Written December 2009-
This is a fully functional 11x11x11 puzzle. Unlike my 9x9x9 it is not a hoax, it's 100% real. It was made for personal use only and is therefore legal in my country.
Early in 2009 I had a couple of chances to obtain a Petaminx but really wasn't that bothered. That made me think about what I personally want out of puzzles nowadays. For 28 years I have enjoyed making my own but for quite a while now I have had little interest in actually solving them. The only ones that have really excited me have been the factory made 6x6x6 and 7x7x7 V-Cubes. I actually wanted to solve these.
So rather than a Petaminx I started to think about higher order NxNxN puzzles. (some of this will sound like my fake 9x9x9 post on the twistypuzzles forum but this time it's for real). There seemed no point in making one that would soon be released and figured an official 9x9x9 wasn't too far away. I rejected an 8x8x8 and 10x10x10 since they would be more difficult to make and potentially have the same problems the 6x6x6 has. This is due to the hidden internal parts on all 'even' V-Cube designs. So the logical one would be an 11x11x11. This would still have less parts than a Petaminx so should certainly be possible. I knew making such a puzzle would be controversial since it would largely (90%) be based on the protected V-Cubes design. Jumping to the patent free 13x13x13 just seemed too ambitious though.
When I instigated this project back in July 2009 I figured the cost of constructing such a puzzle would prevent both V-Cubes and knock-off companies from ever making it. I simply wanted to own one.
Unlike most of my puzzles it was made using CAD, 3d printing and then regular casting. I first contacted a friend of mine to do the CAD. The files were 3d printed by another friend. At this time neither wishes to be named. A fully printed test version was made (see last two photos). This was not to be the final puzzle though. I hate white plastic and I am not a fan of the finish you get on printed puzzles. So I spent 140 hours smoothing a set of masters, making moulds, casting the parts and hand making the 726 (Rubik's Cube style) stickers which were superglued on. Non stickered assemblies of the puzzle took around 90 minutes.
The three of us who worked on the puzzles have very strong anti knock-off views and we have no intention of selling them or assisting anyone else to make one. In addition at this time I have no plans to reveal the exact mechanism we used beyond saying it's 90% based on the V-Cube design.
If you should ever see similar looking puzzles from China or where ever they had nothing to do with our closely guarded project.
Quality is just about acceptable considering it's an 11x11x11 but it isn't exactly fun to play with as you can tell from the video. I must take the blame for the lack of quality since the other two members of the group did there part without fault.
Over the coming weeks I will attempt to solve it. I certainly know how to but many of my moves are remembered instinctively. This means I need to actually be doing the move to remember what comes next. If the puzzle should lock up then there's a good chance that I will lose track of where I was and have to start all over again. This still happens on a 7x7x7 V-Cube so I may never actually complete a solve. As stated many times I only use my own method so if I do solve something new like this I truly know that I did it 100% by myself.
I definitely won't be making a solve video for this. I doubt there's enough tape in the world to record it.
Thanks to Leslie Le for use of his video within mine. He had no involvement in this project.
While I have your attention-
As stated in my video, the more knock-off (illegally copied and sold) puzzles purchased the less chance we will ever have to own a good quality 8x8x8, 9x9x9, 10x10x10 or 11x11x11. If trade is stolen from the V-Cubes company they will not make enough money for it to be worth their while. So if you have to buy knock-offs keep it to an absolute minimum or preferably not at all.
Please note: Our 11x11x11 was in no way sanctioned by V-Cubes and should not be seen as any reflection of the quality of their official products.
Buy genuine V-Cubes below.