Jake McDermott Portfolio


My name is Jake McDermott. I am a 21 year old junior from Gainesville, Virginia and I am majoring in International Affairs with a minor in Spanish business. I hope to have a future career with a government job in the State Department. I have been learning Spanish since I was in middle school and I hope to have a career as a diplomat or ambassador to one of the countries in Latin America.

I do not have a lot of experience with 3D puzzles, however I have always liked working on 2D puzzles. I do have a good amount of experience with the Autodesk Inventor Pro and Autocad 3D modeling software. In high school, my friends and I designed the parts to convert a wheelchair into an affordable electric wheelchair for people with mobility issues that cannot afford to pay for a brand name electric chair. Aside from the motors, batteries, and the controller, all of the parts for the homemade chair were created entirely using 3D printed parts.


You can find me online at the following links:

mcder2jm at Tinkercad

mcder2jm at Thingiverse

mcder2jm at SketchFab


Initial Puzzle Research

The first type of puzzle that interested me is this interlocking burr puzzle. This type of puzzle was the same type that I solved on the first day of class, which was my first time completing a 3D puzzle in a very long time. I chose this puzzle specifically because it seems very difficult due to the fact that all of the pieces are clear and they are no supposed to fit into a regular shape. The puzzle I completed in class was made out of wood and fit into a cube, so it was considerably easier than this one. Considering how long it took me to complete the one in class, a puzzle like this would likely be very difficult for someone like me to complete. This puzzle works by using six interlocking pieces that fit together and slide into place in order to form a certain shape. A puzzle like this could be modified by possibly adding complex designs into the pieces that create optical illusions to further confuse the user as they are assembling it.

Credit: Mr. Puzzle Australia

Another puzzle that interested me was this Chinese answer box. I remember when I was very young, my parents got me one of these for Christmas and placed $20 into it. I worked on it for a while, but I was probably only eight years old at the time so instead of solving it I ended up breaking it opened with a hammer to get to the money inside. This puzzle works by requiring the user to make 42 correct moves in a row in order to open the puzzle box and get to the answer inside. In order to modify this puzzle, I was considering trying to find a way to combine it with the design of the burr puzzle in order to create a hybrid of the two, since these two puzzles seem like the most interesting to me out of the one I looked at.

Credit: Mr. Puzzle Australia