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sorry if this sounds a bit dramatic, I was listening to Duel of the Fates while writing this

KSP offers a great selection of parts, which makes it possible to create a great variety of creations. While primarily intended for making rockets and spaceplanes, it was discovered (now years ago I believe) that helicopters were possible too. Seeing that free-rotating bearings were possible, I was inspired. Surely a set of bearings could be fashioned such that a working Rubik's Cube could be constructed. Just over a week ago, I designed a bearing to do the job.

60QZADf.jpg

For those who saw that thread: Yes, this is the reason the thing was stuck on a Rockomax cubic connector.

Satisfied with the bearing itself, I set about constructing a cube around it. Starting with the centers:

bZKKPzb.jpg

That was the easy part.

Next came the edges. I had to align the docking ports on the edges with the docking ports on the centers. Not exceptionally hard:

Next up was to add attachment points for the corner pieces, and to build corner pieces to attach. Easy, right?

5u98j5q.jpg

Nope.

See those docking ports on the sides of the edges? They're in the center, so they run into each other when turning. It took me a great deal of testing to figure this out, but eventually as I was thinking about it (and playing around with my real Rubik's cubes) I came up with this:

WOZEUXq.jpg

Notice how I moved the docking ports as far up the edge as possible. In that configuration, they do not rub against each other after turning 45 degrees like the old one! There was one major constraint from implementing this design, though: It's really damn hard to align the docking ports with centimeter/millimeter precision the way they need to be when they aren't placed right on the center node of the panel! After a great deal of fine-tuning in the VAB, switching between Rotate and Offset and Place modes, turning Angle Snap on and off, making subassemblies, loading individual pieces separately to tweak them, putting them back together, and fine-tuning some more, I managed to get something that was reasonably well aligned. I found that even the minuscule amount of pull in Hacked Gravity mode was too much for the bearings, so I installed Hyperedit and teleported the device into space to test it:

It worked pretty well! But that was just the edges; Those only needed to be aligned to two docking ports. The corners needed to be aligned to three. That proved incessantly difficult. Only yesterday was I able to make a corner and edge combination that was aligned reasonably well. I called it the Corner to end all Corners.

ElL9h4P.jpg

In testing, it worked extremely well:

2BtJnxf.jpg

Next was to make covers for the corners, and attach the "stickers". A few tests later, I had come up with this:

3EqBFv8.jpg

Unfortunately, some faces refused to turn. I traced the problem to several instances of this weirdness:

W4zoqPr.jpg

Yes, those two pieces are attached to that corner through empty space. It took several tests to completely eradicate the problem, but I was rewarded with a cube that could do this:

b4RJMTL.jpg

That's the checkerboard pattern, to prove that all faces can be manipulated. It took nearly an hour of turning to get there, but there you go!

I've done it. I've created the first fully functional Rubik's Cube in stock KSP!

Feel free to try it out, though beware it is very finicky! I built it in 1.0.5, but it should work just fine in 1.1 as the bearings don't use wheels or landing legs.

Rubik's Cube.craft

Second iteration here:

I suggest using the second version, it is much easier.

I have posted a challenge for anyone willing to do a full solve on it!

 

Edited by cubinator
new download, challenge

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1 minute ago, He_162 said:

That's simply amazing.

What's amazing is that KSP's physics engine actually allows me to do this!

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Just now, cubinator said:

What's amazing is that KSP's physics engine actually allows me to do this!

Nevertheless, your cube is great fun by the looks of it :)

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Just now, He_162 said:

fun

It's hardly so with the difficulty of all the quirks of turning and lockups. Just like the original!

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Just now, cubinator said:

It's hardly so with the difficulty of all the quirks of turning and lockups. Just like the original!

It works doesn't it? Improve it :D

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Just now, He_162 said:

It works doesn't it? Improve it :D

I certainly will, but I think I need a break from engineering now! I think I found a new trick in Xevious today, I'll play some more of that tomorrow. In the meantime, you can try out my cube for yourself! Make sure to read the instructions in the description, and ask me if you need help, because manipulating it is really something of an art form. :D

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This is very cool indeed! Well done, it's a fantastic creation!

 You got a taste of the trial and error, rinse and repeat method of getting complex moving part craft to work. Fun isn't it! :confused:

    Recently I made the smallest possible bearing/hinge in KSP and it may be possible to make a much smaller rubics cube from it. I will add it to the long list of things I want to try when I am done with my current project.

Again, amazing job making this! Kudos.

 

Edited by Majorjim

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1 minute ago, Majorjim said:

This is very cool indeed! Well done, it's a fantastic creation!

 You got a taste of the trial and error, rinse and repeat method of getting complex moving part craft to work. Fun isn't it! :confused:

    I made the smallest possible bearing in KSP and it may be possible to make a much smaller rubics cube from it. I will add it to the long list of things I want to do when I am done with my current project.

Again, amazing job making this! Kudos.

 

Thanks! Ever since I knew about stock bearings I knew it had to be possible. Maybe you will make a 2x2 with that smaller bearing! :D

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Just now, cubinator said:

Thanks! Ever since I knew about stock bearings I knew it had to be possible. Maybe you will make a 2x2 with that smaller bearing! :D

I have never even had the thought! I am constantly amazed by what people come up with and this is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen made!

 The docking ports are the main thing that will limit the 'smallness' of the thing but I think it could be made smaller.

