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0018A Pizza Puzzle

For playing shop, the toddlers had got a tiny pizza box. An empty one. Time to build a toy pizza!

Now what would a pizza be worth if it wasn’t divisible into pizza slices? So a pizza puzzle it had to be. To keep things simple – both for me while designing, and for the toddlers when playing – I set out to create a pizza made out of six identical, interlocking slices1:

Design in Fusion 360, early stage.Adding some ruccola to make the toppings look more interesting.3d printing two test slices.

As usual I had been far too optimistic regarding the required clearance measures at first, and so the initially printed slices, while looking beautiful, were impossible to connect to each other2.

For the next try I considerably increased the clearances and also redesigned the interlocking bits, changing them from being smoothly curved to a rather angular design (which was a lot easier to deal with while using the “offset” feature in Fusion 360 to get the required clearance). With these changes in place, the slices fit perfectly:

Adding Some Color

White pizza is rather uncommon, so some coloring was needed. After preparing the printed parts3 with plastic primer (affiliate link), I used simple acrylic paint in yellow, red, and green to make the pizza … well, still not at all realistic, but at least less monochromatic:

Painting the slices.Chef’s suggestion: Pizza Gaudy

Practical Test

Turns out the rather loose fit of the slices was a perfect match for the dexterity of the toddlers (2 and 3 years): If assembling the pizza would require more force and/or exactness I’m quite sure they wouldn’t make it – or at least lose interest before having managed it. Also, having different slices that only could be assembled in one specific way4 would be asking too much of them at the moment. But with its loose fit and identical slices, the toddlers have a lot of fun piecing together the pizza, both inside and outside its pizza box.

“Pizza is here!”Taking pizza slices out of their box to reassemble them into the original pizza seems rather unusual, but who am I to judge?

Downloads

If you want to print your own, get the STL file from Thingiverse.

To change or improve the design, download the orginal design file (Fusion 360).

Buon appetito!


  1. Using Fusion 360 I first created a component representing a single slice. Next, to get an impression how the completed pizza would look like, I created 5 clones of this component, each rotated individually. Together with the original component these would form a complete pizza. And because these were clones (instead of copies) I could then modify the original slice and all the clones would automatically update themselves accordingly. This came in very handy while arranging the toppings and also made it easy to visually check the clearances between the interlocking parts. 

  2. Using a hammer to whack them in place might have worked (I didn’t try). 

  3. Printed using standard, no-frills PLA filament. 

  4. Also known as “puzzle”. 


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