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44.5: Single Set Origami – Winners Announced + Contest Hibernation
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Many wonderful submissions for contest 44, the single set origami challenge. Bit first, an announcement: Contest & Gallery Hibernation Begins This is the last contest we’ll be holding in the near future, and at the end of the month we’ll be discontinuing gallery prizes. As many of you have already noticed, we’ve been a zero income company for the past few weeks. We can’t sell Zen...

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44: Hex Sheet Origami
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This contest stretches your imagination more than magnet technique. Magnet origami is often experimentation first, and object pareidolia second. Instead of trying to create with the intent of similarity, it’s more like cloud watching while your fingers stir the clouds. Magnet origami is one of the basic techniques that are uncommonly explored, yet alone presents possibilities one could never finish exploring. Start with a sheet of Zen – 216...

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43.5: Castle Submissions – Winners Announced
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1st Place: Mathnetism Fancifully proportioned castle, with stylistically coherent build pattern. The close packed parallel lattice pattern is found on nearly every surface, yet details are distinct and seamlessly integrated. A welcoming symmetry at the gates flows into a variety of believable buildings. Would love to see a time-lapse of this build. Simply titled Castle, Mathnetism wins $150 Zen Credits for first place. 2nd Place: Tend2it Cleverly catered for the thumbnail, this...

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43: Castle Construction
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A man’s home may seem to be his castle on the outside; inside is more often his nursery. -Clare Boothe Luce The January 2015 contest (#43) is to make a castle or fortress with any number of Zen Magnets that you choose to.  What qualifies as a castle, is in the eye of the imagineer. The sculpture must be made only of Zen Magnets....

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42.5: Non-Circular Planetary Gear Created
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Mathnetism Has Succeeded.. .. in designing a planetary gear set, with non-circular planet gears, using only magnet spheres. This was an expert build, of a genius design. $300 Zen Awarded. Here’s his demo video: And here’s our recreation of Mathnetism’s design, to confirm form and function: The video above is already in red/cyan, since YouTube 3D seems less consistent with it’s YT3D feature. In...

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42: Wanted: Non-Circular Planetary Gear Set
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Wanted: A non-circular Epicyclic gear system, with at least 3 planetary gears. Bounty: ($200 + $50 * Months After September 2014) Zen Credits. This is not a standard contest. Similar to Contest #12, we don’t know if what we’re asking for is possible, and thus there is no deadline. The contest is over once an object is successfully made, or the contest continues forever. The bounty will increase by...

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41.5: Super Smash Contestants – Winner Announced
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 Difficult contest with relatively few submissions, but all were remarkable. 1st Place: Ffrangconator – $100 A colorful Link, formed to recognizable shape, with a few wonderful backgrounds. This scene was originally going to be in a stop motion animation, but was difficult to animate. Perfect match for this contest, however  The post processed background is great for the thumbnail view, though it’s a bit distracting...

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41: Super Smash Sculptures
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Everything not saved will be lost.  – Nintendo “Quit Screen” message The July 2014 contest is to create a 3D Sculpture of a character from Super Smash Bros Melee using a maximum of 1728 magnet spheres of any brand. It’s a pretty wide selection of characters from the Nintendo universe, and you can have a shot at any one of them. This is a...

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40.5: Abstract Tree Sequel – Winners Announced
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1st Place: Mathnetism Simply titled Tree by Magnetism, and referred to by us as Tree of Reflective Wavy Foliage. “The main subunit for this design is a dodecagon [sheet] wrapped around a core. These wrapped dodecagons form the branches and leaves of the tree and are joined by a 6-ring stack trunk.”  The reflections on the inner trunk between the 10 side sheets are especially unique. The...

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40: Abstract Tree Encore
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“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” ― Chad Sugg The June 2014 contest (#40) is the second tree sculpting contest, our first was contest 10. Again, much lateral liberty on what you make. Of all possible sculptures that could be considered a tree, most of them are going to be fictional, rather than modeled...

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39.5: Flagship Video Results
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Flagship Video Contest Results We received 61 entries, 44 of them qualified for at least a free set of magnets, about thirty are arguably better than the original video, but only 12 could be selected for the judging panel. The amount of video generated by the magnet sphere community was incredible. The 44 qualified videos amount to 4 hours of video, and incredible amounts of...

