This week’s selection is Martin Figeac’s “Europe Map puzzle with Great Britain”.
Like puzzles? Why not print one out on your 3D printer? Figeac has produced a mostly-complete map puzzle of Europe, with each country being a puzzle piece.
We’re interested in this design because it overcomes a limitation in 3D printed flat puzzles: no color textures are required for each piece. That’s because the shape of the countries alone provides sufficient identification.
It’s a slightly unusual puzzle because Great Britain (and Ireland) are disconnected from the mainland, as they are in real life, at least for the past 30,000 years, anyway.
This could be a challenging item to 3D print, because you not only have a lot of pieces to print that must tightly fit together, but you’ll have to print them in differing colors for best results. But here’s the problem: what is the smallest number of different colors you’ll need to ensure no two countries touch and have the same color?
This is actually a complex mathematical problem solved only a few decades ago. The Four Color Theorem. We suspect you’ll end up using five colors.
Give it a try; the 3D models are free for the taking on Thingiverse.
Finally, where’s Iceland?