BURRTOOLS was initially very much based on PUZZLESOLVER3D by André
van Kammen but, by now has diverged quite a bit from that. We strongly
advise you to read this user guide since there are some features in
BURRTOOLS that work somewhat differently to their counterparts in
PUZZLESOLVER3D and there are also a lot of functions that
PUZZLESOLVER3D doesn't have. Below are the most prominent differences
that need your attention:
- BURRTOOLS doesn't handle holes automatically as PUZZLESOLVER3D does.
This may at first sound like a disadvantage but in fact it isn't.
Unless you select 'Outer limits of result must be filled' on
the solve tab, PUZZLESOLVER3D treats all cubes of the target shape as
cubes that might be filled but don't need to be. But knowing which
cubes must be filled speeds up the search process. The more
there are of these (as compared to the total number of cubes), the
faster the solver will run, as fewer possibilities are left to test.
BURRTOOLS requires you to specify exactly which cubes in the result
shape must be filled and which ones may be empty.
- The BURRTOOLS solver doesn't automatically detect multiple identical
pieces. You need to specify if a piece is used more than once. If you
just copy them the way you do in PUZZLESOLVER3D the program will find
way too many solutions. For example, with Bruce Love's LOVELY 18 PIECE
BURR it will find nearly 40,000,000 times as many solutions as there
really are. So be careful.
- BURRTOOLS allows you to define multiple problems in a single
session. So you can, for example, save all the SOMA CUBE (Piet Hein)
problems within one single file.
- BURRTOOLS has no limits to the number and size of pieces. You can
have as many pieces as you want and they are not confined to a grid of
- There is no limit to the number of possible positions for the
pieces. So BURRTOOLS won't stop and complain about too many placements.
As long as your computer has sufficient memory the program will merrily
continue working — even if it would take longer than the universe
exists — to complete the search.
- BURRTOOLS supports other spacegrids besides the cube space supported
by PUZZLESOLVER3D. This allows the design and analysis of completely
- BURRTOOLS knows piece ranges, which enables you to search for
puzzles and not just solve them.
Importing PUZZLESOLVER3D files
BURRTOOLS has capabilities for importing PUZZLESOLVER3D
files. So there's no need to redo your designs from scratch, although
some post-editing may be required because of the differences in
handling duplicates of pieces and holes in the puzzle.
There are 2 possibilities for the holes. Depending on whether the
option ``Fill outer Cubes'' is enabled or not when you solve the puzzle
with PUZZLESOLVER3D, you must either make the inner cubes of the result
shape or the whole shape variable if you want to get the same results
with BURRTOOLS. This can be done with the tools described in section
Constraining Tools. With these tools you can make a shapes inner or
outer cubes variable.
The duplicate pieces are handled automatically. BURRTOOLS adds all
shapes to the new puzzle and marks the duplicates. The unused shapes
are marked as unused and can be deleted if they are not required.