By Josh Saunders
A Rubik’s cube the size of an average human is set to break the record for biggest in the world.
Standing proud at 5 foot 6.25 inches the far-from-puny puzzle was unveiled to the world in celebration of its Budapest-born creator’s 74th birthday.
Wes Nelson and the team from science TELUS Spark in Calgary, Canada, seven weeks to design, prototype and build the world’s most famous puzzle.
The fully functional piece made of polystyrene foam, vinyl, PVC, bungee cords, nylon straps, dense cardboard and more, can even be solved.
Their creation was unveiled on August 22, the date of Erno Rubik’s birthday, whose creation is now 44 years old.
The Spark model is more than four inches taller than previous Guinness World Record holder Tony Fisher from Surrey, UK.
They claim former victor Mr. Fisher has even congratulated them on their feat, and say their effort may bring him out of Rubik’s cube building retirement.
Wes Nelson, from TELUS Spark, said: “We were doing an event to celebrate the birthday of Erno Rubik, the inventor of the cube.
“The Rubik’s cube encapsulates all aspects of STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art, and math – within a small toy, and we wanted to celebrate that.
“The event programmer asked me to build a large plywood box with the individual squares painted on, but I thought it would be more fun and interesting to make a fully functioning cube.
“Since this cube would be very large I wanted to find out what the biggest one in the world was.
“I did some research and found that it was a very reasonable size and thought that we could beat that record on a relatively small budget of time and money.
“The response from visitors, the community, and even within Spark has been phenomenal.
“I even received congratulations from the former record holder in the UK, who is considering how to take back his record in the future.
“I really hope we can create some friendly rivalry and pull more people into the drama!
“There’s been talk about trying to break more records at Spark in the future, and I think it would be fantastic to get our visitors more involved in that.
“It’s been fun sharing ideas with people and thinking about the possibilities.”
The Rubik’s Cube recently created by Wes and TELUS Spark, stands tall at over 5ft 6, which is the height of an average adult male.
It took two weeks to design and prototype before a five-week building process to form the soon to be record-breaking puzzle.
Wes said: “I keep telling people that it more or less ‘designed itself.’ It’s a simple mechanism once you understand how it works.
“Rubik didn’t have 3D design software in the 1970s to speed things up and test things virtually, so it’s still really amazing that he was able to develop it at that time.
“I have a small digital design studio at home, so I was able to do the mechanical design there and then bring the files in for fabrication.
“Spark has a well-equipped workshop, with a CNC router that is able to cut out exact parts based on the files I created.
“The main difficulty was determining what materials to use that would create a successful cube and not break the bank.”
While it has been possible for the public to play with the puzzle, the team now hope to preserve it and are keeping it away from potential damage.
Wes added: “The cube was unveiled in a scrambled state, and we spent the entire day letting visitors make the moves needed to solve it.
“We had all of the moves planned out ahead of time so that we could finish by a certain time.
“The cube is just foam, and although it turned out more robust than I expected, it’s not really tough enough to survive being played with in an uncontrolled manner.
“We have some plans to hang it in our atrium, which I think would display it nicely.
“There’s also been some talk about sending it around to other public spaces locally, as an ‘ambassador’ of Spark.”
At present the Spark team are still waiting to be declared the new World Record holders by Guinness and are currently gathering full evidence for their submission.
But measuring over four inches taller than the previous winner, they are confident it’s only a matter of time before they are bestowed with the prestigious accolade.
Wes said: “I don’t see any reason why they would deny us the record, but you never know what we might have overlooked.
“If we get the record, and it gets published in their annual book, I’m hoping that will pave the way for us to try for more records.
“I would love for Spark, and Calgary in general, to become known for fun projects that strive to be the biggest and the best in the World.”