3D Crystal Jigsaw Puzzles

 

Many of crystal structures are visualized by unit cell representations noting their lattice sites using spheres. However, I think the sphere notation is not enough to describe the important characteristics of crystal structures why and how the crystals decide to form such structures. Rather, crystal structures represented by Wigner-Seitz cells, representing net domains of lattice sites, can be very helpful to understand the origin of crystal structures. We prepared representative (we think important!) 3D crystal jigsaw puzzles made of Wigner-Seitz cell polyhedra and base frames. The library of printable 3D jigsaw crystal structure puzzles is expanding. You can download and use the STL files to prepare crystal puzzles for learning, teaching, and fun.

I recently learned the body-centered cubic structure likely occurs in neutron stars!

 

 

Face-Centered Cubic (Fm-3m)

Wigner-Seitz Cell

Rhombic Dodecahedron (black)

STL file

 

Frame (clear)

STL file

 

Bulding Difficulty: Easy.

 

 

Hexagonally Close-Packed (P6/mmm)

Wigner-Seitz Cell

Trapezo-rhombic Dodecahedron (Grey)

STL file

 

Frame (clear)

STL file

 

Bulding Difficulty: Easy.

 

Body-Centered Cubic (Im-3m)

Wigner-Seitz Cell

Truncated Octahedron (white)

STL file

 

Frame (clear)

STL file

 

Bulding Difficulty: Easy.

 

 

A15 (Pm-3n)

Wigner-Seitz Cells

Dodecahedron (2a, Yellow / Black)

STL file

Tetrakaidecahedron (6c, Blue / White)

STL file

Frame (clear)

STL file

 

Bulding Difficulty: Moderate.

 

Frank-Kasper σ-phase (P42/mnm)

 

 

Wigner-Seitz Cells

Dodecahedron (2b, Blue / Black)

STL file

Pentakaidecahedron (4f, Yellow / Grey)

STL file

Dodecahedron (8i, Purple / White)

STL file

Tetrakaidecahedron (8i', Green / Clear)

STL file

Tetrakaidecahedron (8j, Red / Clear)

STL file

Frame (clear)

STL file

 

Bulding Difficulty: Challenging, but fun! --- Tip for building: carefully track dihedral faces.