Sliding Tile Pipe Puzzle
I wanted to make a puzzle for the Vale machine that could be used for various different scenarios, lots of different configurations that can be adjusted and connected as required. I decided upon this sliding puzzle with a pipework theme, the goals can be created as required to connect the points around the outside. After a good hour of faffing with routes I ended up just filling the board with at least one complete solution, all points connected and no endless pipes.
Each tile was engraved along two edges which allow it them to have enough slack to slide along each other. With large slide puzzles you can pull on all the pieces at once and generate enough slack to pull them out of the puzzle. To eliminate any possibility of that happening I glued every other tile into position, the puzzle can still be solved by moving round these islands but now the parts can't be pulled out by accident.
The frame was made with a 6mm gap around the outside so that it can be inserted into the machine panel.
I made a mistake with the corners, tiles would need two gaps to move in and out of the space which they don't have, so when I was assembling it for the final time I made sure to leave the corner pieces in a 'solvable' arrangement