Twisty Puzzle Designers
Rubik’s Cube lovers are always on the hunt for new and exciting twisty puzzles to solve. This has inspired a new specialty hobby: puzzle designing. The possibilities for inventing new twisty puzzle designs are endless, whether they are novel in size, layer, or morphology. In this article, we get to know the puzzle designers behind the scenes who have created some of the most iconic twisty puzzles today.
Uwe Mèffert is a German puzzle designer and manufacturer who invented a puzzle resembling the original Rubik’s Cube out of wood blocks and rubber bands in the 1970’s. As Uwe had designed the puzzle for his own amusement, he mistakenly thought that nobody else would be interested. When the Rubik’s Cube gained incredible popularity in 1981 he brought his designs to a toymaker for mass production. The top seller was the Pyraminx, which sold millions of units within a few years. Some other puzzles that he invented were the Skewb and the Megaminx. In addition to inventing new puzzles, Mèffert specializes in mass-producing twisty puzzles in collaboration with other designers.
Tony Fisher is a British puzzle designer who became interested in designing new versions of twisty puzzles after the original Rubik’s Cube was released in 1980. In 1981 he created his first puzzle by joining two Rubik’s Cubes together. The Siamese Cube is still popular today. Fisher’s most popular puzzles are the Fisher Cube 3×3 shape mod, and various cuboid shaped puzzles with different layer numbers, such as the 3x3x4, 2x3x4 and 3x3x5. In the 2000’s he invented the first puzzle- the mirror cube- where the solution is dependent on the shape, as opposed to the colors of the faces. Mass production for this project was in collaboration with puzzle designer Uwe Mèffert. Fisher designed the world’s largest Rubik’s Cube, which measures 1.57mx1.57mx1.57m.
Oskar Van Deventer
Oskar Van Deventer is a Dutch puzzle designer, prominent for his prolific and creative 3D printed inventions. His most well-known puzzle is the outrageous 17×17, which held the World Record as the highest order puzzle- until it was broken in 2017 by Grégoire Pfennig with the 33×33. His amazing puzzles are available to purchase on Shapeways, a 3D printing company that manufactures any 3D print on request. Oskar has a very active Youtube channel which documents his progress for his newest inventions.
Some other interesting puzzles designed by Van Deventer are the Gear Cube, the Gear shift, and the Gear Mixup. These are all spinoffs of his puzzle, the Gear Cube, a puzzle composed of gear-shaped pieces that spin when the cube is turned. Oskar designed a rendition of the 3×3 Rubik’s Cube, aptly named “Oskar’s Treasure Chest” that when solved can be opened to display a secret compartment for a gift.
Mass production for many of Van Deventer’s designs was done by puzzle designer Uwe Mèffert.
Puzzle designing is a great hobby for creative cubers. There is always excitement for new designs within the cubing community, and we are on the lookout for the next cool puzzle.