Monday, November 19, 2012

CubeTwist All-in-One Bandage Kit—Fuse Cube

The Fuse Cube, designed by J. Lin, made me realize how much my solves depend on being able to twist parallel faces, like the top and bottom! Look at this thing! It wasn't too difficult to solve all the edges and the white corners, but the yellow corners—argh! Then I was able to finally get all the corners, but most of the edges were scrambled—yikes.

There are two things that I have picked up over the years of puzzle solving that eventually made it possible for me to solve this one. One is EPSx3. EPS means Edge Piece Series. It was so named by Philip Marshall in his Ultimate Solution for solving the Rubik's Cube. EPS is a simple 4 move sequence that cycles 3 edges. It also does a double swap of corners. EPSx3 then, would cycle the 3 edges 3 times, which puts them back to solved, if they started solved. But it does the corner swaps 3 times also, which is like doing it once. That means you can move corners around using 2 adjacent faces. :D

FRUR'U'F' was a simple way to orient the yellow edges, and Sune (R U R' U R U2 R') was used to move the yellow edges into place. Long ago I discovered that doing Sune right-handed then left-handed could be used to twist two corners without moving edges. I'm not sure why I don't use it more, but of the three ways I know of to twist corners, I never use this one. But the other two have to have parallel faces that can twist, and on the Fuse Cube, that is not an option.

During the first solve I somehow managed to go from needing a corner 3-cycle to a double swap. Now if I could only figure out how I did that, I might be able to solve it again...

Oh yeah! Swap two of the 3 that need to 3-cycle and 2 others that won't solve either one. Using this technique I have solved the Fuse Cube several times.

CubeTwist All-in-One Bandage Kit—3-slices

Before making the kit, CubeTwist mass produced a small variety of bandage cubes. One was called 3-slices. Included here is the picture of it from the hknowstore.

It was quite a bit more challenging for me than the 1x1x3 column, but still relatively simple in the whole bandage cube scheme of things. Once I quit trying to solve it starting with the white layer and started with the red layer, it was much easier.

CubeTwist All-in-One Bandage Kit—1x1x3

This cube is a black plastic rubik's cube with holes on every cubie instead of stickers. There are a lot of tiles with pegs to stick in the holes, ranging from 1x1 tiles to 2x3 tiles. There are thousands of different bandage cubes that can be made from this one cube and set of colored tiles. After some initial experimenting and not being able to solve the first creation, it was apparent to me that I needed to start with some simple cases. A 1x1x3 bandaged column was constructed on an edge of the cube. Robert and I approached it Corners First—a fairly easy solve. I suppose pretty much any method would work.

Much has been discussed about this puzzle including difficulty rankings and solutions to various configurations at