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History of Hypercubing

1988-2002: The Beginning of Hypercubing

MagicCube4D in 2001

Old MagicCube4D screenshot

Shortly after the Rubik's Cube was invented in 1974, people began thinking about different versions of the puzzle. The idea of higher dimensional analogues was intriguing to many people. This article from 1982 is one of the earliest known documents theorizing properties of the 4D Rubik's Cube. In 1988 Melinda Green and Don Hatch wrote MagicCube4D, and the first solutions to the 34 puzzle came shortly thereafter. The Superliminal website was created some time around 2001, and Charles Doan has an excellent video about an old version of MC4D. Communication was very difficult because of how extremely niche hypercubing was.

2002-Present: Mailing List Years

In August 2003, the Hypercubing Yahoo Groups mailing list was created. Anyone could subscribe to the list and join the discussion via email. This greatly improved the speed of sharing knowledge. Many new people joined and discussed methods, puzzles, and even had some speedsolving competitions! It was moderately active, up until Yahoo groups began removing past content in 2019. Click here to view an archive of all the past messages. After that, the Hypercubing Google Groups mailing list was created, with pretty much the same members and type of discussions as before. It wasn't until 2021 that a Discord server was created to speed up communication even more.

2010-2017: Andrey's Influence

Andrey Astrelin was a Russian programmer that became known to the hypercubing community when he claimed to have programmed and solved a 34 before MC4D was created in 1988. He had no proof for this, but was able to program a new simulator in only 129 lines of code, which certified his legitimacy. Andrey's main legacy came in the form of creating many programs for the community, including Magic Puzzle Ultimate, Magic Cube 7D, Magic Simplex 5D, and Magic Hyperbolic Tile. These programs unlocked a massive amount of higher dimensional puzzles that were probably never seen or solved before, enriching the hypercubing community. Unfortunately Andrey passed away in 20171, but his contributions to the hypercubing community will never be forgotten.

2017-Present: Making Physical 4D Puzzles

Throughout 2013 and 2014, Melinda Green got in contact with Oskar van Deventer to try and think of any possible mechanism for a physical 24. After failing to find a reasonable physical mechanism, they ended up going with only using magnets in order to stick the hypercubies together. In 2017 the first design was finalized, and Melinda began selling the puzzles by 3D printing the parts from Shapeways. The quality of the puzzle improved in 2022 when Melinda secured a deal with a company to mass produce the pieces via injection moulding.

In late 2021, some speculation began as to if you could expand the physical 24 into a physical 2x2x2x3 hypercuboid. After Rowan learned that Grant had 3D printed his own physical 24, he challenged him to build a physical 2x2x2x3. Grant completed the challenge, and began designing and printing many more physical puzzles, all the way up to the physical 3x3x3x3. Many physical puzzle designs have still yet to be built...

Physical puzzles page

  • 2013-2015: Brainstorming ideas to make the 2x2x2x2 in 3D space
  • 2017 Feb 08: First puzzle made with magnetic dice mechanism
  • 2017 Apr 26: 2nd 24 made using 3D printing from Shapeways
  • 2022 Feb 03: Grant finishes the 2x2x2x3
  • 2023 May: First brainstorming of floppyhypercubes
  • 2022 May 14: Grant finishes the 2x2x3x3
  • 2022 Jul 06: Grant finishes the 2x3x3x3
  • 2022 Jul 22: Grant finishes the 3x3x3x3
  • 2022 Aug: Markceluna designs a physical simplex
  • 2024 Jan: Tymon finishes making 2x2x2x1 through 3x3x3x1 hypercuboids
  • 2024 Jan: Dietl builds a physical simplex based on a completely different design than Markceluna's

2022-Present: The Hyperspeedsolving Revolution

In late 2021 Hactar began working on the Hyperspeedcube program, which was a massive upgrade over older programs like MC4D. Features like piece filters and customizable keybinds were instrumental to lowering solving times. November 2022 saw the beginning of the race for the 34 world record. The record was traded almost exclusively by Grant and Hactar, smashing all the barriers from sub-10 minutes all the way down to sub-2! There were also a few smaller record races for bigger layered n4s.

  • 2022 Jan: HSC v0.1 includes 3^3 and 3^4, filtering by piece type (not color), and customizable keybinds.
  • 2022 Aug: HSC v0.8 adds modern piece filters. HSC v0.9 adds multiple keybind sets.
  • 2022 Nov 06: First 34 sub-10:00 by Hactar
  • 2022 Nov 18: First 34 sub-9:00 by Rowan
  • 2022 Nov 19: First 34 sub-8:00 by Hactar
  • 2022 Nov 22: First 34 sub-7:00 by Grant
  • 2022 Nov 23: First 34 sub-6:00 by Hactar
  • 2022 Nov 26: First 34 sub-5:00 by Hactar
  • 2022 Dec 07: First 34 sub-4:00 by Grant
  • 2022 Dec 22: First 34 sub-3:00 by Hactar
  • 2023 May 13: First 34 sub-2:00 by Hactar

  1. Read Andrey's biography here