There’s nothing quite like a puzzle to liven up the brain and stretch the imagination. As our minds grow, so does our capacity to exercise them, and this is where 3D puzzles come in to make our play time more dynamic.
With simple jigsaw puzzles occupying almost every household, they are a familiar task for anyone who’s had a family project for a rainy day. Functioning as both puzzles and statues, it’s easy to see why anyone who enjoyed slotting those little cardboard pieces together would turn to 3D jigsaw puzzles as well.
3D puzzles range from educational to downright cool, and all of them make for fun screenless activities for the whole family.
Here, we will look at some of the coolest and most fun 3D puzzles for adults to put together in their downtime, and puzzles for kids to enjoy by themselves or with their parents. From landmarks to animals, ships and fictional heroes, there’s a 3D puzzle out there for just about everyone!
See also: our buyer’s guide for the best 3D printers for kids.
See also: we recommend the best 3D pens for kids and adults.
3D Ship Puzzles – Setting Sale
Beginning with perhaps the most famous kind of 3D puzzle, model ships are a common and familiar pastime. Don’t worry, the bottle is optional.
Below are just two examples of our favorite 3D ship puzzles, though there are hundreds out there for you to enjoy!
3D Titanic Puzzle
Perhaps the most famous ship in the world, the Titanic is undoubtedly one of the coolest 3D puzzles available.
Equipped with LEDs to mimic the cabin lights, the 3D Titanic puzzle’s warm glow is also a very cool night time decoration.
The Titanic, available here, is also a great introduction to 3D puzzles, as it requires no glue or cutting. While it is mainly designed as a 3D puzzle for adults, its 10+ age rating makes it a great activity to share with your kids.
Queen Anne’s Revenge
Has there ever been a cooler name for a ship, let alone a 3D puzzle? Made famous as the notorious ship of Edward Teach, better known to the world as Blackbeard, Queen Anne’s Revenge is a 3D puzzle for pirate fans who enjoy the dark and gothic designs of yore.
Also including decorative lights and its very own Jolly Roger, this is a 3D puzzle for adults who want to escape back to the romantic fantasies of the pirate life that we have all toyed with from time to time.
3D Hogwarts Puzzle – Working Magic
Love it or hate it, Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Thanks to its prevalence, Harry Potter 3D puzzles are easy to find and fun to construct, the most intricate of which is the iconic Hogwarts 3D puzzle.
11th century gothic English architecture is known throughout the world as the fantastical settings of many a historical tale. And the Hogwarts 3D jigsaw puzzle is a pretty great find for anyone who’s a fan of both the beloved franchise and puzzles.
Since this is a 3D jigsaw puzzle, it can be put together and taken apart as often as you like to keep the fun alive either as a family activity or personal project.
All in all, the Hogwarts 3D puzzle for kids and adults is an ideal purchase or gift that belongs on the shelf of any fan.
3D Sphere Puzzles – The World Awaits
3D Globe Puzzle
Those used to flat jigsaws may be pleasantly surprised to learn that 3D jigsaw puzzles can come in perfect spheres. The only 3D puzzle more iconic than the ship is the globe.
This 3D globe puzzle is a great project to undertake with your kids to teach them basic geography while having fun, making it a great educational exercise.
The countries and regions of the globe are fully marked, and the puzzle even comes with a stand so it can act as a real globe when constructed.
3D Soccer Ball Puzzle
If you want a sphere puzzle with a little more challenge and a lot more style, look no further than this soccer ball, an original 3D crystal puzzle that makes for a stylish ornament for the creative sports fan.
The soccer ball is a 3D puzzle for adults and kids alike, the pattern makes for a brainteaser while not being too difficult to put together, and the effect of the trophy-like crystal makes for an attractive decoration.
3D Animal Puzzles – Into the Tiles
Almost everyone has a favorite animal, and most of those who do likely have at least one decorative version of that animal somewhere in their home or garden. 3D animal puzzles are a creative and fun way to make those decorations yourself without needing tools.
There are many 3D animal puzzles out there, so we’re only going to look at some of our favorites.
3D Wooden Animal Puzzles
- Elephant 3D puzzle available here
- Whale 3D puzzle available here
- Shark 3D puzzle available here
- Wolf 3D puzzle available here
Of all the different styles of 3D wooden puzzles, these are one of the coolest. With segmented pieces that slot together into a recognizable shape, these 3D puzzles resemble statuettes rather than toys when completed.
There are a lot of animal puzzles made in this way, including elephants and even paper whales, but our favorites are the wooden wolf and shark for their unique and cool designs.
