Types of Rubik’s Cubes

Different Types of Rubik’s Cubes – You Must Know Them

Are you a huge Rubik’s cube enthusiast? Perhaps you have tried out the pocket cube, the 3x3, even the Rubik’s revenge, and you want to know if there are more options.

Actually, there are numerous Rubik’s cube variations, with some having up to 33 layers. The most well-known variations are the:

  • 2x2, also known as the mini/pocket cube
  • 3x3 – the regular cube
  • 4x4, also called the Rubik’s revenge or the master cube
  • 5x5, also termed the professor’s cube
  • 7x7

And, the cube has inspired the creation of a wide range of other cubes, including pyraminxes and megaminxes.

Up to December 2017, the largest, priciest (over $2000) cube available commercially was the 17×17, which was referred to as the “over the top” cube. But now, there’s a working design for a 33x33. ShengShou, a Chinese manufacturer, has been one of the biggest commercial Rubik’s cube brands, availing a wide assortment of cubes, from the 2x2 to the 11x11.

Let’s dive deeper into the types of Rubik’s cube available. But first, how did it come to be?

Rubik's Cube Invention

In the mid-70’s Erno Rubik, a Hungarian professor, designed the Rubik’s cube as a device to use in one of his architecture classes. His aim was to illustrate to his students how tackle the structural problems of a system’s moving parts without collapsing the entire system.

He however, noted the huge interest his students had in the puzzle and decided to take it public. In 1975, the professor got a Hungarian patent for the cube (back then it was called the Magic cube).

The Types of Rubik’s Cube Available

There are different Rubik’s cube varieties, mainly based on:

  • Structure
  • Aesthetics

Since 2015, there have been 5 main platonic versions of the Rubik’s cube, namely the:

  • Icosaix – has 20 faces
  • Pyraminx – has 4 faces
  • Face-turning octahedron – 8 faces
  • Megaminx – 12 faces
  • Original Rubik’s cube itself – 6 faces

All of these cube varieties are face turning, except the pyraminx, which has turnable tips in addition to the turnable faces.

And by the way, apart from these, there’s also the Alexander’s star, which is a dodecahedron-like cube formed in the shape of the Kepler-Poinsot polyhedral.

Varieties Resembling the Rubik’s Cube

After the invention of the Rubik’s cube, lots of other cubes were invented that either resemble it or were based on its inner workings. Once such example is the cuboid, whose functional dimensions, like 2x2x4 and 3x3x5 are different from those of the Rubik’s cube.

There are custom puzzles, like the Rua, the Toru, and the Bevel cube, which are normally copied through moulding and casting methods from master 3D printed sets.

Additionally, there are cube varieties that are created by extending or truncating existing cubes to form new shapes. The Trabjer’s octahedron is one such cube; it’s formed through the truncation and the extension of the 3x3 cube.

Rubik's Cube Software

We thought we’d highlight the Rubik’s cube software as a variety of the Rubik’s cube, since there are those of us who love virtual stuff. The simulated version of the Rubik’s cube on the computer allows you to record player metrics, store scrambled cube positions, analyze your sequence of moves, and participate in online competitions, among many other functionalities.

If you love playing with large puzzles, like a 100x100x100, which would be impractical to build physically, then a Rubik’s cube software would be a good consideration.

The Classic Rubik’s Cube

This one is the original version, with 6 faces that are turnable. This cube is available in a range of configurations, starting with the 2x2 or the mini cube, all the way to the 33x33, which is the biggest working configuration.

Based on The Aesthetics

Aesthetics refer to aspects like color. Based on that, the following types of Rubik’s cubes are available:

     1. The Grayscale Rubik’s Cube

This one is similar to the regular 3x3, with the same structure, only that it doesn’t have the vivid contrasting colors. Instead, the faces have different shades.

The grayscale cube is a lot more difficult to solve than the standard cube, as you have to have much higher concentration levels to be able to tell the colors apart.

     2. Photo Rubik's Cube

For those of you who really love personalized items, you can now have your photos placed on a Rubik’s cube. You just have to choose 6 photos to go to each of the cube’s faces. When the cube is scrambled, small bits of the pictures are mixed up, and the player has to align them correctly again.

     3. Rubik's Cube Earth

Rubik’s earth is more like the photo cube, only that instead of personal photos, a map of the world is placed on the cube. The solver has to orientate the cubelets (small cubes that are part of the big cube) correctly so earth’s map is positioned as it should be.

This type is great for all you folks interested in geography.

     4. Magnetic Dice Cube

Love dices? This version is perfect for you. Each face is like a unique set of dices with just a single face. Another aspect about the magnetic dice cube is that instead of the normal Rubik’s mechanism that holds the cubelets on a Rubik’s cube together, magnets are used for the task.

     5. Sudokube

If you’re a Sudoku fanatic, this is just the cube for you. It’s also excellent for those who are looking for a real challenge.

     6. Fentix Cube

This piece of art was designed by Andrew Fentem. It’s an electronic touch-sensitive Rubik’s cube that emulates the regular cube. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

     1. Are there different Rubik’s cube styles?

Yes. The original Rubik’s cube is the classic 3x3. But, since the 80s, other inventers have come up with more designs, including the 4x4, the 7x7, and more. There are also other innovative styles like the Rubik’s cube earth, the photo cube, and the sudokube.

     2. How many pieces of the Rubik’s cube have been sold so far?

Based on statistics, over 350 million pieces have been sold up to now.

     3. What’s the costliest Rubik’s cube?

At the moment, the most expensive Rubik’s cube is the 2.5 million-dollar Rubik’s cube that was made by the Diamond Cutters International. This cube is made of gold, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, diamonds, and amethysts.

     4. When was the 2x2 cube invented?

In 1970, by Larry D. Nichols. So, the 2x2 was actually invented 2 years prior to the 3x3 Rubik’s cube.

     5. Where can I get a really good Rubik’s cube?

Amazon is the best place where you can get a Rubik’s cube that suits your needs, even if you want a personalized cube. There, you will get to compare what different sellers are offering. To discover the Rubik’s cubes on Amazon, go here, and to discover the best 4x4 cubes, go here.

Final Word

You thought there was just one type of Rubik’s cube?

Now you know there is a full range of others. So, if you’ve been using just the standard version, it’s time to try out other versions. The fun is guaranteed! The most fascinating varieties include the megaminx, the sudocube, and the photo cube.

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