3D printed "thorn dice"

Shapeways user Ceramicwombat created these great "thorn dice" and they're available in a number of polymers and metals, fresh and piping hot from the 3D printer.

Thorn Dice Set with Decader


  1. That’s pretty dang cool. I imagine they’d tear up your gaming table after a few games, though.

    1. These are great! If I was an avid gamer, I would make a custom metal dice rolling board to go with these. It would be fun to paint a patina on the dice and the board and watch it wear away with use. An extremely battle worn board could become a badge of honor.

      1. I think I might prefer to use these on a solid wood tray, with a nice lip around it. Still get the nice worn look, with less noise and wear on the dice.

      2. I think they’d slide too much on metal. I’d suggest a surface of 8 oz leather flesh side up would provide enough traction so that they’d roll and be durable enough not to need immediate replacement.

  2. Wow. Those look damn cool.

    I had gotten to a point where I was sick of all this 3D-printed stuff. The end results are better than you’d get a few years ago, but they still looked pretty crappy, IMHO. I also felt like people were calling things “cool” solely for the fact that they were 3D-printed.

    THIS, though! This I like.

    1. I used to agree with the part about crappy results. But it seems that 3D printing has come a long ways since even a few years ago. There was an article a month or two ago in the Economist about 3D printing. Apparently, it was only used for prototypes before, but now 3D printing is used for final products as well. Such manufacturing would save tons of material, considering most metal and other parts are simply there to facilitate the manufacturing process and not help the final product.

  3. And you can scatter a few of those four-siders around the DM’s side of the table to keep players from sneaking a peak behind the screen.

  4. Those dice are really neat but anyone in my party who tries using them on my dining room table will be dropped from my 9th floor balcony.

  5. @muse, if you were gaming next to me with your metal dice & your metal dice board, I would be forced to stuff them into your ears and beat you with the board until they met in the middle. God, what a racket that would create! There was a brief period of time when some wargamers were showing up at my FLGS for game day with small dice in shot glasses with covers of some sort on them to roll. The noise was horrible just from the plastic on glass.

    1. Slaying gold dragons isn’t for the faint hearted :) Plus, an aluminum board with felt backing probably would be way quieter than glass.

    2. You could always use jewish dice – just image the numbers you rolled!

      (RIP, Ephraim Kishon.)

        1. Yes, but since they are not using cards, I adapted the principle.

          Player: I cast a fireball against the troll horde.
          DM: So, what did you roll?
          Player 1: Umm… 17 !
          DM: Too bad, you needed an 18 to succeed!
          Player 1: Ben Gurion!
          DM: ……

  6. I noticed these a few days ago, when I was ordering something else from Shapeways. Was very tempted to buy a few. Ceramicwombat’s other dice are pretty neat too, some of them IMO are actually cooler than the thorny ones.

  7. But the spikes prevent them from rolling!
    They look cool, but I like my dice like my stones, rollin´.

  8. Err I think if you used these dice round my friends they would be concerned at the potential for them being loaded! There would have to be a significant period of observation to show they where reasonable.

    The cross over between the gaming and scientific communities is quite large so I wonder if this might be a problem elsewhere.

    Beautiful but not all that practical I would think.

    1. *shudder* I’ve stepped on enough plastic D4s in my time that I don’t even want to think about what it would feel like with these.

  9. These (and some of the other dice) are the first actually cool thing to come out of a 3D printer. Bravo!

  10. My inner 15-year-old D&D geek is madly screaming “I NEED THOSE!!!” Boingboing has tempted him many times – tactical pants, handmade leather luggage, ridiculous gadget porn, 3D printed Klein bottle, etc etc. But this? Damn you, Cory Doctorow…

    I agree that these are the coolest 3D printed thing I’ve seen yet, and also that I wanna start playing D&D again just so I can justify getting some. $89 for stainless steel thorn dice is pretty ridiculous, but life is short, eh?

  11. The only way I’m preventing myself from ordering a set of these is by holding the half-gallon jar of dice we already have and rocking it back and forth gently.

  12. Those are really, really cool.

    Also, I think we can safely say that boingboing has entered a new era from the fact that these dice, not the steampunk dice at shapeways, were the ones to get promoted.

    Next fad to wind to an end: cute girls with ukuleles.

  13. You could just use a tray, which protects your table and stops your dice from going everywhere.

  14. I don’t even play RPG’s and I want these, they look like dice used by some devious godlike entity to control the lives of unsuspecting humans for it’s viewing pleasure….very cool.

  15. Oh, I would love to get these. They’d go great with the solid copper ones I got as a gift many Christmases ago.

    I don’t know about rolling them though, I’d probably use them for keeping track of turns and occasionally terrorizing the players. (I kid, I kid….)

  16. These things have been around since last summer, I think. My DM got a set back when it was in a dice thread on one of the relatively reasonable parts of 4chan.

    Nobody ever questions his judgement lest we take a metal caltrop to the face.

  17. Two of Doctorow’s works, Printcrime and Makers, inspired me to learn the skills necessary to produce models for rapid prototyping. It makes me quite happy to see that he likes my dice, as he is the one who tipped the first domino in the long sequence of events which produced them.

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