3D Puzzle Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong 3D Puzzle

Putting together puzzles has long been a favorite pastime for many families and puzzle fans, and 3D puzzles are the wave of the future. These new 3D puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, from soda cans to full cityscapes, and they make not only super toys and games, but impressive centerpieces as well.

When it comes time to buy 3D puzzles for yourself or your favorite puzzle maker, there are a few facts to keep in mind as you search for the best 3D puzzle or 3D puzzle collection.

>> Determine the age and preferences of the puzzle maker

The age of the puzzle maker will be important in determining which 3D puzzle models are best. For example, toddler puzzles, such as floor puzzles, usually have large pieces and are more interesting for children of that age. They might be alphabet puzzles or cartoons rather than a Manhattan cityscape. Young children also like simple puzzles, but they will use smaller puzzle pieces than toddlers. Middle school children advance with more and even smaller pieces. Teens and adults can often handle the most advanced puzzles, some of which will be quite complex and may even involve puzzle glue rather than snap-together pieces.
Age is only one factor to consider when deciding what is the best 3D puzzle to buy. Girls' puzzles might include princess castles or female pop stars, while boys' puzzles might be more along the lines of airplanes and army tanks. Keep these factors in mind when building upon your puzzle maker's 3D puzzle collection.

>> Choose a type of 3D puzzle

Once you have determined who the puzzle maker will be and what type of 3D puzzle he or she might prefer, you can now choose which kind of 3D puzzle material you want to buy.

Puzzles are traditionally thought of as jigsaws, and this is one of the most popular kinds. They are often made with thin cardboard and laminated faces, and fit together with interlocking pieces. While traditional 2D puzzles require a flat surface to snap the pieces together, new 3D puzzles are able to fit together without depending on a flat surface.

Wood 3D puzzles are also growing in popularity. Sometimes their pieces can fit together like jigsaws, but they may require puzzle glue to stay together. They are available in a wide variety of shapes and designs.

Crystal 3D puzzles are unique 3D puzzles that use translucent interlocking pieces to form 3D objects. Because they have no clear borders like wood and jigsaw puzzles, assembling crystal games can be more involved. They challenge the puzzle maker's mind, concentration and ability in a way that is slightly different from other 3D puzzle designs.

Foam puzzle sets can either be large floor puzzles for toddlers and young children or smaller models for toddlers and up. These pieces may be sturdier for children than more delicate puzzles made of cardboard, wood or crystal.

For serious puzzle makers, 4D puzzles are a subset of the best 3D puzzle types, since they add one more dimension to the puzzle-making experience. Besides the time it actually takes to assemble a puzzle, particularly the more complex and intricate ones, puzzle manufacturers have devised another way to add the dimension of time into the puzzle itself. 4D puzzles are often cityscapes, such as Manhattan, Las Vegas, Chicago and Berlin, and they include buildings and icons from both the past and present, which makes the puzzle span the length of time and may even teach you about the city's history and architectural design.

>> Consider different types of 3D images

Once you know what type of 3D puzzle you want, it's time to determine which picture or activity would be the best 3D puzzle to buy. One type of 3D puzzle is made of 2D flat puzzle pieces that have a 3D picture laminated onto them.

One of the most popular 3D puzzle models includes replicas of famous buildings from history or the present, such as the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower. Puzzle pieces could form the base, sides and roof of the building, as well as all the detailed accoutrements that surround the structure. In some instances, bits of historical and architectural facts may be printed on the pieces, so while you're constructing the puzzle you can learn, both by building and by reading the facts on each piece.

Similar to buildings, some 3D puzzle designs are modeled after famous people, such as historical figures or celebrities.

Puzzleballs are some of the best 3D puzzles for education, as the 3D puzzle model is a way that children can build their own globe to learn about the world's countries and geographical features. These 3D puzzles are generally made with curved plastic pieces that children put together without using glue. You can use a curved plastic base that allows the puzzle to spin for a still more realistic effect.

>> Plan and prepare the area for the puzzle

Puzzles can be as small as a photograph or as large as a dining room table, so you need to know the completed size of each unique 3D puzzle before you buy. This way you can be sure you have enough space to both work on the puzzle and leave it be when you have other activities to do.

Consider that not all surfaces are optimal for certain 3D puzzle models. For example, crystal puzzles may not be a good idea for a room with a tile floor, as dropped pieces could easily break on the tile.

When you buy a 3D puzzle, remember that you are not just buying the best 3D puzzle type or picture, you are also buying the experience of putting it together with hours of enjoyment.

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