I am a chemist interested in making bead models inspired by nano structures. Using the angle weave technique of mathematical beading, I discovered that it is possible to construct approximate 3D sphere packing models for fullerenes, zeolites and many other nano molecules and materials. Here, I show an extension of bead models that turn certain sphere packing structures into a new type of interlocking puzzles.
BC-Cube, which stands for Bead-Chain Cube, is a new interlocking puzzle inspired by the cubane molecule that consists of eight carbon atoms arranged at the corners of a cube, with one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom. The goal of the puzzle is to assemble the sphere packing model of this molecule by connecting four pre-made five-bead chains through cross-linking manipulations. Note that in this model each valence electron pair is represented by a spherical wooden bead.
BC-Dodecahedron is a more complicated Bead Chain puzzle which corresponds to the sphere packing model of the dodecahedrane molecule with twenty carbon atoms arranged at the corners of a dodecahedron and one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom. The goal of the puzzle is to assemble this model by manipulating ten pre-made five-bead chains through cross-linking.