Tuesday, March 13, 2012

4x4x4 Rhombic Dodecahedron

The 4x4x4 Rhombic Dodecahedron is a twisty puzzle which has 12 sides, each of which is a rhombus.

The Basic Plot
1. Solve centers
2. Make edge pairs
3. Solve edges
4. Solve corners
Step 1: Solve Centers

The centers are probably the trickiest part of the whole solve. Each center is actually made up of 4 center tips. We'll solve these in a similar way to how we'd solve the centers on a 4x4x4 cube. The difference here is that each center tip has its own place. We use the colours of the center tips to guide us.

Almost always, we'll need to move around the very last three center tips. It won't be possible to pair them up and place them as we have been previously. So, to do this, we'll use a corner piece series.

This cycle moves the center tips UBL -> FUL -> FUR

This video will demonstrate all the above, including showing the corner piece series on a solved puzzle.

Step 2: Make Edge Pairs

Making edge pairs is basically identical to doing so on a 4x4x4 cube. We bring together two edge pairs, then remove them to a different face using edge piece series, and finally return the centers. This video will show a few examples, as well as showing what to do with the final 3 edge pieces.

Step 3: Solve Edges

Once all edges have been paired, we are at the point of placing them. Simply move them into position using edge piece series. It's important that the full edge piece series is done, not just 3 moves, and not simply turning an edge into position. Otherwise, the centers will be disrupted.

Often we'll find ourselves needing to swap two edge pairs. There's no way to do this using a single edge piece series. Therefore, we need to use the same technique as we use on the 4x4x4 when two corners need swapping. Here it is in brief.
1. Rotate the top half of the puzzle 180°
2. Remove the unmatched edge pair using an edge piece series
3. Return that same edge pair but inverted (make it piece 3)
4. Turn the whole cube 180°
5. Remove the opposite unmatched edge pair using an edge piece series
6. Return that same edge pair but inverted (make it piece 3)
7. Rotate the top half of the puzzle 180°
8. At this stage, the puzzle has some of the edge pairs out of position. Proceed as normal to re-position the edge pairs.
This is an extremely simple procedure, and much easier to understand by watching it happen. The following video shows the placing of edges as well as swapping two pairs at the end.

Step 4: Solve Corners

The last stage of the solve is to place the corners. We do this using the corner piece series.

And that's it. Your 4x4x4 Rhombic Dodecahedron is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so.

3 comments:

1. What a beautiful puzzle!

I do understand your process but at the endgame, even watching you closely, I couldn't remember the setup moves to undo them!

Kevin
Puzzlemad

2. Kevin

With the endgame, just write down exactly what setup moves you do. Eg. bottom left one turn clockwise, front two turns anticlockwise, or whatever. Once you start doing a few solves it'll start to click and you won't need to write anything down.

3. This is really a gud cube. Your videos are really helpful for me and made this puzzle my fav one.