V-cube is a brand of cube puzzles which started selling cubes in June 2008. For the moment they only sell the 2x2x2, 5x5x5, 6x6x6, and 7x7x7 puzzles, but they have plans to go from 3x3x3 all the way through 11x11x11.
V-cubes were invented by Panagiotis Verdes and are produced by Verdes Innovations S.A., Verdes's company located in Greece. The design of these cubes is completely new and different from all pre-existing designs, as it is based on the cone and as the pieces hook together instead of simply being held together by the centers. In addition, the plastic used for the V-cubes is a bit more elastic than the normal plastic for cubes. This leads to several advantages:
- V-cube pieces are much less likely to break than pieces of any other cube, and several people have tested this by drop-kicking the cubes, throwing them across the room or onto concrete, and so on, and then immediately playing with them afterwards. This would destroy a normal cube.
- When one piece of a V-cube pops out, the remaining pieces are still held in place, so the puzzle does not collapse like an Eastsheen 4x4 or 5x5 typically does. Because of this, even if a V-cube is loose enough to pop frequently, it will remain stable until the piece is placed back in, and it is even possible to do turns (such as finishing an algorithm) while the piece is missing.
- V-cubes seem to be significantly smoother than other brands, even out of the box, and their design allows them to cut corners and be fingertricked on without any lubrication or wearing in. This makes them excellent for speedcubing.
It is very important to note that V-cube was also the first company to ever mass-produce the 6x6 and 7x7 puzzles. In fact, only a handful of these higher-order cubes have ever created by anyone else, and none of those designs were stable enough to be mass-produced. Not only are the V-cubes the first to have such large sizes, however, but every size of V-cube can be speedsolved, and the V-cube 5x5 is far better than any other brand on the market. In short, buying a set of V-cubes is very highly recommended for anyone who is interested in solving big cubes.
This is almost certainly the best type of 5x5. The mechanism incorporates new principles which allow it to have low friction but also to remain intact even when several pieces are removed. Although it can take some time to break in, this type of 5x5 to the point where it is very easy to turn, a V-cube 5x5 will easily cut corners without being broken in or lubed at all.
V-Cube is currently the only manufacturer of 6x6x6 cubes. This cube has a clicking mechanism to keep a hidden inner layer it has from coming out of alignment and it does pop quite frequently.
V-Cube is currently the only manufacturer of 7x7x7 cubes.
V-Cubes were initially announced in 2003 as Olympic Cubes. It was initially believed to be spam on the Yahoo! speedsolvingrubikscube forum. Although patents were announced in 2004, there was little information about V-Cubes even in early 2007. Later in 2007, prototypes of V-Cube 5 through7 were sent to Frank Morris, the world record holder for 4x4 and 5x5 at the time.
Patents and controversy
The V-Cube is protected by patent in many parts of the world, which has led to some controversy regarding knock-offs. Even puzzle types that are not available, such as the Maru 4x4x4, are considered in violation of patent, as the mechanism is inspired by V-Cubes. See for example the Speedsolving thread Dayan Guhong vs. V-Cube Patent Infringement
The US patent can be found on Google Patents.