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Will Wilcox

A Different Kind of Project

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Posted (edited)

I started this project a while ago, just picked it up again. 

 

A friend of mine has talked about getting a good set of dice for game night for a while. So I figured I would make some for him.

 

I thought about forging some. Eventually I decided to machine them, for balance and fairness of rolling. 

 

There are 6 in total, which I machined on a CNC mill. Made from 4150 Aluminum (may the forging gods forgive me for using the A-word.)

 

By the nature of CNC, the dimensions are near perfect. They are perfect cubes, and all the holes are within .001" of perfect. 

 

I painted them black after machining, then sanded the flats to leave the holes dark. Sanded to 1000 grit and buffed. 

 

I figured some of you guys would like to see them. Kind of different for this forum.

 

Let me know what you think!

 

20200420_191021.jpg

 

20200420_191030.jpg

 

20200420_191047.jpg

 

 

Edited by Will Wilcox
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Posted (edited)

Very cool. Now roll it 1200 times and let us know if the numbers come up with the same frequency :D. Any plans to do some D&D dice anytime soon?

Edited by Charles dP
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Very cool indeed!  B)

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Posted (edited)

Thanks guys!

 

 

4 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Any plans to do some D&D dice anytime soon?

 

Actually yes, this same friend talked about machining some, and they are VERY complex shapes, so it would be a really cool challenge. Would definitely be a pain to program a d20 though! :lol:

 

Here's what a d20 looks like for anyone who doesnt know. They also have d10s, d8s, and I think d12s? I'm not very familiar with D&D.

 

blue-d20__73081.1522082217.jpg

Edited by Will Wilcox

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Yep, D12s. There are some YouTube videos on people making the various dice which might help with the layout if not the actual programming.

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They also have a D100 if you're a masochist...

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Don't forget about the mighty "Magic Missile" and the required D4 :)

 

A friend had a D100.  The thing rolled around on the table like a golf ball.

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6 hours ago, Charles dP said:

Now roll it 1200 times and let us know if the numbers come up with the same frequency

Thats what I was thinking lol! I foresee a lot of sixes popping up! Still, very clean work, nice micro radius on the edges and the spots are..well spot-on lol.

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

They also have a D100 if you're a masochist...

 

Just.... No... hahaha :lol:!!!

 

The actual programming of a d20 is not too bad if you separate it into quadrants, of which there are six. Quadrant is not the proper term, but bear with me. 

 

Take the above picture of a d20. Let's assume the 20 is the face, 0° of rotation. Numbers 2, 14, and 8, exist on the next quadrant, 18, 4, 6, and what appears to be 16 on the next quadrant, so on and so forth, this pattern is mirrored on the backside, obviously. 

 

Each of these quadrants is separated by 30° of rotation when viewed in cross section. This is a terrible drawing, but it helps visualize it. 

 

 

20200421_121303.jpg

 

That would be simple milling. Rotate B to 0, 30, 60, 120, and 150 (we will be holding onto the 180 side, will be milled later in a vise,) while rotating A around 360° to get our faces set with the correct depth in Z set accordingly. 

 

The tricky part comes in when trying to mill the triangles for the numbers to be placed. 

 

The first flat is 45° off of zero, from the perspective of the face(20), the second is 180°, and the third is 315°.

 

20200421_123742.jpg

 

This then seems simple as well, rotate to 30° on the B, 45° on the A, then mill diagonally using Z and X (my setup uses a AB axis spindle in line with the X) then switch to 180 on the A, then 315. 

 

The final quadrant on the front side is much trickier and has required a bit of thinking on my part. 

 

Again from the perspective of the face (20) the first flat on the third quadrant is 22.5° from zero, the second is 112.5°, followed by 157.5°, 202.5°, 247.5°, and finally 337.5°.

 

All of these degrees would be our A axis rotations, with our B set to 60°.

 

20200421_124735.jpg

 

All of these numbers are then mirrored on the backside, but continuing further with our A axis to 120° and 150°.

 

The numbers themselves will then be machine engraved, the details of which I will not go into, entire books can and have been written on programming engravings. 

 

 

Ok, that was long winded. Maybe somebody will find this information useful, or at least entertaining lol. 

 

Nothing like some math to go with my quarantine and caffeine induced madness :D.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Brian Myers said:

very clean work, nice micro radius on the edges and the spots are..well spot-on lol.

 

Thank you very much! The radiuses were a pain to program since they're only .005" (sanding and buffing probably opened them up a bit.)

 

The holes were actually a lot easier then it would seem as well. 

 

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Cool. Not played D&D since I was at uni. Wouldn’t mind having a set of Damascus dice though... or maybe mokume gane 

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One of my daughters (the one in engineering school, go figure...) is now playing D&D with my old dice from 30 years ago.  You have me thinking about making a set of pattern-welded dice for her...

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Pattern welded dice would be really cool. A twist pattern would look neat on a cube.

 

I have to agree with Charles, however, mokume gane would be even better!

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Just be aware that patterned metal dice will have hard to read numbers if they are just engraved in.  So plan on a cool paint or inlay to make it easy to read.  I have a plastic set of black and silver swirled (closest I could readily find to damascus) and the black numbers aren't the easiest to read.  Brass inlay would really pop though!  

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