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Design of the Week: Europe Map

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? 

Via Thingiverse

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