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Solving a 3x3 Rubic Cube

Basics of the cube

3 layers (top, middle, and bottom)

6 faces Front (F), Back (B), Up (U), Down (D), Left (L), Right (R)

Color codes are Blue (B), Green (G), Orange (O), Red (R), Yellow (Y), White (W)

Total 26 pieces (9 in top and bottom layers each and 8 in the middle layer) 6 center pieces (one on each face, these never move) 8 corner pieces (4 in the top layer and 4 in the bottom layer) 12 edge pieces (4 in each layer)

Movement of pieces

The clockwise movement of cube faces is shown by one letter face codes (e.g., F for clockwise movement of the front face).

The anticlockwise movement of faces is shown by letter codes followed by prime sign (e.g., F' for anticlockwise movement of the front face).

Steps to solve

Top layer

Fix this layer first. It should not be very difficult since there is no need to worry about other layers and faces.

Middle layer

Fixing this layer requires two different moves, both of which involve moving the center piece from the bottom layer to the middle layer.

First look at the bottom layer and find an edge piece that belongs to one of the edges of the middle layer. Then perform one of the following two moves. Repeat this process until the entire middle layer is solved.

Clockwise movement: Center piece in the bottom layer becomes the LEFT EDGE piece in the middle layer.

F U F U F U' F' U' F' U'

Anti-clockwise movement: Center piece in the bottom layer becomes the RIGHT EDGE piece in the middle layer.

F' U' F' U' F' U F U F U

Bottom layer

There are four sets of moves to fix this layer.

Set 1: Two-corner swap

R’ D’ R F D F’ R’ D R D2

Set 2: Three-corner shuffle

R’ D’ R D’ R’ D2 R D2

Set 3: Edge flipper left

L’ R F’ L R’ D2 L’ R F’ L R’

Set 4: Edge flipper right

F L B L’ B’ F’ D B’ D’ B

Do Set 1 first so that all corners come to right locations. Don't worry about the orientations of pieces at this point. Just make sure that their positions are correct. See the following diagram as a guide. Remember, this is the bottom layer. So, the top row pieces in this case (BGO-OB-OB) must be your front bottom edge when you begin to solve!

Now, use Set 2 to orient the corners correctly. See the following diagram to understand how pieces move and orient your cube correctly.

It is important to realize that the top corner piece (in the bottom layer) does not move. The other three corners rotate in a clockwise manner.

Finally, use Set 3 and 4 to fix the edge pieces. See the following diagram to help plan your moves.

Last updated on December 21, 2010.

rubic_cube.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/08 23:34 by Bhagwati Gupta