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The Tetraxis puzzle is an invention by John and Jane Kostick. It's a magnetic puzzle designed to stimulate the brain's ability to recognize symmetry and color combinations.

There are twelve sticks shaped like a triangular prism, divided in four colors (yellow, green, blue, red). Each piece has four magnets, two in the parallelogram base and one in each of the prism's other two faces. Building shapes is easy and intuitive, as the sticks only connect in a way that feels just right.

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To build the puzzle in its original shape, you can start by joining two pieces together. Add a third stick to form a pinwheel. Now build three other ones and you're left with four identical pinwheels. It won't be much harder to join them one by one until you have the final shape built. After that, just make sure if the color combinations are right, as you might need to swap a couple of sticks to get the desired combination. Tip: try to build each pinwheel with three sticks of the same color. You'll end up with another cool color combination.

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The Tetraxis comes boxed in its most recognizable shape already built. The color combination that you'll see right away is three sticks of the same color, pointing at the same direction in a triangular orientation. However, there are other several combinations that you can try yourself. For example: try to have only one of the three colors pointing at a particular direction for the entire original shape (image below). For other challenges, visit the Tetraxis'  image page (Scroll down).

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You can also use the sticks to assemble the puzzle in different ways other than a closed shape. Some can be magnetically linked (right image below), while others you can use a mixture of magnetically linked and just touching each other, like the four pinwheels below at the left. The pinwheels are linked together by the magnets, but they're only touching each other in a plain surface.

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You can also see in the Tetraxis' image page, other shapes you can build with more than one puzzle. There are countless possibilities, only limited by your own creativity and imagination.

Closing Comments:

If you're into the type of puzzles that can yield the best of your creativity, then the Tetraxis is a recommended toy for you. Whether you'll get one or more puzzles, you can be sure to have many hours of plain fun with the building possibilities that the Tetraxis can offer. It's also great to have one in the workplace to refresh your creativity.

The creators also do exquisite hand-crafted artwork, with similar structures and a few more complex shapes. If you'd like to know more about these products, you can go to the creators website and take a look at the great collection available. You can contact the designers if you want to buy anything from the site... Here's a video that shows one of these fine sculptures.

Also available from the MoMath website.

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