aluminum rubik's cube

I enjoy playing with Rubik's cubes, and after examining the internal structure I figured I could make one. With the help of Ray Harlan, a friend and mentor, we produced a fully-functional cube from solid 6061 aluminum. Yes, I can solve it, though not with notable speed (around 90s). Interestingly there are only five unique parts: eight corners, 12 edges, six two-piece face centers, and a central hub. In dimensions, it's a measured copy of the usual plastic Rubik's cube. It weighs about 1.1 lb (500 g), about four times that of the real one. Its weight makes it very satisfying to play with.

I didn't get to document the process of making this Rubik's cube. There is a detailed description for the upgraded model, the stainless steel cube.

mmm, shiny
colored with permanent marker
checkerboard pattern
dots pattern
size comparison


This is the only good photo I have of the internal structure of the cube. It's very much the same as a commercial one. The flat bottoms of the face centers do not allow the cube to turn as smoothly as it should; a problem that was rectified with a different design in the new cube.