So you like a challenge, but a run-of-the-mill 9 x 9 x 9 Rubik's Cube just doesn't melt your brain anymore... How about tackling a colossal 33 x 33 x 33 twisty cube, like this 3D-printed creation from Grégoire Pfennig of Greg's Puzzles?

"When I was 15, I discovered how to solve the Rubik's Cube with the help of my friend, but after you solve it once, you know how to solve it every time so I wanted a new challenge, and every single cube on the market was the same solving experience as the regular Rubik's cube," Pfennig told us. "Online, I found that it was possible to design thing and get them 3D printed, so I tried making twisty puzzles, like the Rubik's Cube, in order to have new challenges, and since that day I've created over 130 designs.

"As a child I always wanted to break a world record, so I figured there's only one record I could with my skillset, and that's the Rubik's cube with the most layers ever made, so I went ahead and designed the 33 x 33 x 33, which turned out to be a success."

The monster twisty cube is made up of 6,153 components connected together to make 17 layers of twisty cube goodness from the center outward. The parts were 3D-printed using an SLS machine, and undertaken by Pfennig's sponsor, 3D Print Fabriek. Once sorted, cleaned and assembled, the huge puzzle was treated to some colored stickers for each face – 6,534 of them to be precise.

In all, it took Pfennig and helpers over 200 hours to assemble. The twisty cube is fully functional, as you can see from the checkerboard pattern above. It's reckoned that it would take dedicated puzzle lovers many hundreds of hours to solve, though is actually said to be simpler in essence than many of the other puzzles made by Greg's Puzzles.

And if you feel like giving that a try, the 33 x 33 x 33 twisty cube can be ordered from Olivier's Sticker Shop. It's not cheap, coming in at an eye-watering €15,200 (about US$18,000), and there's a 3 month wait while it gets 3D-printed and assembled before shipping.

You can get a feel for this labor of love project by watching the making of video below.

View gallery - 3 images