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Senior Thesis Project | Puzzle Book

Over the course of human evolution, our brain has been hardwired to solve any and all problems it encounters. Puzzles are a way for us to exercise this problem solving area; we actually enjoy creating problems for ourselves!

Codex Silenda is a five page book that features five intricate puzzles. The user must solve each page’s puzzle to unlock it and access the next one. Constructed completely from lasercut wood, this puzzle book also features a short story of an apprentice in Da Vinci’s Workshop. The Codex acts as a trap and as a test to see whether or not the apprentice is worthy of Da Vinci’s tutelage; can you help him escape the Codex and discover it’s secrets within?

Despite growing popularity, puzzles today lack the ability to maintain consumer interest after the solution has been discovered. Most puzzles are either cheap and simple or expensive and intricate with the former being mass produced and the latter being extremely limited.
The status quo is no longer acceptable.

Traits of a Puzzle

The main course of action that leads to the solution; e.g. like a specific series of twists and turns when solving a Rubrik's Cube.

You can't have a puzzle without having a particular form of motion/lack of motion involved when manipulating the puzzle.

This is why we call it a puzzle in the first place. The solution is unknown to you and requires a shift in perception or thought to be solved.

Market Gap Analysis

Trend Research

"The laser processing market is estimated to grow from $6.40 Billion in 2015 to $9.75 Billion by 2022."

-, 2016

"By the end of this year, crowdfunding is projected to add more than $65 billion into the global economy, yet in many ways the market is still in its infancy."

- Geekwire, 2014

"'Steampunk,' a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian Society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold of the retail industry..."

- IBM Social Sentiment Index, 2013

Consumer Feature Preferences

Contextual Inquiries/User Surveys

What deters you from buying a puzzle for yourself?
I have enough stuff, it would have to be affordable and worth the cost of purchase, more artistic than a material purchase.

What are some of the features that attract you to a 3D puzzle? (e.g. color, material, shape, etc.)
Material, depending on whether its wooden or anything that looks like it required a lot of craft. Prestigious look

Of the three puzzles, which was your favorite? Please explain why you think so.
The square, more involved with the puzzle and it’s a good challenge but very rewarding once solved.

Have you ever played with any kind of 3D puzzle before? 
Jenga, Building with blocks and bricks, mostly 2d picture puzzles. Chinese puzzle cubes, not a fan of the Rubriks cube.

In regards to the design and construction of the puzzles, what do you think of them?
The Design is nice, there was too much friction in the cross, the square had too little, plus the pyramid should’ve had a base template. I did like the contrast of the colors and wood grain.

Would you purchase these puzzles for yourself? Why?
Purchase as a gift, for himself maybe but they would become more decorative pieces after solving them. 

Concept Ideation

Modeling with Solidworks

Core Elements


Show the world the wonders of puzzles and just how far they can go and get people involved in bringing them to life.

Page by Page Design

Mechanical Iris

What is preventing the Mechanical Iris from opening?

Rotating Maze


How can you navigate a maze when you can’t see where you’re going?

Geneva Gears


Place the gears correctly and you may unlock the page, but where?

Paradox Sliders


Can you figure out the correct order of the fourteen sliders?

Cryptex Lock

All you need is the four rune code, but what do the runes even mean?

Problem Space

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