Big Cubes (also known as bigcubes or NxNxN cubes (N>3)) are cubical puzzles having an order larger than the usual 3x3x3 cube. Until the release of V-cubes, the only mass-produced big cubes were the 4x4x4 Cube and the 5x5x5 Cube. With the V-cube technology it is now possible to mass-produce larger cubes, even up to the 11x11x11 Cube; already, it is possible for anyone to buy the 6x6x6 Cube and the 7x7x7 Cube. A cube of any size can exist in theory, but the largest cubes can only be played with on computer simulators such as Gabbasoft or IsoCubeSim. In computer simulators, virtually any size is possible (although the larger the size is the slower the program will run), but very few people have ever attempted any cube larger than the 20x20x20 Cube.
There are many methods for solving big cubes in general:
- The Reduction method, by far the most common big cubes method, takes advantage of the fact that big cubes are composed of corners (three stickers per piece), groups of edges (two stickers per piece), and groups of centers (one sticker per piece), arranged in the same way as in the 3x3x3 cube. The solver groups all the centers by color using intuitive block building techniques, then groups all of the edges by color using commutator-like moves, and finally solves the rest of the cube by turning only the outer layers and treating it like a 3x3x3 cube.
- The K4 method, invented by Thom Barlow, is designed for the 4x4x4 Cube but has been extended to larger cubes. The solver first builds two opposite groups of centers and uses blockbuilding to create a 1x(N-1)xN block (where N is the size of the cube). Then, the solver puts that block on L and finishes the remaining center groups without breaking the block. The next step is to pair up a fourth edge group and finish the L layer, and then place that layer on D. Finally, the solver uses CLL to solve the corners and finishes all of the edge pieces with commutators.
- The Cage method is a method that solves all of the center pieces last, and has the advantage of being able to deal with parity very easily. The first step is to solve all of the edges and corners (relative to the fixed centers if there are any), which can be done many different ways and varies depending on the cuber. After that, the centers are all solved with commutators, typically one or two at a time.
- Less popular (and often unnamed) methods include layer-by-layer solving; using columns to build the first N-1 layers; creating and expanding a block of pieces until only two adjacent layers are left; solving the centers and corners first; and solving the first and last layers, then the middle layer edges, and finally the rest of the centers.
The largest cube
As of 14 January 2016, the largest order cube is a 22x22 cube made by YouTube user corenpuzzle.
Prior to this, the largest order magic cube was 17x17x17 cubes large and consists of 1,539 parts. It's called "Over The Top" and was created by Oskar van Deventer (Netherlands) and was presented at the New York Puzzle Party Symposium in New York, USA, on 12 February 2011. Record was accepted by Guinness World Records. It is the largest cube available to the public, if at a high price. On 4 March 2017, YuXin announced a commercially available 17x17 cube via Facebook.