Mingming Liu Portfolio


I’m from Southwest of China, and my name is Mingming Liu which is same as my Chinese name. I am a senior student in Hospitality Management major. For my major, we usually do event planing, club, hotel management and food & beverage. Seems like have nothing to do with technology, but actually we do need high technology and using many softwares in Hospitality industry.  Also, personally, I find this course’s topic is the most interesting one for me in General Education.

I have no any 3D experiences before, but I do curious about this kind of area, like 3D, design and coding. The reason is that I am a crazy gamer, and I do streaming on Twitch sometime. Therefore, computers and many softwares accompany with me all the time. I really want to know what are more things they can do and what amazing things I can do by them.  Hope everyone in this class will have a great time during this semester!

Here are two pictures of my hometown city in China

I can be found online at the following links:

MingmingL on Thingiverse

MingmingL on Sketchfab

MingmingL on Tinkercad


Initial Puzzle Research

The first type of 3D puzzle I found interesting me is 3D Crystal Puzzles. This kind of puzzles have so many different looking but all are made of transparent, interlocking and plastic jigsaw pieces. In this case, Crystal Puzzles are usually only made up of 50 pieces but wont be lack of challenging. According to the name, finished 3D Crystal Puzzles will look like artware. So, after players finish the puzzles, it can be decorations which is the reason why this kind of puzzles attract me.

Here is a picture

and a video I found about 3D Crystal Puzzle.


The second type I researched is 3D Wooden Puzzles. As you can see the picture below, this kind of puzzles are made up of wooden pieces which do not like Crystal Puzzles have different color and forms. Therefore, you can paint on these puzzles as you want which is the reason why Wooden Puzzle is my favorite. Moreover, just like puzzle in the video below, many of 3D Wooden Puzzles that you can make them be “alive”. There will be some gears to make that happen which also make 3D Wooden Puzzles are more difficult than other types of puzzle relatively.

Here is a picture

and a video I found about 3D Wooden Puzzles.

Thingiverse Puzzle Print

The puzzle model I found on Thingiverse called “Little Plane Puzzle” by shiung0202. When I saw the imagine of this little plane, one hit just jump to my mind that I want this. After I download all the files, I found that designer put the plane into 4 part but looks harder than I thought. This is my first time get to learn about this kind of puzzle so I try to start with one small thing with fewer pieces and this plane perfectly meets my needs. Then, I figure out Ultimaker needs more time to print the same part than Lulzbot does so I try to use this two machine at the same time to be more efficient. However, after few minutes I realized this two machines have different standard size which may cause the model wont fit at the end. Therefore, I had to abandon what I already got and started all over again.

Also, when I printed the smallest part of the plane, it was so hard for me to get them off the print machine. It was so funny when I tried to get them off by knocking and prying hardly just like a gold miner. But at the third time, I waited until the surface of machine became cold enough and then I can get the puzzle off easier. After printing done, I started to put them together, but it was too hard. Some connection points just cannot fit in each other, so I have to use tools to fix it. Anyway, the whole process was interesting and meaning. I was keeping learning about 3D Print, solving problems, and exploring by myself which definitely can improve my own ability. “Post to Makes”

Tinkercad Cube Puzzle

Actually, I have no idea how to do 3D design on computer or create cube puzzle but this assignment is a great chance for me to learn those skills. The first thing came to my mind was the cube puzzle I grab at the first class which is interesting and beautiful, so I decided to design my own base on it. Personally, I love the kind of puzzles which players will get awards after they solve the puzzle. The reason is, this kind of puzzle can be a special gift.  Imaging when your girlfriend takes apart the cube and then a shining star appears or even a small candy, that will be so surprising and interesting.  Therefore, before I start to design my cube, I was already sure there will be a hole in the center of my cube.

About design, at the beginning, I just used several box shapes to create a bottom floor of the cube randomly, then just try different ways to fill it up. This process do require the ability of 3D spatial imagination, so it took more time than I predicted. Moreover,  at the first, I made the puzzle be like 20*20 size, but Lulzbot shows it needed around 4 hours to print one part (I have 2 part in total) and I didn’t have enough time to do that. In this case, I changed the size to 10*10 which is much smaller.

After printing done, it was easy for me to put the cube together but I cannot keep them staying together lol. It turns out that I ignored the most significant thing when I design the puzzle. Moreover, I found there will be some excessive and unwanted part around the bottom of each pieces. It’s not easy to clean up even using tools. Last issue, I forgot to use different color material so I only can paint on the puzzle by myself, next time I want my puzzle to be more colorful.  Hope I can fix these problems at the next try which I’m looking forward to.


Cube Puzzle Iteration

First of all, last time when I printed it, I only used one machine which made it only has one color. So, this time I’m gonna make it to be colorful for sure. My puzzle has 8 pieces in total, and I found 6 colors in the lab, so I will try to mix them up.

Second issue is that I can not keep all the pieces stay together stable. Therefore, I created a foundation support which has 3 sides. Then, I can build my puzzle on the foundation.

The last issue is that last time, I wanted to make a star which goes into the center of my cube as an award. However, after printed, the size was not how I expected. It’s so tiny and cannot really be in there. So this time, I changed the original one into another form of star and adjusted its size. Hope it will work this time.

Here is my new design image.

The new puzzle looks more beautiful than the original one. I like the colors and build it on the foundation is easier, but next time I wanna try to make them more like toy bricks which have connections between each pieces. Moreover, the star is much better than the old one. I made the right choice about the form of star this time. However, after I tried twice, I feel like it’s better to put like a real small candy in it instead of 3D print piece unless what I made is a much bigger cube puzzle.

Here are pictures of my new cube puzzle

Here is my posting on Thingiverse.