What Are 3D Jigsaw Puzzles? A Beginner’s Guide

Just like how weight training strengthens muscles, your brain requires exercise to perform. Solving a 3d jigsaw puzzles is mental weightlifting to improve thinking and memory. A puzzle comprises multiple separate pieces to construct. The thrill when you complete one is indescribable after hours spent resolving tricky corners. 


What are jigsaw puzzles? 

A jigsaw puzzle comprises multiple differently shaped pieces. Typically, it is an image printed and adhered to material such as cardboard, then split into many parts for players to solve by putting the image together. Fun fact - jigsaw puzzles have a long history. The first one was produced in 1760 and was known as  a "dissected map". Most antiquated jigsaw puzzles were maps used to teach geography! 

Apart from traditional 2D jigsaw puzzles, 3D Jigsaw puzzles are complex and require more problem-solving skills. It may offer you a wonderful me-time experience, a perfect rainy day activity for families, or a great bonding gift for friends and lovers. 

What Are 3D Jigsaw Puzzles


How do 3D Puzzles Work 

We can find 3D jigsaw puzzles made from wood, metal, or even fabric. Unlike two-dimensional puzzles without depth, 3D jigsaws have width, height, and depth.

The most famous 3D jigsaw puzzle is the Rubik’s Cube. Puzzle historian Jeffrey Slocum terms these puzzles as “mechanical puzzles” as their pieces are more intricately cut out, so designers need to be very skillful. It's not just a different cutting process.

The correct material must be used so when constructed, it will look realistic. Puzzle designers can choose simple images, complex art, or models of real objects. They might use tricky images, stunning colors, or repetitive patterns to challenge players. When all parts are complete, it creates a three-dimensional replica or model. Several master designers even avoid straight-edges, so it is even more difficult to fit together. 


Benefits of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles

There are many benefits of 3D Jigsaw puzzles. Read on to find out more.

 Benefits of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles


Improves visual memory and concentration

Firstly, jigsaw puzzles work our entire brain, improving visual memory and concentration. As you focus, you improve visual memory try to recall how the pieces fit. When we do the same task regularly, our thinking follows familiar mental pathways. But when we do something novel, research shows our brain forms new pathways. This helps to slow cognitive decline, as we train our brains to think differently. 


Develops mathematical logic, classification, and association

Secondly, puzzles are a fun way to develop mathematical logic, classification, and association. Mathematics requires reasoning and logical thinking skills. The National Council of Mathematics Teachers recommends that students are explicitly taught these skills. The decomposition of problems into steps, and internal reasoning to choose correct strategies, are important mathematical skills. Being able to classify and associate objects is also part of mathematical skill sets. Students might feel bored solving problem sums, so puzzles are an alternative engagement tool to develop mathematical abilities. 


Improves spatial orientation

Jigsaw puzzles can also improve our ability to understand the spatial relationships between objects. Over time, as children make sense of the puzzle by considering shape and size, it enhances their visual perception ability. Research shows that children who play with puzzles can better imagine how a picture that is flipped or rotated would look. Older adults can also benefit;  researchers say spatial awareness declines with age, the reason why as we get older, we forget our way. 3D Jigsaw puzzles for adults can help them to gain spatial awareness since there is more perceptive depth. 


Improves fine motor skills

Thirdly, handling puzzle pieces strengthens fine motor skills, determined by the muscles in our hands. Puzzle building helps children train motor skills, which they need in order to write well. They turn pieces to decide where to put them, which strengthens hand muscles. Along the way, adults and children also develop better coordination between their hand and their eyes.


Encourages problem-solving and develops patience

The act of putting a jigsaw puzzle together improves patience and problem-solving skills. According to psychologists, young children can concentrate for about 2-5 minutes more than their age. Concentrating longer teaches patience. When the puzzle does not fit, they need to be patient with themselves and try different approaches to complete the puzzle. These are important skills that children need to cultivate when young. For adults, as our own attention spans weaken, puzzles help to retrain patience. 3D jigsaw puzzles also are a digital detox as adults learn to focus without constant online distractions.



Different types of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles

3D Jigsaw Puzzles can be created from different materials and are designed to be do-it-yourself kits. 

