The Megaminx is a mechanical, three-dimensional puzzle with a height of about eight and an edge length of about three centimeters, and is similar to the Rubik's Cube and even more so with Alexander 's Star. The Megaminx is a regular dodecahedron with twelve faces in the form of regular pentagons. Each of the side surfaces is divided by a pentacle similar star pattern in eleven segments carrying the same color per side surface.
With the internal rotation mechanism, the side surfaces can be brought by 72 ° rotations to five positions around its central axis cover again. In this way the moving parts change their position to each other and can take almost any position in the dodecahedron. The aim is mostly to bring the Megaminx from a position in which the colors are mixed by means of rotations of the side surfaces back to its parent base position.
As part of the high popularity of the Rubik's Cube in the 1980s in 1981 were designed simultaneously multiple versions in the form of a dodecahedron. Since the mechanisms resembled naturally, there were disputes over patent and marketing rights. In Germany Walter Moll received the patent on July 30, 1981. A further patent was awarded Christoph Bandelow on 14 October 1982, in Hungary Ferenc Szlivka on October 28, 1982 under the name Super Nova. The puzzles were slightly different in the width of the edge pieces and thus in appearance. Subsequently acquired by the German puzzle inventor Uwe Meffert several national distribution rights. In October 1982, the magazine Omni wrote an article about the Megaminx cube and other variants. Since August 2009 Uwe Meffert offers in his shop the Holey Megaminx, a Megaminx, who still has not Mittelsteine a core inside. Instead, he has 30 ball bearings and springs.
In addition to the 3- Ebigen Megaminx there are also other magic cube dodecahedron. So the Kilominx only has 2 levels, so only cornerstones, no center and no edges stones stones. The Gigaminx, which is also sold since August 2009, on the other hand already has 5 levels and consists of 255 parts plus screws. The next versions, Teraminx ( 7 levels) and Petaminx ( 9 levels ), but are not commercially available, the latter consists of 975 parts, which are covered with 1,212 stickers.
Although the Megaminx nowadays is only available in stores, it is still a favorite among Rubik fans some popularity. This is partly due to the aesthetic design of the puzzle, the other to the slightly higher level of difficulty compared to the cube. Nevertheless, some strategies of the cube can be easily modified transferred to the Megaminx. Also Speedcubing, so as quickly as possible to solve time is operated with the Megaminx, he is even a discipline in official competitions. These competitions are organized by the World Cube Association WCA shortly. In the Danish Open 2011, the Swede Simon Westlund broke the world record with a time of 42.28 seconds.
The Megaminx has 50 moving parts (unlike the Rubik's Cube, which has only 20). Of these, 30 edge pieces with two colors and 20 corner pieces, each with three colors. The 12 pentagonal center pieces are rotatably mounted on the backbone of the puzzle and do not change their relative position. This leads to a maximum upper limit of possible combinations of 30! · 20! · 230,320. Since mechanism requires not every position is reached, this number decreased to 30! · 20! · 227 319 ≈ 1068th
In addition to a version with twelve colors, wherein each side surface is colored differently, there is a six colors in which the opposite sides have the same color. Consequently, there are two of each color edge piece two identical. With the tri-color corner pieces, however, are all different, because the corner pieces with the same color combination are mirror symmetric ( different " sense of rotation " of the colors).
Although there are fewer combinations in the six-color Megaminx, the identical pairs of tiles edges create a new difficulty: Since one can not tell which belongs to which place, it may be that despite a correct solution strategy, the puzzle is not solved. Then an already minor part has to be abandoned, so two identical end pieces can exchange the item.
Although the Megaminx has far more combinations than the Rubik's Cube, the subjective difficulty is not higher. Basically, this is because you have more room to maneuver. Judging by the method of Lars Peter and the motto " Get Parent " before, so is intuitive, that is, without follow a particular strategy and without complicated moves that organize the cube a 2 × 2 × 3 block. Then stay for two adjacent side surfaces that are still disordered, equivalent to 13 edge and corner pieces that can not be solved intuitively, without the parent part has to be abandoned. When Megaminx remain three contiguous sides, so 22 unordered pieces. However, this can be the Megaminx 56% solve intuitively, the cube only 35%. This can already tell that with a twist 40% of stones can be moved with the cube, the Megaminx but only 20%.