Rubik's Magnetic Cube Project
I got the idea after recently picking up some Rubik's Cubes that they might be able to be created out of simple cubes with embedded magnets. I drew up some plans, figured out polarities, and realized that it could actually work. I set about finding some acrylic cubes from Tap Plastics, and some neodymium disc magnets from K&J Magnetics. While they were in shipment, I mocked up a version in Maya - a 3D design program - and read up on the history of the cube.

I learned that Erno Rubik, the cube's inventor actually thought at first he would have to use magnets, before setting his mind to finding a mechanical solution. I also found that in 1982, a company called Moleculon sued Ideal, US distributors of the cube for infringing on their patent from about a decade prior that spoke of something like the Rubik's Cube, and further specified, and thus protected magnetic versions of the idea.

To add the final bit of insult to injury, though my Google searches turned up nothing, a friend managed to find my exact idea for sale in China for a mere $5 US :) I must've spent about $80 on the parts and supplies for this, but it was fun, and I like the crystalline nature of what I made. It is another example of my tendency to come up with a fairly involved idea only to find it elsewhere. That there are "no new ideas" often hits home quite firmly for me. I'm already working on the next few ideas, so we'll see if any of those prove to be even mildly original takes on the cube.
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