Different types of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles


3d Cardboard Puzzles

3d Cardboard Puzzles are images stuck onto cardboard, also known as chipboard. Most manufacturers use chipboard as it is affordable and easy to cut. The material is environmentally friendly and durable for craftwork. However, they might not be very durable compared to wood-backed puzzle pieces. 


3D wooden jigsaw puzzles

3D wooden jigsaw puzzles are mainly made from resin wood, but some manufacturers use high-quality plywood for a smoother finish. To make the wood pieces fit precisely, high-end puzzle designers will use laser cutting so that the corners fit precisely. The puzzles might include unique features such as lights or mechanical gears since wood is a hardier material and the completed puzzle structure usually doubles up as a decor piece. 


3D Plastic  Puzzles

3D Plastic  Puzzles are like traditional 2D puzzles but in a three-dimensional form. Plastic is a malleable material and so you might usually find plastic puzzles used to market cartoon objects from popular shows, to appeal to their fan base. One such example is the Puzzle Poké Ball from Pokemon. 



Difficulty Levels of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles

All  3D jigsaw puzzles range from easy to difficult and impossibly complex. To choose the perfect puzzle, consider the number of pieces, puzzle type, and design.

Difficulty Levels of 3D Jigsaw Puzzles


Based on the Number of Pieces

For 3D jigsaw puzzles marketed to adults, easier ones are usually about 300-750 pieces or less. More sophisticated puzzles come in sizes of 1,000 and go up to 40,000 pieces. Beginners should start working on puzzles that are fewer than a hundred pieces. A challenging puzzle takes experience to assemble and is best for experienced enthusiasts.


Based on Puzzle Type 

Wooden and plastic puzzles usually have fewer pieces than cardboard 3D puzzles because the pieces need to be cut to fit. These are also more durable, and so puzzle makers create these to last. They are easier to do since individual pieces will not have rough, odd ends. Wooden and plastic puzzles will not become flimsy when soaked. 


Based on the Puzzle Design

3D jigsaw puzzles can be building replicas or common everyday objects. Keep in mind that the bigger the puzzle, the more pieces fit together. Colour is also another factor. If the finished product on the cover looks colorful, you might have trouble matching the colors. Ultimately, we recommend choosing a design that you like, as that will motivate you to finish. 


3D Puzzle Tips and Tricks

Finally, you’re convinced of the benefits and you’ve chosen the puzzle you want to work on. How do you ensure that you really finish it instead of becoming cluttered?

3D Puzzle Tips and Tricks

Here are some quick tips and tricks:

1. Have ample space for building

Ensure you start the puzzle building process in a room with enough space, or you might end up losing some parts!

2. Separate all the pieces and a good classification

If you’re working with a child, it is the perfect time to teach words such as curved, straight, jagged to help them strengthen spatial awareness. Get them to classify the pieces with you. 

3. Choose the pieces with borders first

For 3D puzzles, the pieces with the borders will outline the structure of the model. This helps you build a rough idea of the entire product.

4. Follow the building sequence on the instructions

It might be tempting to jump steps or you might have an impatient partner that thinks they’ve got it. But follow the sequence given to you on the instructions, and you’ll be fine. 

5. Teamwork is the dreamwork

Choose your puzzle partners and solve the puzzle together. It is an awesome way to bond as everyone puts their unique skills together. 



Introducing the 3D luminous globe by The Woodsy

Now it’s time to go puzzle shopping. The Luminous Puzzle Globe by The Woodsy is a stunning 3D jigsaw puzzle. The complete product is a wooden globe ornament with names of landmasses, seas, and oceans printed in a beautiful gothic script. It doubles up as a night light too.

There is also a miniature magnifying glass to view every detail. You can even turn the globe using the wheel activation structure. At 180 pieces, this is a do-able puzzle for adults and young children above age 4.

Christmas is almost here, and yet for most of us around the globe, the pandemic situation persists. Since we are mostly at home, a 3D jigsaw puzzle for adults and children is the best way to stay entertained.

Perhaps you have family members that you cannot visit? The Luminous Globe from Woodsy is a way of saying, “I miss you, stay safe” to them. When they switch this on at night, they will feel your warmth. Or maybe you realize you need to give your brain a workout!

Whether for yourself or for your loved ones, this aesthetically pleasing globe will surely catch your guests’ eyes when they come to visit. If you have more questions, browse the website and hear our story. Happy puzzle building! 



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