The Rubix Cube, the quintessential 3D “twisty puzzle”, that challenges your brain, may soon find itself just a single member of a massive family. How the Rubix Cube works is you must realign all the little colored cubelets in such a way that all the faces on the same side are the same color. The internal mechanism, while mysterious, is simpler than it seems, and while there are variants, they’re other simple geometric shapes. But what if you wanted a Rubix Chess piece? Or a Rubix Rabbit?

Columbia University Professor Changxi Zheng and PhD student Timothy Sun have created a method that allows a user to upload a 3D model, and then transform it into a working twisty puzzle, that can then be 3D printed, and played with. Their method, presented at ACM SIGGRAPH, a computer society conference on graphics, uses a few user supplied cuts of how they want to rotate, calculates the rest of the rotations to make a full puzzle, and can even change the model so the pieces won’t collide. Finally, it can generate the interlocking internal mechanism that allows it to work, ready for the 3D printer.

I eagerly await finding a Rubix Dildo down at Babeland in a few years.