A replacement puzzle piece

This falls into the odd request category - at least for me. My wife just finished a 2000 piece puzzle and 3 were missing. Bugged the heck out of her.

She asked me to glowforge the 3 missing pieces. I took the challenge, after all - it gave me something to play with :slight_smile:

This was challenging - maybe I should have done it differently (like trying to forge cut directly using outline mode), but I traced the missing pieces onto a bit of paper, scanned it, fixed it up in Gimp to create a solid filled body (learned several new tricks there), pulled that into Inkscape for a bitmap to path conversion, and then printed the result using some cardboard. They fit perfectly.

And I don’t want to do that again :slight_smile:


Bonus points! Take a picture of the puzzle, heal up those areas where the piece was missing, print, glue, cut :slight_smile: It won’t be a perfect print match, but from 2-3 feet, you won’t be able to tell.


explain please :thinking:

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I was thinking the same thing.


Content-aware fill, or just use a clone brush to fill the area, etc.


What master puzzlemaker @jbmanning5 suggests is that you scan or take a picture of the puzzle from the box and print the area about where each missing piece is, glue to the cardboard and cut with the outline to get a reasonably close replacement piece.


That’s an even better idea doing it from the box cover. :+1:

So here’s what I would do using that suggestion.

  • Take the picture of the box where the missing piece was.

  • Crop it and resize as needed

  • Overlay the piece you modeled in your design program to where it matches the missing piece

  • make an outline the same size as the image. In Illustrator, you can select the image, create clipping mask, release clipping mask to make an outline automatically. Just assign it a stroke size and unique color because this will be a separate operation later

  • hide the shape outline and then print the graphic. Trim it to where it’s just the image left.

  • upload to Glowforge

  • score the rectangle outline; this is your placeholder for the printed image. You can either score it and just open the lid and glue it. Or, cut the placeholder out, remove with tape, xacto knife or whatever to leave the board in the same place, and then glue it and reinsert it.

  • ignore the outline cut and cut your puzzle piece and voila!

With three pieces, you could just set it all up in one file on one piece of material and be good to go.


My thought exactly, or you could clone the sky and watch folk go crazy trying to find where it fits? :smiling_imp:


I love the idea of letting the algorithm fill it in. Then remove another piece and repeat. Eventually you have replaced the entire puzzle with computer generated nonsense.


Never have to buy another puzzle again. Just remake it piece by piece whenever you’re bored.


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Bonus points if your initial puzzle picture is of the Ship of Theseus.

this appeals to me on a level I’m not entirely comfortable with


Is this by any chance a puzzle of Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy? I feel like I recognize it.

You are a good husband

Bingo. Yes, I am pretty sure that is the name of it. Passed on to another masochist (at least I am guessing that based on the mutterings about how difficult that puzzle was).

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Trust me all - I did consider filling in the missing image from the puzzle cover. Several things stopped me though. The only technical one was trying to stuff that scrap of cardboard (actually more paste board as it did not have corrugations) through my printer, and then going through the fun of getting a good registration the Forge. The registration is a “solved” technical challenge - easy enough to do (like us a jig, …) but would take time.

I think if I was to do more with puzzles - I would make the “beer box puzzle” from one of my local favorites. There was a nice posting suggesting that (sorry can’t find it to link it, my google foo is low this morning)


This one?

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That is indeed the one ! (And a pretty good beer too).

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