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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Open-ended 8x8 sliding tile puzzle (STP)
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Open-ended 8x8 sliding tile puzzle (STP)
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The goal of this sliding tile puzzle is entirely up to the user. Any imaginable 8x8 binary pattern that can be remembered long enough to reach is fair game.
About this creation
Please feel free to look over the images and skip the verbiage.

On this page



Introduction

The open-ended 8x8 sliding tile puzzle (STP) presented here was inspired by this video of a brilliantly simple but effective LEGOŽ version of the classic 4x4 STP by Peer Krueger (aka "Mahjqa").

Unlike Kreuger's, however, my STP lacks even the slightest hint of an intended end-configuration (goal). The goal is up to the user to decide -- either in advance or as the patterns unfold.

This open-endedness frees the STP to serve as a mechanical binary drawing pad.




Photos

The patterns in the sequence below suggested themselves to me in the order shown. Most are pretty simple but give a sense of the range of patterns one can create with an 8x8 binary grid. It took me 5-10 minutes to get from one to the next. Sorry for all the smudges.

















The last pattern above is the newly adopted name of the AFOL formerly known as Jeremy McCreary. Rather catchy, don't you think?



Side view shows the thickness and part of the display stand.



Kreuger's video shows how to build 3-layer STP tiles and an enclosing frame but leaves out one important detail: The 1x1x1 gap shown in this particular corner of the frame provides a place for the guide tabs (middle tile layer) to go when a tile occupies this corner of the grid.




Design notes

The most common STP of all is undoubtedly the 4x4 15-puzzle with 15 sequentially numbered tiles and a single void. Puzzlaholic posted a nice one here on MOCpages.

Of course, there's nothing magic about a 4x4 grid, a single void, numbered tiles, marked tiles, or even square tiles for that matter.

For example, Kreuger's STP is the pictorial equivalent of a 15-puzzle. Each tile is marked with a distinct fragment of the Vayamenda Industries logo he uses to brand his MOCs. One unscrambles the logo by arranging all 15 tiles in a sequence every bit as specific as putting 15 differently numbered tiles in numerical order.

The 8x8 STP posted by Nils O., on the other hand, uses 32 red, 18 yellow, and 13 black tiles, all unmarked. Though many others are possible with this tile set, the goal Nils had in mind was a mosaic depicting the face of a "classic LEGOŽ spaceman". The solution isn't quite as specific as that of a 15-puzzle in that any tile can substitute for any other tile of the same color without altering the mosaic.



My 2-color 8x8 STP is even simpler. The user can form any 8x8 binary grid he or she likes with the 32 white and 31 black unmarked tiles provided.

When the single void is viewed as another black tile, this STP provides 40,296 more distinct patterns than a 15-puzzle. Granted, many of the added configurations would be too random-looking to visualize, let alone remember, but many others would be useable.

The chosen design reflects 2 influences already banging around in my head when I stumbled onto Kreuger's STP.



First, we'd just completed a 6-month renovation involving, among other things, a bathroom tiled in my favorite color combination -- black and white. (Because that bathroom now has the best lighting in the house, most of my MOCs were photographed there.)



Second, in-laws were due to descend on our house in 2 weeks, and I desperately needed a way to keep them entertained.

The open-endedness turned out to be the key to keeping at least one of the in-laws occupied. Every time she'd complete one pattern, another would suggest itself, and off she'd go again.

Luckily, that was all I needed. When we weren't out and about, the rest of the in-laws were quite content to bury their noses in their smartphones and iPads.

Isn't technology wonderful?




Specifications


Overall dimensions:
144x144x19 mm (LxWxH), excluding stand

Overall mass:
0.250 kg (0.55 lb), excluding stand

Grid:
8x8

Voids:
1

Tiles:
63

Tile type:
Binary by color

Tile markings:
None

Distinct puzzle states:
40,296 more than a 4x4 binary

Modified LEGOŽ parts:

None

Non-LEGOŽ parts:
None

Credits:

Peer Krueger for sliding tile mechanism; otherwise, original MOC





Comments

 I made it 
  January 30, 2015
Quoting Nils O. Very cool, Great job! :-)) P.S.: I've seen instructions from mahjqa on Flickr with a 1x1 corner panel to close the gap in the corner. I used that for my own mosaic sliding puzzle.
Kind words and great tip, Nils. I'll give that corner treatment a try.
 I like it 
  January 30, 2015
Very cool, Great job! :-)) P.S.: I've seen instructions from mahjqa on Flickr with a 1x1 corner panel to close the gap in the corner. I used that for my own mosaic sliding puzzle.
 I like it 
  January 23, 2015
That's wicked :D
 I like it 
  January 23, 2015
Wow! This is really cool! I always liked these kind of puzzles. A really brilliant idea.
 I made it 
  January 19, 2015
Quoting Lego Jim .... You should put it on Lego Ideas.
Jim, Thanks for the kind words. May not be original enough for Lego Ideas since I didn't invent the sliding tile mechanism, but it's worth checking to see if any similar MOCs have been submitted.
Jeremy McCreary
 I like it 
Lego Jim ....
  January 17, 2015
Dude. That's awesome. I made one of these once. I like yours better though. The black and white pattern idea works really great with it. Awesome job.
Jeremy McCreary
 I like it 
Lego Jim ....
  January 17, 2015
You should put it on Lego Ideas.
 I like it 
  January 15, 2015
Love it retro in Lego!!
 I made it 
  January 15, 2015
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) Superb creation! Never seen before!
Thanks, Yann.
Jeremy McCreary
 I like it 
matt rowntRee
  January 14, 2015
Cool! Made to entertain the in-laws, eh? Would it be possible to hook it up to a wall socket? Maybe while they're taking a bath in the beautifully renovated tub? I'm just asking for a friend. XD
Jeremy McCreary
 I like it 
Matt Bace
  January 14, 2015
This is just awesome! I would have never thought that such a puzzle could be made to work effectively in a LEGO version.
 I like it 
  January 14, 2015
Superb creation! Never seen before!
 I made it 
  January 14, 2015
Quoting Matt Bace This is just awesome! I would have never thought that such a puzzle could be made to work effectively in a LEGO version.
Thanks, Matt. It does get a little fiddly at times. Credit for the mechanism goes to Mahjqa.
 I made it 
  January 14, 2015
Quoting matt rowntRee Cool! Made to entertain the in-laws, eh? Would it be possible to hook it up to a wall socket? Maybe while they're taking a bath in the beautifully renovated tub? I'm just asking for a friend. XD
Geez, why didn't I think of that? As soon as I figure out how to make the appropriate parts good conductors, consider it done.
 
By Jeremy McCreary
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Open-ended 8x8 sliding tile puzzle (STP)


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