Lock-Nesters 3D printed puzzles
The collection consists of six 3D jigsaw puzzles ranging in difficulty from 5 to 185 pieces in over 100 colour combinations and can be printed at over 8,000 print locations across 3D Hubs’ global network.
"I've always been fascinated with jigsaw puzzles and the geometries that make up their connections, but wished they could be designed with more freedom in three dimensions,” says Hower.
Hower developed the Lock-Nesters on a desktop 3D printer which helped him to understand the connections that would enable a puzzle to be assembled and taken apart. Hower moved away from standardised shapes to give each piece its own connection logic defined by its curvature and relation to other pieces, providing each puzzle with a distinct look.
Hower adds: "Conventional methods such as injection moulding and casting came with quotes that were prohibitively high, but it makes no difference to a 3D printer whether each piece is the same or different, so we are leveraging 3D printing by using unique pieces that could not be produced another way."
Lock-Nesters can be printed at over 8,000 3D Hubs locations.
The designer is planning to expand upon his current work by offering more customisation for the consumer through colour and form options and even uploading your own puzzle.
He says: "All of our work is driven by algorithms, so there is a lot of digital modelling and code writing that goes on in the office. We're hoping to increase the consumer's ability to act as a client and influence the design of the end product."
The collaboration with the 3D Hubs network will allow for localised, supply on demand, production of Lock-Nesters to customers all over the world, eliminating distribution and shipping costs.
Bram de Zwart, CEO of 3D Hubs, adds: “We are working towards a future in which distant mass-production is replaced with local communities that digitally design and make the products that they use daily.”