April 14 (UPI) -- A group of students at the University of Michigan's Engineering program built what is believed to be the largest hand-solvable, stationary Rubik's Cube.
The massive 1,500 pound puzzle was unveiled on Thursday at the university's North campus in an event streamed on Facebook Live.
"There is no other human-manipulable cube like this, to the best of our knowledge. That said, it is not technically the largest cube," a spokesperson for the group said. "We're aware of a larger cube that requires the user to literally roll it on the ground to solve and rotate the faces. None of that is required by our stationary design. So to be very precise, it is the world's largest stationary, human manipulable Rubik's cube."
Engineering students Martin Harris, who can solve a Rubik's cube in 43 seconds and Samuelina Wright, who can deconstruct a cube and reassemble it in a solved state, conceived the idea on Pi Day in 2014.
They then recruited two more students, Kelsey Hockstad and Dan Hiemstra, and worked on it for two years until they graduated in 2016.
"The Rubik's Cube has been a consistent source of relaxation and mystery for me over the years, which is what I love most about it," Harris told The Detroit Free Press. "Since high school, I have thought of it as a physical representation of entropy. By inputting enough work, it's possible to make the cube more organized, but its natural tendency is toward chaos."
After graduating, the original group convinced a new crop of students, Jason Hoving, Ryan Kuhn and Doug Nordman, to continue the project to its completion.
"This is a truly amazing and unique kinematic mechanism that functions as a Rubik's Cube," Noel Perkins, a professor of mechanical engineering, who served as an advisor for the group said. "This was entirely their idea, and I am elated, thrilled and slightly sad that it's over."
Wright spoke at the unveiling and described witnessing the completed project as bittersweet.
"It took over my life, but it no longer is a project," she said. "My dream for the cube would be to bring joy and inspiration to anyone who ever uses it and solves it. If it does that, there's nothing I'd rather be behind at UM."