The Rubik’s cube is one of the world’s most popular and iconic puzzles. Invented by Hungarian professor Ernő Rubik in 1974, the classic 3×3 Rubik’s cube has captivated puzzle fans for over 40 years. But did you know there are also Rubik’s cubes that can change colors? Let’s take a look at these fascinating color-changing cubes.
The Mechanics Behind a Traditional Rubik’s Cube
To understand how a color-changing Rubik’s cube works, it helps to first look at how a traditional cube is constructed. A classic 3×3 Rubik’s cube is made up of 26 smaller cubes known as “cubies.” Each cubie has a colored sticker on it, with 6 solid colors representing each side of the cube: white, yellow, orange, red, blue, and green.
The cubies are arranged in a 3x3x3 pattern. But they are not fixed in place – the cubies can pivot and rotate. This allows you to twist and turn the Rubik’s cube and mix up the colors. The challenge is to then get each side back to a solid color by twisting the different layers.
Adding Tech for Color Changing Cubes
A color-changing Rubik’s cube adds technology so that the colors can be electronically changed. This means the color of any sticker on the cube can be modified at will to display a different color.
To enable this effect, each cubie has an RGB LED light installed behind the colored sticker. These RGB LEDs can produce any color by mixing different levels of red, green, and blue light.
The LEDs are connected and controlled by internal electronics and circuitry. This circuitry is able to power on the LEDs and change the colors being displayed. The electronics are housed inside the puzzle.
How Color Changing Cubes Work
There are a few different methods used for changing the colors on a Rubik’s cube. Here are some of the main approaches:
Button Press Method
Some color changing cubes have buttons on them. By pressing different buttons in certain sequences, you can trigger the electronics to change the colors being displayed on the puzzle. Each button press steps through a color changing sequence or allows you to choose the color.
Other color changing Rubik’s cubes can connect to smartphones or tablets via Bluetooth. An app is used to select and change the colors being shown on the cube. This gives you more options for customizing the color patterns.
On other cubes, the colors change based on how you twist the puzzle. As you rotate different sides and layers, internal sensors detect these movements. The electronics then alter the displayed colors in response to the twisting patterns.
This can create interesting effects like color waves moving across the cube as you twist it. The electronics coordinate the color shifts based on the detected movements.
Popular Color Changing Cubes
Now that we’ve looked at how these cubes work, let’s examine some popular color changing Rubik’s cubes that you can buy today:
|Cubesmith Chroma Cube
|Press buttons to cycle through colors and patterns
|Giiker Super Cube
|Connects to app via Bluetooth, customizable colors
|Rubik’s Color Changing Puzzle Cube
|Colors change as you twist, no electronics needed
Cubesmith Chroma Cube
The Cubesmith Chroma Cube was one of the first widely available color changing cubes. It uses buttons on the puzzle that allow you to cycle through up to 48 different colors. You can also choose pattern modes that cause colors to shift and change on their own.
Giiker Super Cube
The Giiker Super Cube uses Bluetooth connectivity to pair with smartphone and tablet apps. This allows you to customize the colors and effects. Popular modes make the colors pulse and change as you twist the cube.
Rubik’s Color Changing Puzzle Cube
Rubik’s brand also makes a color changing cube. This one uses a simple twist mechanism to shift the colors. Built-in filters overlay different colors as you turn the puzzle. No electronics or programming is required.
Do Color Changing Cubes Still Work Like Normal Puzzles?
Even with the added electronics, most color changing cubes still function as normal puzzles. The cubies can be rotated and twisted just like a regular Rubik’s cube. This means you can still complete it and solve each side.
The main difference is that now when you make a turn, the colors may shift and change due to the color mixing technology inside. This provides an added level of challenge and intrigue for puzzle fans.
Speed Cubing Competitions
In speed cubing competitions, color changing cubes are not permitted. Speed cubers need consistency from their puzzles so they can practice and memorize patterns. The electronics inside color changers also add weight, which can alter the turning speed.
So color changing Rubik’s cubes are more of a novelty and are not used for competitive speed solving. They offer a fun twist and visual appeal for casual cube enthusiasts.
Color Changing Cubes for Beginners
For those new to the Rubik’s cube, color changing cubes can provide an easier starting point. Being able to change the colors gives you an advantage in getting the puzzle back to the solved state.
Once you get the hang of solving, you can then switch back to a normal cube without color changing abilities. This helps newbies learn the techniques without frustration.
Customization and Patterns
Some Rubik’s cube enthusiasts enjoy customizing their cubes with unique color patterns and designs. This is where color changing cubes really shine. You can create color combinations and effects that are not possible on a regular puzzle.
Apps allow you to save your designs and quickly switch between patterns. You can match colors to favorite sports teams, superheroes, holidays, and more.
Disco Mode and Light Shows
Color changing cubes really stand out for their light show capabilities. Many cubes feature “disco modes” where the colors dance and swirl in hypnotic patterns. The lights pulse and change automatically, allowing you to put on psychedelic displays.
You can also choreograph the light movements to music for a dynamic, visual experience. The color changes sync to the beat and rhythms for a captivating performance.
Teaching Color Mixing
Educators have used color changing cubes to help teach children color theory and mixing. Watching the red and green mix to yellow, or blue and yellow become green illustrates how the color palette works. Kids can use the cubes to experiment and see results.
The ability to pause on a certain pattern also helps highlight the blended colors. This makes color changing Rubik’s cubes a useful teaching tool for classrooms and educational programs.
Rubik’s cubes that can change colors represent an exciting innovation in the classic puzzle. With built-in technology like LED lights, Bluetooth connectivity, and smart sensors, color changing cubes take the experience to the next level.
While not permitted in official speed competitions, these cubes offer new possibilities for custom designs, light shows, and interactive solving. The added visual element brings an engaging new dimension to the iconic Rubik’s cube.