The “Lament Configuration” is the name given to the wooden puzzle box that features in the movie Hellraiser. In the original book (The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker) the box is black lacquer and needs to be completely disassembled for the gateway to Hell to open. For the movie a more intricate looking box was designed by Simon Sayce, with 6 delicate etched brass panels embossed on the faces. This box is not disassembled, but the solver needs to complete a sequence of (mechanically impossible) moves to open the very top circular section. The final move is the “star” move where the whole box splits in two and re-aligns itself looking very much like a Maltese cross.
I wanted to see if the etching formula I came up with recently would work on more than just copper. So I tried to make some panels for a star-cut puzzle box I made on the CNC. Looks like it works, but it’s time-consuming process – through etching will always take longer though. I use the 0.005″ brass sheets from K+S metals.
For the wooden box, I created the model on computer, then sliced it up horizontally and created toolpaths to cut the layers from a single plank of mahogany.
The box came out quite well, although I suspect I could design a jig to do a much better job on just a table saw and drill press. So I’m currently documenting the build process, along with any CAD files required to make the jigs.