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39: The Flagship Video Contest
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  $3500 Front Page Video Contest $2500 First Place $1000 Second Place Free magnets for all who attempt.*   The biggest prizes we’ve ever offered. All winnings via Cash or Bitcoin. Four years and four million views later, the original Zen Magnets video has gotten a bit stale. Zen Magnets, Dexterity, and Videography experience. If you have at least 2 of the 3, then...

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38.5: Humanoid 2 – Winners Announced
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1st Place: Poolshark “I started with an enormous, elaborate design but in the end switched to a smaller 2 set (+10 balls) man standing on his head with pretty basic design techniques.” It’s a novel and inspiring clean design. As an icon among eight others, it’s simplicity stands out strong. One of the most fun poses a two set magnet man could hold! Poolshark wins $65 in...

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38: Humanoid V2
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38: Humanoid V2

Feb 12, 2014 by

It’s true that the human body is more vulnerable than the products of the human mind. – Salman Rushdie The February 2014 contest is to create a humanoid sculpture, using a miminum of 432 Zen magnets, and a maximum of 1728. Over thirty contests ago we had the very first homunculus contest. This month is the long awaited sequel. What is considered a humaoid?...

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37.5: Hanging Sculpture – Winners Announced
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1st Place: EraZorx EraZorX, the master magnet sphere impressionist, is back. Combining the disciplines of frame architecture with ring curvature control to create a sculpture of one of the few animals that lives most of it’s life hanging on it’s feet.  “One of my breakthroughs in development [of the Hanging Bat] was realizing I didn’t need to fill-in the wings, and could just work with...

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37: A Hanging Ornament
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You will find truth more quickly through delight than gravity. Let out a little more string on your kite. -Alan Cohen The January 2014 contest is to create a hanging sculpture using a maximum of 432 Zen Magnets. This is one of the less restrictive contests, so impress with your imagination. Only 4 magnets can be making contact with the hanging surface, and the...

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36.5: 2R Hex Set – Winners Announced
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1st Place: Waynehjr1 “Seahorse Pride”. A wonderful representation of a seahorse proudly riding his tail across the waters surface, almost like a dolphin. “This was a little tricky getting it to balance properly, but a magnetic mirror under the scenes helped a lot. This was one of my first creations when tackling this contest.” Nice post processing effects. $65 in Zen Credits awarded, usable...

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36: Single Set Simplification
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It’s easy to forget the possibilities of just one set of 216 magnets. A vast universe of potential can be invisible to us when we’re set in our ways, molded by habit and past experience. Break free from what you normally do with magnets, and life. Take only one set of Zen Magnets, and make them into twelve hexagon sheets like this: For the December...

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35.5: Sea Life Contest – Winners, Bitcoin Announced
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Zen Credits can now be exchanged for Bitcoin. Details following winners announcements.   1st Place: KylarF The judges must have had a difficult time with this contest, since there were so many wonderful entries. One dynamic that changes when a contest has many entries (like 15) as opposed to less entries (like 6) is that people are less likely to view the full size...

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35: Two Set Sea Life
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You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean. Alan Watts The November 2013 contest is to sculpt a single organism of the sea. A fish, a turtle, a dolphin, or even a sponge. Whichever one living creature you choose, it must live the majority of it’s life underwater. A strict limit of...

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34.5: Shadow Projection 2 – Winners Announced
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1st Place: PleasantZen This piece, titled The Tree on Fire is not about the beauty of magnet spheres, nor the shadow created by them. Rather, the fantastic piece is the result at the intersection of the two. The magnets seem to lay the branches, with individual spheres placed like fruit in a tree. And the foliage is filled by the the shadows on a...

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34: Shadow Projection: Second Generation
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A sequel to the unique Shadow Projection contest of October 2012. Geometric patterns require solid magnet skills, but inventing eye catching shadows with them stretches a whole different part of the imagination. Exactly like last October, the focus will not be on the magnet sculpture itself, but instead on the photography of a shadow dropped by the sculpture. To make a distinct shadow, use...

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33.5: 5 Ring Construction – Winners Announced
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1st Place: David Eye catching, when reduced to a small icons. This object was “made entirely with 3 pentagon rings put into a triangles, then made into octahedrons using 8 triangles. Each octahedron is then attached to another on the vertex and then layered with a few more in-complete octahedrons to give it more of a flat face.” A grand object, though quality at...

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