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43 minutes ago, Majorjim said:

I have never even had the thought! I am constantly amazed by what people come up with and this is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen made!

Wow, thanks! There should be a showcase somewhere with the craziest things ever made in KSP. I've never seen anything quite like what I've made this past week. You do see lots of crazy contraptions come out of the community, but usually they are made for flying. Even all the major undertakings outside the intended scope of the stock game, like helicopters and propeller planes, have something to do with flight or even just vehicles in general like the giant dump trucks and bulldozers people make. This is just me seeing how far I can bend the physics engine to my will, and the really spectacular thing is that even though I've already created this puzzle that is totally unrelated to any original intent of the game through over a week of engineering, I can still see ways to improve it, make it smoother and stronger, and even make different twisty puzzles out of it! If you thought KSP was just about rockets and planes and rovers, you were wrong. This is what KSP can really do. And my feeling is that I am still far from the limit of the game's possibilities. There may be one, but I am not there yet. In fact, from my experience here I will confidently state that a 4x4 cube is possible. I may not be the one to try to build it, and it would certainly be abominably difficult, but it is certainly not out of the scope of what can be done with the parts provided. I can almost see the design already! It'd require a pretty beefy computer, though, considering my 3x3 is already almost 700 parts! 

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Oh

my

god.

@Majorjim, forget "one of the most amazing", this is the most amazing thing that anyone has ever done in KSP!

@cubinator, you are a genius. There is no other word for it. I am in awe of your skills.

Here, take my rep. TAKE IT ALL!!!

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Just take my rep!

 

Out of curiosity, how does this compare arrangement-wise to the bearings in an actual rubix cube, which I can only assume does not in fact use docking ports?

Edited by Orky Kultur

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2 hours ago, Orky Kultur said:

Out of curiosity, how does this compare arrangement-wise to the bearings in an actual rubix cube, which I can only assume does not in fact use docking ports?

In a real cube, the edges and corners have little "hooks" that go on the underside of the center pieces, which are fixed. Here is an image showing a partially disassembled cube:

Disassembled-rubix-1.jpg

You can see the hooks on the inside of the corners and edges, and the centers fixed on the core.

. Naturally, this would be an incredibly inefficient design in KSP, due to the nature of its friction mechanics. So, I used docking ports instead to negate the need for pieces rubbing together.

Thanks all for all the praise! These are some pretty prestigious claims about this thing! Anyone tried it out yet? At least tell me if the download link works. :D

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2 minutes ago, cubinator said:

IThanks all for all the praise! These are some pretty prestigious claims about this thing! Anyone tried it out yet? At least tell me if the download link works. :D

It works :)

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24 minutes ago, Spaceception said:

It works :)

Good. Now I don't really expect anyone to actually do a solve on it, considering that 6-move pattern took me nearly an hour. My solves are typically around 60-70 moves...I think I can improve the bearing, though, although that may cause problems in 1.1 due to wheels.

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I will probably put it in the VAB twice, once to play with and once to reverse-engineer

Edited by RocketSquid

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2 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

I will probably put it in the VAB twice, once to play with and once to reverse-engineer

Make sure to get it into orbit before actually using it. Otherwise it doesn't work, even in Hacked Gravity mode. :) 

Edited by cubinator

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@cubinator

extremely good idea that rubik's cube :)

a few ideas for you to improve it.

you should be able to translate your docking ports so their docking section just barely shows above the surface of the structural panels (they will still be able to dock), then you should be able to shrink the seams as a result. (this way, the sections should be able to glide more smoothly, the sunken docking ports should create less jams (as their geometry would be mostly covered by the structural panel geometry.)

now, for the bearings :)

like Majorjim, i worked too on bearings :), i had to build a few extremely tight bearings, for use on the stock ISS (notably in the canadarm selfish_meme and myself are making :),

here's a variation of one of the bearings i made for that : (the bearing itself is the decoupler and everything above it)

dnp2JrD.png

if you need it for your rubik's cube - it can still bend a bit, but it goes back to flat on it's own :) (under gravity or not)

for making those bearings, i tested the various parts that makes the bearings to know where the collision layers are exactly, and translated the elements to be in contact with the geometry :) (one possibility, is to 'drop' them on each other - and see the separation (the actual collision layer being smaller than the 3d model)

the following pictures i moved some elements around to show how it's built :)
the two reaction wheels are directly attached one to the other.
 
aHwZHtm.png
 
the 3 ox-stats visible between the two small reaction wheels are attached to the decoupler :) - they keep the lower reaction wheel 'pressed' against the decoupler, and prevents bending (as they are sandwiched within the slight gap that exists between the collision layer of the two reaction wheels.
 
A3y2kHq.png

those bearings work very well for keeping parts with low RPM things 'flat', centered and contained :) (even if you give them a nudge in yaw or pitch, it'll stabilize itself) 

keep in mind though, this bearing is made in 1.1 - the physical collision layers have changed a bit between 1.0x and 1.1, when squad had to reexport the models for unity 5, so what you see here might end up needing a different amount of translation in 1.0x and unity 4 :)

here's the subassembly of the 1.1 bearing, if you want to test it (for your subassembly directory) (it's not backwards compatible though)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zcdsnatef8jeyun/flat hinge.craft?dl=0

 

 

Edited by sgt_flyer

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5 minutes ago, LetsGoToMars! said:

My brain is currently undergoing a futile attempt to comprehend what I just read. Five Stars.

KSP is now KKP: Kerbal Kubing Program

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