D20 (20 sided dice) with additional braille numbers

by idellwig, published

D20 (20 sided dice) with additional braille numbers by idellwig May 25, 2013

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A blind friend of mine likes to play pen and paper RPGs. He was searching for a D20 with braille numbers since ages. So I modeled and printed one. ;-)

Revision history

  • Version 1.5:
    • celebrating, that this D20 got featured!
    • sum of opposite numbers is always 21, now
  • Version 1.4:
    • rounded edges


We found out, that you should resize this thing down to 70% to make it more comfortable to handle. That size still has a good readability for the braille numbers.

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I printed one, but the top part doesn't fit in the body.
The locking is too small

Any chance of making a d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12?

Congratulations! Your model has been selected as one of the Top 3D Printed Christmas / Holiday Models this year. Search "Top Free 3D Printed Christmas Gift 2015 Printing Ninja" to see. (sorry thingiverse bans url addresses)

Did you print this with supports? or raft?

Great Idea! BTW, I recently saw something with Felicia Day, and someone had given her one of these at a Con (or maybe it was on her book tour). Anyway, she had good things to say, so cheers!

Yes, thanks for the info. I've seen the posts at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at the same hour, They made my Thingiverse statistics explode. ;-)

Is there any particular reason why you've got the "hey, a number is coming" backwards "L" mark on this for every number?

Presumably everything on this will be numbers, so it would only be necessary for orientation, but for orientation you've already got the non-braille number at the top of each triangle.

Yes. The number symbol is not for orientation. There are two other reasons:

  1. Who says, there won't be some dice containing alphabetical characters? To avoid confusion, the number symbol is a must have.
  2. I like good formatting style. Maybe because I write a lot of text in my job. ;-) For example: if I read some documentation containing code fragments, I expect them to be in another font, so I can see immediately "Hey! That's code!". I want blind gamers to read the number subliminally without thinking.

There is a regular 26 sided polyhedron, looks octagonal in profile, made up of eight triangles and eighteen squares. If you were going to make a random letter die, that would work. It could be used for making random "alien" words.

Comments deleted.

To avoid issues with weight, why not use this to create a mold and then cast it in plastic?

I've never done that, but that's a good idea.

Did you make the cutout on each face the same volume, so that the dice would be truly random rather than favoring lighter sides?

This answer will be a bit longer... ;-) I've thought about that long before I started modelling. There are many reasons, why I didn't do that:
First of all: This model is for 3D printers. They have a lot of different settings. Say, I'd add a little hole under the surface to move the center of mass, it could work for someone who prints with 100% infill. If someone else prints with 10% infill and three shells, there would be added more plastic around the hole which would have the opposite effect to the center of mass.
The second reason is, that most infill prints are not balanced. Even if it seems so in X and Y axis, at least the Z axis is out of balance.
I've also found a third issue: Even if you print with 100% infill, most printers don't print homogeneous enough. They produce round "snakes" of plastic and print them as close next to the other as possible. There are some areas with less plastic and some others where the plastic was squeezed in. Even a perfect printed sphere would not be in perfect balance.
There would be a chance, if someone would like to mill the D20 out of a solid block of say aluminium, but than he could not mill a hole inside the dice. ;-)
So: I would think of that issue again, if we can print perfectly solid, homogeneous material.
Hope that answered your question. ;-)

I can print perfectly solid, homogeneous material. If you make a balanced one I'll print it and send it to you.

I started this one, seems to begin in the middle of the die. Not sure what went wrong.

I guess you didn't move it to the build plate. If you use MakerWare, it asks you, when opening the file. Other software should have an option like that, too.

Thanks. I'll play with it.