here in the Houston area!   All Puzzometry Puzzles are proudly made in Texas...right here in the Good Ol' US of A!

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Q4: How are Puzzometry Puzzles Made?

A4: Puzzometry starts in Powerpoint. (flipping, merging, rotating and scaling of various geometric shapes is very quick and easy in Powerpoint). After several minutes, or more typically, several hours, of playing around with different tessellations**, I finally settle on a final pattern that meets all of my requirements for playability, challenge, esthetics and other design rules.  I then print out the Powerpoint document and carefully cut out the puzzle pieces and frame so that I can test the playability of the paper version of the puzzle.  This sometimes results in a design revision.  Eventually, after a few (or sometimes many) redesigns, I end up with a final design. 

 

At this point, I then draw the final design in CAD Software (Autodesk Inventor is my current preference) where I can pay very close attention to precise (+/- 0.001”) locations and dimensions of each of the vertices of the pieces and puzzle frame.  After checking and re-checking every vertex, I then save the file as a PDF, which is one of the file formats used by the Laser Cutter.

 

My most common Puzzometry material is clear, 0.22” acrylic, but I’ve used different materials for various prototypes (wood, different colors of acrylic, cardboard, etc.).  Once I settle on a material, I do a few test cuts on the laser to ensure that the settings are correct for the material choice.  Parameters like LASER POWER, PULSING FREQUENCY, and CUTTING SPEED are very critical to getting a very clean cut/etch and they are different for every type of material.  Once I find the correct settings for the material, I then put a sheet of the material in the laser cutter.  After a few minutes of flashing laser beams, a bit of smoke, just a touch of magic and a few silent prayers to the Laser Gods….a Puzzometry is born!

 

     **A tessellation of a flat surface is the tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes, called tiles, with no overlaps and no gaps.

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Q5: Why should I consider buying Puzzometry Puzzles

 

A4: Puzzometry Puzzles are a unique gift for either yourself or for anyone who loves a deceivingly difficult challenge.  These puzzles made great stocking stuffers, birthday presents, graduation gifts, party favors or just a great excuse to relax to some nice music while solving a fun and challenging puzzle during a rainy day!

Thank you for visiting my webpage and for supporting my various creative and entrepreneurial ventures!

     - Jim