3D Crystal Animal Puzzles
One of the cutest designs on this list, the stacked turtle 3D crystal puzzle is a nice 37-piece ornament that is easy to assemble and fun to look at.
Recommended for ages 12 and up, the stacked turtles are far from a headscratcher, but that doesn’t make them any less fun to construct!
Also off the cuteness radar is this 3D crystal rabbit puzzle holding its favorite treat. With 43 pieces that slot together, it’s another child-friendly 3D puzzle to delight builders of any age.
Arguably not an animal, but very cool nonetheless, this dragon is a unique 3D crystal puzzle for the more fantasy-minded puzzler. While easy to build for more advanced builders, it will still make for a create DIY ornament.
3D Crystal Vase Puzzles
Possibly the most attractive addition to this list, the vase is an elegant 3D crystal puzzle that starts as a brainteaser and ends as an eye-catching ornament.
Available with small red flowers or larger pink ones, this is a 3D puzzle for those who want to add a little more color to their downtime, and a little more light to their living rooms.
Official 3D Disney Puzzles – Parts of Your World
Disney films are a huge part of so many childhoods, and the characters and settings that delighted many people of all ages are available as 3D puzzles for kids and adults to build and enjoy.
3D Crystal Stitch Puzzle
Stitch is one of the many Disney mascots that is easily recognizable and adorable to boot. While it may be a kid’s movie, this is still a fun 3D puzzle for adults to enjoy in their spare time by themselves, or with their ohana.
The much beloved Experiment 626 is available as a 3D crystal puzzle in the rather fitting color of Hawaiian blue.
3D Disney Castle Puzzle
Disney is famous not only for its renowned characters, but also its easily recognizable locations, the best known of which is the iconic Disney Castle.
This 3D jigsaw puzzle is not only a nostalgic trip for any Disney fan, but a wonderful exercise for parents to enjoy with their kids.
At 216 pieces, the Disney Castle jigsaw puzzle can be done in a long afternoon, or in a few spread out sessions. While it’s designed to displayed after completion, the construction process can still be repeated at your leisure.
3D Landmark Puzzles – From Paris to Dubai
- Eiffel Tower 3D puzzle available here
- Arc de Triomphe available here
- Paris Skyline 3D puzzle available here
DIY monuments aren’t just for miniature model enthusiasts, and many of the most famous landmarks in the world are available as 3D puzzles to create your favorite monuments and landscapes at home.
Paris is well known for its monuments, and any fans of the Parisian skyline will be happy to know that the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are available to build as 3D puzzles.
For a more inclusive project, there’s even a Paris Skyline 3D jigsaw containing everything from the Louvre to Notre Damme.
Those who aren’t keen on the immortal city of lights may also be interested to know that same skyline style 3D puzzles are also available for Dubai, San Fransisco, and London.
All of these skylines include LEDs to bring whichever city you chose to life day or night.
3D Metal Puzzles – Something Shiny
3D puzzles aren’t all wood and plastic, so for a more durable and modern look to your brainteasers, look no further than these 3D metal puzzles!
Wuhan Yellow Crane Tower
- Yellow crane tower 3D puzzle available here
One of the most famous landmarks in eastern culture, as well as a testament to architecture’s silver ratio, the Yellow Crane Tower makes for an expensive but immensely satisfying 3D metal puzzle.
Metal Dragon Puzzle
- Available to buy here
Cooler than the average fictional lizard, this model dragon is an excellent 3D metal puzzle for any fantasy fan.
While more of a model than a brainteaser, there are few better ways to spend an afternoon than by building your own dragon!
Metal Motorbike Puzzle
- Available to buy here
Cars and planes may be the most recognizable models to any enthusiast, but it doesn’t get much cooler than a 3D metal puzzle of a motorbike.
For ages 14 and up, the metal motorbike puzzle is a great – and detailed – model that’s fun to construct and cool to display
Free 3D Printed Puzzles – Do It Yourself!
If simply purchasing a 3D puzzle isn’t your style, there are a range of 3D printable puzzle ideas out there for you to make and build yourself!
From color-matching puzzles to simple build 3D printed puzzles for kids, below are a few 3D printed wood and plastic puzzles you can make at home.
3D Printed Plus Cube Puzzle by grafalex here / Soccer Ball 3D Puzzle by JustinSDK here / Tower of Hanoi 3D Puzzle here / 3D Printed Animal Puzzle for Toddlers here / 3D Printed Cube Building Puzzle by elfnor here