15 puzzle made with WAZER

I still remembered the the good feel when I played 15 puzzle in Matlab the first time many years ago. So I tried to make one with WAZER.

Some ideas before actual building:

  • Which font?
  • Wood frame with metal figures.
  • Small enough to be put in a DIY pocket.
  • Which metal? Aluminium? Too light. Brass? Contains Lead? Silver? Expensive.

First thing first, Google font is a good place to find fonts, after searched a while I decided to use Edu SA Beginner.

I typed 0 to 9 in Inkscape and traced the figures with the “Draw Bezier curves and staight lines” tool. At the same time also make them “WAZER-cutable” (i.e. figures with holes are stencilized).

Because WAZER cuts glass so fast, only several minutes of cutting evaluated my font processing (Please ignore the cutting quality, I used some wrong abrasive in the workshop).

I also want to make a pocket for this puzzle, this means I need a physical model first. 3mm Aluminium is used to make this model because WAZER cuts it fast, the pocket can be a weekend project at home.

Then I started to work on the leather pocket. At beginning I found if I simply sew 2 layers on left and right edges directly, it will form a dome and the figures will fall (pocket can’t hold them tightly). After a while of tinkering I found a solution: Use leather strips as “spacers” to create a uniform space for the puzzle.

As I never did any leather works before, but that’s not a problem, Google is your friend, there are tons of tutorials online, after watched several, I made some progresses and the sewing process was quite comfortable.

It’s not fancy but it fits. (Lots of process were omitted)

On the final puzzle, I want to use wood frame with stainless steel figures. One concern is Aluminium figures and frame rubs with each other to produce metal powders.

The wood frame is also cut with WAZER. I used 3mm thick wood, didn’t do any water-resist pre-processing, so after I got the part the error was several millimeters! (It drank so much water). Because the wood is not thick and I guess the size will recover if the water is gone, then everything will be fine. So I left the parts on my desk in the night and I found the size became basically correct in the next morning (This summer is so hot! We have an Earth-sized oven)

Then glued them together with some white glue.

Time to make the stainless steel figures. The thickness of the material is 2.6mm, I found 0.6mm of Tab Size worked for me (The default value didn’t work).

Got all figures and deburred. It’s time to polish them. In the photo below, 1 and 13 are already polished (They were made ealier).

This is the metal cleaner I used:

Oops, I forgot to wash my hands :wink:

Next time I can take it with me when taking metro.

Design file attached, in Inkscape SVG format.


super awesome project @Atommann … can i buy one from you!!!

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I thought the leather bag was purchased, wondered how nice it fit, did not realized you made the leather bag yourself.

What a nice finish.

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This is awesome - I am a big fan! Now I need some advice on how to beat the 15 Game haha. Is there a secret or a technique to re-arranging the pieces and getting the numbers in the correct spot?

This is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

This post is now on the WAZER Facebook page for all to see!


Thank you all for liking this project.

Initially, I planned to cut and punch holes on the leather with WAZER (When I was punching the holes my wife warned me “Atommann, please think about our neighbors!” :), but I’m not familiar with the characteristics of leather with water. I think it won’t be a big problem because I see people wet lether then put object (like a Kindle reader) inside to shape the lether then do sewing. One concerns is the water in tank must be clean and it takes time to dry.

I wanted to make this project for years, it flashed into my mind occasionally. Considered wood carving, but always didn’t buy that set of tool (my procrastination). Until I can use a WAZER, this digital tool, makes it so convenient to make prototypes, try some ideas. Finally, it helped me to unload this idea to a physical object.

Hi Alex,

Number 16 there is a placeholder, remove it and arrange the numbers randomly, you can start to solve. I really don’t know any special technique, just observe and try. If it can’t be solved in short time, put 16 to “remember” the status, so the game can be continued.