3D Development (Rhino 6) cont.

After the SUPER useful consultation for Rhino 6 I cracked on with creating the Type Cube inside the software. I tried to keep tabs of the process and showcase some of the bumps and what not along the road.

Layer One:

Early on, gaps appeared…

In the front of the ‘O’ and also to the side.

And when I finally sorted those I felt as though the huge chasm between the two halves wasnt pleasing. I want the layer to able to stay together if it was picked up with one hand on the side.

I fixed this by adding huge lumps to link the ‘O’ and ‘B’.

Even then more extrusions appears, this time outwards from the G. I realised that the width of this layer was only 110mm so I had to change that too.

Layer Two:

Layer two did not start too well either. Gaps everywhere.

Internally, the cube was a mess [see below].

The shape connecting the inside of the ‘R’ needed altering massively.

The ‘N’ on the right was so tricky to re-shape I ended up just redesigning the entire thing (see ‘N’ on the left).

I also had this really annoying problem where I couldn’t join some shapes through the ‘boolean union’ feature. In the end, I decided to group them but I just fear that this may effect how it’s printed. Hopefully not.

Even when I thought I’d finished the layer, I panned over and saw the ‘Q’ looking rather troubled… I said “alright mate, how yuh bin?”. He replied, “not good”. So, I fixed him (or her); by moving the 10mm x 5mm rectangle shape backwards into place (or so I thought)…

Finally, I thought. Another layer complete. (Please excuse the forwards progression (featuring the joining lumps)).

When I scanned below the layer I saw a gap! And soon realised it was from when I had pushed the rectangle back. The Type Cube was starting to look like a women with snakes for hair. I promptly protruded out the excess piece and returned it back into place.

Layer Three:

To my surprise, there were also gaps in Layer Three.

Naturally, I plowed through these. Thought I’d smashed it…

But when I measure the right edge, I learned it was only 110mm. To fix this I just added more width to the ‘T’ in the centre of the layer. This then formed more gaps [bottom-left] so of course I fixed these too.

But then on another upside check test I noticed an overlap of the ‘V’ onto the ‘C’.

At last, I think it was complete. Along the way I had been thinking about the potential for including a base, or a lid to kind of complete the piece.

I considered a 1mm lid, a 5mm lid which fit snugly onto the top layer. This would have been cool because then every layer would have the joining lumps on. This would make the puzzle even harder. The only problem is that it would make the top length 126mm and not 120mm. So not anymore a cube but instead a cuboid. The Type Cuboid just hasn’t got a catch. Though could be kind of ironic…

I’m still undecided.

Eventually I thought I’d go without. I also tried out a nipple join to force people to face the layer the right way but something about this seemed too aggressive. Then, I added some embossed to the potential lid and then decided it would be cooler on the actual cube, so tried that and then also tested an engraving of the test name.

It’s kind of finished, but there are still a few things I’m not sure about. Going to seek some feedback.

Things I’ve learnt:

  • Rhino 6 is an absolute treat to use.

  • My 2d sketches of the Cube were largely inaccurate.

  • SketchUp is wank for creating 3d puzzles. (But it did help give me a clear idea of what the letters would look like).

  • There are still some aesthetical decisions to be made. The journey is long.

I almost forgot to include these base ideas…

We’ll have to see.


After a lot of thought:

I eventually decided to go without a lid and/or base for the time being. There are a few reasons for that:

  • It obviously forced the shape to become a cuboid. It felt so important for it to be a cube.

  • I considered anding a lid (which makes the top length 126mm) and then adding width and length of 6mm to match. Making it once more a cube. But with that would require even more changes internally and then also changes to the 2D face. (I had already edited that, see here: https://www.aalvkdotcom.com/post/redesign-of-flat-type-cube-face)

  • For a first prototype, the most important thing is the interaction with the letters. More detailed things can be worked out later with more time available.

  • Lastly, I have no idea if I’ll have enough printing time to print an extra base (its quite large).

Let it be clear that this is something that I’ll work out in the future. I ultimately want all three layers to look the same (all with joining lumps) and the cube with a nice base or lid to finish the job off. Colours would also be nice.


I prepared the piece for printing. But did last minute again consider adding a base or lid. Almost a small 1mm [bottom-left]. I decided finally, that if I had extra time in my printing session I would add a base.

I organised the letters into separate files…

So they looked like this.

Andy mentioned something about exporting them as STL files. I tried this but there were loads of options to consider so I’ll seek support before exporting fully. Wont take long to do now they are all separated.