|Page still under construction and will be continually updated (as i fix my mistakes).
|State Of The Art In Combination Puzzles.
In any engineering field the state of the art is unbelievably complex with individuals continuously
innovating on each others designs and innovations.
Given the depth of the field it is rapidly becoming apparent that
the chances of achieving any dramatic breakthrough, as I truly thought I had when i "invented"
the Dioctipoid, is ever more remote.
So we live and learn.
The Dioctipoid follows on from ideas disclosed by NICHOLS, FOX,
RUBIK, PITCHER et al, and, in particular a like-minded designer from Turkey called OZER.
A more formal examination of the background state-of-the-art can be found under
To date, my understanding is that the configuration of the puzzle disclosed in Embodiment A or
Figure 02 on my patent is actually original.
The pending re-submission of my claims into the UK and US Patent Offices
Prior to discovering OZER, M. and PITCHER, DE. I also believed this
in relation to Embodiment E / Figure 17 below. This is the design which made it to the market as
the Dioctipoid 1.0 & 2.0 and I am genuinely proud of this.
However, there is a lot more to invention then the basic idea. Certain legal formalities aside, it is
includes an inventive step over the existing state of the art.
The mechanism disclosed in PITCHER in 2003 is quite an engineering work of art and is a
development of ideas that can be traced back to RUBIK. through MEFFERT. As I understand it,
this is basis the mechanism inside the puzzle marketed as the "FTO" and re-configured as the
"Rex Cube" in 2009.
OZER (PCC/TR2003/000052) discloses a number of very imaginative
machines and really is an elegant piece of design work. I hate the fact that this patent exists and
both admire and respect the designer for getting there first.
Figure 6a especially should make it to the market, that is a particularly
nice design and it deserves to be realised.
Figure 1a is 90% of the way there to a Dioctipoid. Both of us have progressed ideas first
disclosed by FOX in that we have both developed the tongue and groove concept to a achieve a
four axis puzzle design.
I will argue here that OZER's design takes the snap-fit assembly scheme to the maximum in that
the holes in the outer periphery are an essential feature to allow assembly of the machine.
The only (constructive) criticism I will offer, and irrelevant in
regards to discussions on novelty, is that OZER's design is incredibly sensitive to manufacturing
tolerances. Too tight and it will not go together, too sloppy and the machine will dislocate in a
helical fashion when operated. Having said that, a 100mm plus diameter device at +/- 0,1mm
overall accuracy is suggested.
However, and this argument is relevant to discussions on novelty; you will need the holes else the
puzzle will not assemble.
My own design results from a desire to produce a working machine first and is basically a
product of my training in aerospace; I did the details first and realised a device that can (just
barely) be economically realised.
I will contend that the Dioctipoid embodies an inventive step over OZER insofar as the
means of splitting the parts and using the central ball element to react assembly loads allows for
the mechanical realisation of a closed puzzle in the four axis configuration. This was fully
understood by your author and disclosed as a critical feature in the patent submissions
I will be the first to admit that my patent specification is badly written (I learn by doing) but the
development of the idea from geometry to mechanical realisation of a working machine is fairly
well explained and fully clarified by the drawings.
Although the 2007 prototype worked first time, this effort is not suited to mass production
which is a much higher hurdle.
Trust me on this, the Dioctipoid is extremely hard to make.
The incredible effort, the level of skill and the overall technological excellence of Piers and Paul,
my manufacturing partners, cannot be overstated. They have took my basic design and turned it
into something special.
If you wish to post or reply here please address comments to :-
30th Jan 2012
|,,,, to this, my 2007 prototype.