Puzzle Box Constraints and Specifications

Here are my top 5 constraints and specifications for my project:


The puzzle box needs to be strong enough material to hold the drawer in place even with force applied, but have smooth action for premium feel with both the drawer and ring movements. 

I wanted the puzzle box to go for an aesthetic beyond any one era, so I wanted materials that were evident throughout most eras such as brass and wood. Brass is a very amenable and soft metal and goes back to being patented in 1781, but it was easily accessed and brass’s benefits as a metal were exploited well before then. I wanted materials that were timeless which means the disregard of a lot of metals and plastic to make it plausible. 

The size of the puzzle box was a constraint because I was worried if the puzzle box was too small it would be minute and have little purpose when holding jewelry and the jewelry would get tangled or wouldn’t be properly maintained. On the other hand however, I enjoy handheld objects and wanted the puzzle box to be easily carried and moved for the convenience of the owner and the aesthetic shape. 

The price of the puzzle box was a big constraint due to the fact that I wanted glossy and classy materials, but I also wanted materials that were accessible to everyone financially and easy to obtain and use so that anyone could make this puzzle box. 

The inlays for the puzzle box was also a difficult constraint due to the fact that the inlayhs have to be set precisely otherwise the design on the top won’t work as a concise visual combination and won’t be as aesthetically pleasing. 



I wanted to make sure the jewelry and valuable objects inside the drawers were being properly maintained and had enough space. I figured the best way to achieve this was to specify two drawers for max storage space. 

One specification would be the divider in the second drawer. I was increasingly worried about the upkeep and maintenance of the items, specifically necklaces, inside the drawer, due to the fact that a lack of space and organization could damage the valuables by entanglement or other means. The divider in the drawer helps tackle that problem and serves as organization usability for the owner.

Another specification would be that both drawers need to have a different combination to increase the safety of the valuables and to increase the complexity of the box. 

Having the drawers be symmetrical was very important to me as I am naturally drawn to symmetry and wanted my drawers and the functions to be very precise. This meant that I needed to have both drawers be exactly a quarter of the box and be the exact same size as one another. 

My last specification is the three locking rings. I prefer things in numericals of three and I think two rings would be far too simple and significantly cut down on the time and effort put into figuring out the combination, however four locking rings started to seem inefficient and time consuming for the owner, making it significantly less user friendly.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Thomas Boyd
    May 2, 2021 3:22 pm

    Stephen, I like that you put a lot of time and effort into considering the different aspects that contribute to the success of your project, including the aesthetic, ease of use, security, and build. I also like that you wanted to design this item such that anybody could remake it. Have you considered adding more compartments to the box? You mentioned that each compartment takes up a quarter of the space in the box, could you add more compartments in the other half, or is this space being used for something else?


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