the Infinity Puzzle: a new kind of jigsaw puzzle

Have you ever done a puzzle that has no beginning or end? Where you don’t know up from down? Get lost in the infinite galaxy puzzle.

The infinity puzzles are a new type of jigsaw puzzle inspired by topological spaces that continuously tile. Because of that, they have no fixed shape, no starting point, and no edges. They can be assembled in thousands of different ways.

Our puzzles are all about bringing back the artistry and playfulness of traditional hand cut puzzles while exploring the possibilities of new technology. A part of that artisan tradition are “trick” puzzles, puzzles that can be assembled in multiple ways often to create a witty pun or interesting transformation. Our infinity puzzles build on that tradition with a new mathematical twist that would be almost impossible with hand cutting, a puzzle that tiles in every direction. Our generative puzzles are made with math, science and lasers. The intricate branching shapes of our puzzle pieces emerge from a simulation of crystal growth and are lasercut from plywood. By combining mathematical simulation with precision CNC cutting, we create new kinds of jigsaw puzzles that could never be made before.

the Infinity Puzzle

a small yet challenging puzzle based on a torus

The Infinity Puzzle ($50, 6 x 6 inches, 51 pieces) is a challenging wood puzzle that tiles in the plane. This means that any piece on the bottom can be moved to the top and a piece on the right can be moved to the left. Multiple copies of the puzzle can be combined in different colors to create abstract patterns and shapes. Topologically, we can say this is equivalent to a torus, which can be described by its fundamental polygon showing how edges of a square map to each other to make a closed shape. We create the tiling piece shapes by modifying our simulation to wrap like a torus. It was first created for the 2016 Puzzle Parley. This puzzle is extra challenging as it has no image or defined shape to guide assembly. Multiple infinity puzzles can be combined to create a larger continuous puzzle. The image above shows some of the creative combinations possible with two infinity puzzles of different colors ($75, for two).

The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle (130, 8 x 8 inches, 133 pieces) takes this idea one step further. Instead of mapping to a torus, this puzzle maps to a Klein bottle, an impossible 3D shape where the inside and outside are mathematically indistinguishable. This means that the puzzle tiles with a flip. Pieces from the right side attach to the left side but only after they have been flipped over. Just like the Klein bottle’s surface has no inside or outside, the puzzle has no up or down side. You can start the puzzle anywhere on any side. This puzzle is adorned with a photograph of the galactic center from the Hubble observatory (source). The image is continuous from one side of the puzzle to the other, so it’s not possible to see the entire image at once. Explore the galaxy while assembling the puzzle in multiple ways. The puzzle also features 3 special space themed whimsy pieces shaped like an astronaut, a space shuttle and a satellite. Ready to take on the challenge? shop our entire line of generative jigsaw puzzles here. 26 responses on “the Infinity Puzzle: a new kind of jigsaw puzzle” 1. That looks awesome every Christmas my family looks for hard and different puzzles for my pap to do during the winter because he loves doing puzzles and this would be awesome. 2. I won’t have to worry about getting to the end of a puzzle and realizing I have lost a piece…I would never know 😊 As an avid puzzler I am excited about this imaginative innovation. • Wood puzzles are considerably more expensive than cardboard ones but they allow for more interesting piece shapes and last for generations. Since this puzzle is double sided (and the two sides are continuous!) it is trickier to make than our other wood puzzles. 3. The selling point of this “puzzle” is that it has infinite solutions. I think that makes this a toy, rather than a puzzle. Still, cool. • It does not have infinite solutions. But there are thousands of shapes you can make as you tile around the Klein Bottle surface. I think the selling point is that the image wraps from one side to another which makes it extra difficult. • hypothetically yes, but we haven’t tried it. I’m not sure the image alignment between two copies of the puzzle would be “perfect” enough to look seamless. 4. This could help my child with Sensory Processesing Disorder. I would order one in a heartbeat. 5. Where does one purchase the puzzle? 6. I would love the infinite puzzle for a Christmas gift. Is there any chance for that? • Hi Stephanie. We are sold out of puzzles for Christmas delivery. • no 7. I wish it was affordable for me , would love to cover an entire 8’x 8 section of my wall in my living room with only this Galaxy looking one , absolutely love it though as well as challenging puzzles , definitely on my wishlist ! 8. Hi. I notice that the price shows up as100 here, and $130 on the store. I am local. Would it be possible to get one for local pickup at the$100 price point?

• Hi Aaron, we initially priced the puzzles at $100, but after making a couple hundred of them we realized we had underpriced them considering all the labor that goes into each one. The price is now$120. We’re still working to see if we can bring that down more.

9. Why aren’t these in stores yet? Or if they are where can I pick one up?

• Hi! We are currently struggling to keep up with the demand for our puzzles. Each one is made from start to finish at our studio in Somerville, MA. Once we catch up on orders we will start selling them to some of our stockists which are small game stores. For now, you can purchase them in our web shop. The link is the in the blog post above. thanks!

10. As an avid puzzler, I think this is the best invention since sliced bread. As I have no friends this would be the best thing to do whilst I’m sat at home in my dark dingy room, watching antiques roadshow. Why don’t people make useful things like this more often instead of making stupid things like designer clothes and what not. I may even quit may job and have considered entering infinity puzzle competitions along with my fellow avid puzzlers.