He got the idea after recently picking up some Rubik’s Cubes. He thought it might be be able to create a cube out of simple cubes with embedded magnets. He drew up some plans, figured out polarities, and realized that it could actually work. He set about finding some acrylic cubes from Tap Plastics, and some neodymium disc magnets from K&J; Magnetics. While they were in shipment, he mocked up a version in Maya – a 3D design program – and read up on the history of the cube.
He learned that Erno Rubik, the cube’s inventor actually thought at first he would have to use magnets, before setting his mind to finding a mechanical solution. He also found that in 1982, a company called Moleculon sued Ideal, US distributors of the cube for infringing on their patent from about a decade prior that spoke of something like the Rubik’s Cube, and further specified, and thus protected magnetic versions of the idea.
To add the final bit of insult to injury, though his Google searches turned up nothing, a friend managed to find my exact idea for sale in China for a mere $5 US while he spent more than $80 US. Happy Puzzling!
Tags: Rubik’s Cube | Magnets