Brain teaser: the double doveTail puzzle with a twist

[April 27 update: I finally printed this puzzle, see this post for the pictures and video!]

[March 20th update, the puzzle is now at Rev 2, the rev1 was too small and the marble could ‘escape’ the assembly, so I’ve re-generated it with more space. The puzzle is now a bit large with standard 15.5mm, so I’ve also built a 10mm version available on Thingiverse]

I really like brain teasers and while I enjoy trying to open/disassemble the one I have, I never got the chance to really build one. Maybe it’s because it requires some good wood working tools. Anyway, the 3D printer is the perfect way to build new puzzles and a lot are already available on Thingiverse (see some examples in my collection).

So here I start a new series of posts dedicated to brain teasers. I will start with a classic: the double dovetail puzzle. This puzzle is not really complex to disassemble, but the fun is to figure out how it was built. The two dovetails are crossing the assembly from part to part in a seemingly impossible manner…

Now I got an idea to modify the puzzle to add a new twist and add some difficulty to separate both pieces. When doing the right actions there is a maximum of 4 steps to open the puzzle, but there are traps and dead-ends that will play tricks with anyone who’s tempting to solve it. It’s not an insanely difficult puzzle probably 3/5 but should be challenging enough.

The puzzle has 2 main pieces and 2 marbles (15.5mm diameter). The goal is to separate the assembly. The marbles a here to prevent the sliding of both pieces.


Double Dovetail puzzle assembly


First piece


Second piece

Anyway the STL for the parts are here.
Happy Brain Teaser!

For those who are ready to burn the thing and jump though a window I’m providing a full diagram of the different internal states here for the solution.

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