Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Round dice (11.8mm) using a BB

by Schorhr, published

Round dice (11.8mm) using a BB by Schorhr Dec 2, 2012



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No sharp corners to hurt yourself.


Print two times.
Open-side-down down worked best for me.

Instert a BB (4.5mm steel ball).

Use instant-glue to CAREFULLY join halves.
Trust me, having both index fingers glued to it sounds more fun then it really is.

Paint it, write on it, or modify the file and include numbers in the print.

Note: thinnest part is 0,6mm, it might not print well on some settings. Perhaps if you scale it up 10% you will get better results. But it's basically just 6 spheres combined with a larger sphere, then enclosed by a big sphere, and finaly cut in half. A free cookie to the person who will create a parametric version! ;-)

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I was going to do this and put it in with the other dice on my 99th upload. It's great, I had a commercial one when I was a kid, and always wanted to print one.

Yeah, it was fun to finally make one myself. :-)

It's used in the boardgame-cannon-prototype http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:37297

Ballpen Spring Cannon
by Schorhr

Thank you so much. I was about to model this until I saw one of your random comments about it somewhere else.


I am glad you found it :-) I hope it works for you. It was quickly made in Sketchup, I don't remember if the STL model is tidy. You may want to fix/check it with Netfabb/Meshlab, but in general, it should print :-)
Let me know how it performs :-)

Neat idea!

  • In theory, there's got to be a way to print this in one piece with external support, and inserting the steel ball during the print. Maybe putting a distraction-tower far away from the print would provide the timing window for the drop without altering the gcode?

  • I have yet to post an example object, but I recently had extremely good luck putting sharp text on objects by indenting the surface by less than the nozzle width (avoiding overhangs), and then scraping a large sharpie back and forth to color in the non-indented surface. I think this same technique could be used on a sphere as long as the indentations are extremely narrow (small dice only).

  • In theory, the seventh internal sphere creates an "edge" that the dice could hang on, much like having a flat-beveled edge on a normal d6. I wonder if it would make sense to instead intersection 3 ellipsoids or capsules (I'd really have to play with the geometry).

  • Hmm, a parametric version without numbers would be easy to do, and I suppose with-numbers is just a matter of trimming the glyph-prisms to have a matching spherical "cup". I could give it a shot!

Just put a gcode operation to pause at a point whilst bed or nozzle do pointless temp change.

Cura has a "pauze at height" function where it inserts a code to move the head away and a M0 to pause the printer. This really helps in inserting objects like you suggested.

Cool, I got to remember that. Though I have to admit that I started to print things that need assembly, as it's easier most of the time and there are no areas that need support or turn out rough (see padlock&crossbow versus toaster&crib which drove me nuts :-) ).

Thanks :-) Perhaps I should have made this my first parametric project :-) I suppose printing in one go would work, I used the uP to print open-side-down, and it worked nicely. With some support the sphere should stand well, though I never got sphere's bottoms to print nicely.
I'm thankful for any advice, now that I own a Printrbot as well. Text printing allways has been a problem.

In retrospect, I've had terrible luck with overhangs (haven't the patience to calibrate properly), so even if the outside spherical bottom was well supported, the inside would be a mess (I suspect that my 190 for PLA is too hot).

Maybe the internal shape should just be an octahedron? I'd have play around with it to see if that created any problems for it "choosing" a face during rolls.

I am looking forward to your results :-)
Yes, temperature adjustment can be tricky.

Okay, I have a super basic script written, but it's not even close to smoke-tested (hesitant to publish if I haven't even printed the shell, let along inscribed it).

Are you able to see the un-published design at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:36685?http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Odd comment system.
Nope, won't work, only if you link to files directly. Or use a file hosting service :)

Even smaller comments!

Okay, here's the very early scad file: http://www.thingiverse.com/download:104703http://www.thingiverse.com/dow...

I have absolutely no idea if it will even settle quickly when rolled, but in theory that octohedron-cavity should be more printer friendly.

Future changes are:

  • Include glyphs.
  • Include a distraction-tower as a generalized way to move the extruder away for the BB-drop.
  • Add glyphs.

I can't see the unpublished project, but you can link to images directly, (/http://thingiverse-production.s3.amazonaws.comthingiverse-production.s3.amaz...), and  probably files too.