Skeleton puzzle design

I used to love assembling skeleton puzzles of dinosaurs as a kid like this and then I found this site of different kinds of animal skeletons that are really awesome. I would really like to design some different versions of these kind of skeleton puzzles but I have no idea where to start. I know of Autodesk 123D Make but I don’t think thats quite what I’m looking for. I was just wondering if any one has had experience with making something like this from scratch and could give me some pointers on where to start.


Here’s an instructable that shows how one individual did it.


That is actually my instructable. I’m looking forward to making some new designs when I get my glowforge and optimizing my current design.


Very impressive and nice instructable. The glowforge will definitely be easier than a bandsaw, especially for new designs.

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Thanks. I appreciate that. I’m looking forward to being able to larger pieces with the pass through option if needed.

I’m making a list, probably like many others, of future projects. The Glowforge can’t get here soon enough.

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I hope you slap a few things into the catalog @smoseley. I also greatly enjoy these type of puzzles, but almost never consider them worth the cost when I see them at the store (since either I build them and kids only get to look at them, or kids build/play with them and something breaks in the first hour, often rendering the whole thing useless).

There is a business card 3D printed T-rex skeleton on Thingiverse. So scaling that one up gets a nice instant laser cut option. Would be interesting to build a few intended for laser cutting though.

The skeleton puzzles work really well if the slots fit together tightly. Some of the different puzzles can be nearly impossible to put together if the pieces keep sliding apart with the help of gravity so you need to take that into consideration with your design. Even 1/4" plywood can vary a great deal in thickness so it will be great to be able to measure the thickness of the material and then scale the laser cut pattern accordingly.

big internet, small world. I love it.

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