# How big a table do you need for your jigsaw puzzle?

• Published in 2023
In the collections
Jigsaw puzzles are typically labeled with their finished area and number of pieces. With this information, is it possible to estimate the area required to lay each piece flat before assembly? We derive a simple formula based on two-dimensional circular packing and show that the unassembled puzzle area is $\sqrt{3}$ times the assembled puzzle area, independent of the number of pieces. We perform measurements on 9 puzzles ranging from 333 cm$^2$ (9 pieces) to 6798 cm$^2$ (2000 pieces) and show that the formula accurately predicts realistic assembly scenarios.

## Other information

key
Howbigatabledoyouneedforyourjigsawpuzzle
type
article
2024-01-15
date_published
2023-09-05

### BibTeX entry

@article{Howbigatabledoyouneedforyourjigsawpuzzle,
key = {Howbigatabledoyouneedforyourjigsawpuzzle},
type = {article},
title = {How big a table do you need for your jigsaw puzzle?},
author = {Madeleine Bonsma-Fisher and Kent Bonsma-Fisher},
abstract = {Jigsaw puzzles are typically labeled with their finished area and number of
pieces. With this information, is it possible to estimate the area required to
lay each piece flat before assembly? We derive a simple formula based on
two-dimensional circular packing and show that the unassembled puzzle area is
{\$}\sqrt{\{}3{\}}{\$} times the assembled puzzle area, independent of the number of
pieces. We perform measurements on 9 puzzles ranging from 333 cm{\$}^2{\$} (9 pieces)
to 6798 cm{\$}^2{\$} (2000 pieces) and show that the formula accurately predicts
realistic assembly scenarios.},
comment = {},
}