Brass-effect 3D printed steampunk D6s

Etsy seller MechanicalOddities 3D prints these D6s with gears instead of pips, then finishes them by hand with brass-effect paint.

Dice - 3D printed, Steampunk Style, Bronze Finish (Thanks, Alice)


    1. I decided to start with 3D printed ones. But I would love to do some metal casting. Not sure how many people would buy them given the weight and cost. I use paint with real metal flake in it though.

      1. Gamers… really like their dice. :) People (well, some people) are willing to buy the expensive, heavy dice from Crystal Caste, etc… I think the sort of people interested would be even more willing to buy such from someone who is more of an artisan type than a corporation type. Assuming you could ensure balance and ideally expand to a full set of dice, I think people would buy. Just my two cents, though.

      2. There are some companies that print with metal, right? I guess they probably don’t do brass, and the cost is probably quite significant. Anyway, I think they’re quite cool.

        1. There are some ways to print in metal.  However, we are currently only creating them with techniques available in our own workshop.  We have considered that if our designs are popular and there is interest, we would love to offer them in metal.  Feel free to contact us if anyone is interested.

      3. I’m no role-player but fell for the dice. Was going to ask my mum to bring them to Aus when she comes but not worth the hassle for plastic. Give me metal. Balance would be nice but for me mostly ornamental. Do it Stefan.

  1. My only concern would be balance.  The pips on a standard die are created by digging little pits in the surface and then filling with a paint that usually weighs as much as the plastic that was removed.  That way everything should be perfectly balanced, and even if they’re off it’ll be by such a small amount you’d never notice. With dice like this though, they’re bound to be weighted towards one side just due to how complicated the surface is.

    On the other hand, they look very nice and me wants some!

    1. Technically, you are not incorrect, but the difference in weight between the sides is so slight because the detail of the gears are so thin.  The likelihood of the imbalance causing a bias is so statistically small that it is negligible.  Would they be allowed in a Vegas casino?  NO.  Will they look “freakin’ awesome” on your game board? YES!  The aesthetics win! :)

    1. That would depend upon one’s definition of handmade.  The title does say “3D printed”.  However, to imply that craftsmanship and artistry did not go into the making of this would be premature.  Each one was personally handled and prepared by me and the painted finish was executed by myself and the guy who created the original, highly detailed 3D model. We would like to create a very large version that can aptly display the level of meticulousness that went into the computer model.  Artistry can be executed in many forms.  We like to cover as many as possible.

      1. I don’t know… And this isn’t me judging, saying one is superior or anything — I really could care less about the craft used to produce art…

        But I think that comparison is a bit of a stretch… The carpenter is controlling that hammer which assembles the nightstand or whatever, pretty directly. The carpenter, being subject to oh-so-many human factors, directly influences every piece he makes being ever-so-slightly different. 

        While the 3D printer will likely exhibit certain differences, imperfections between printings, those are a result of the 3D printer being imperfect, and not the carpenter.

        Again, I don’t mention this to shoot down 3D printers, I just think it’s an interesting bit of semantics in a world of shifting technique…

  2. Making dice like these balance shouldn’t be too hard. Each side is two “layers;” a lower background layer, and the raised gear layer. If the amount of raised area on each side is the same, the dice will balance properly; if the designs are symmetrical along the axes the sides can roll along, that should cope with any “side that makes the die roll to a particular side next” kind of issues.

    Dunno if he’s actually doing that, I’m just saying that it’s within the realm of possibility, i.e. that a person could do it without hiring two dozen mathematicians and a structural engineer.

    The thing about these that makes ME sad is that since they’re finished with paint, actually, you know, rolling them is bound to make them chip like crazy. Please, DO find somebody to print some up in brass or something!

    1. The paint finish is quite durable.  We have been handling them roughly and keeping them in a dice bag together without a single scratch so far.  They are sprayed with a sealer coat to help protect the paint finish as well. In the future, as these first were prototypes, we will create them with intrinsic color so that if the surface should become damaged, it will not deteriorate from their appearance.  In the mean time, maintenance of the dice is simple and can be done by anyone.  Remember also that this is half “thing” and half “artwork”.  Treat them nice and they’ll help you crush your enemies.

      Also, yes we had taken into account that variations in thickness of the detail could counteract the balance issue.  My degree in Mechanical Engineering requires me to over analyze even a small project like this (OCD).  Some measures were taken, but I won’t claim its perfect, because ultimately we just wanted to make some fun, cool looking dice for ourselves to game with.

    1. I have summoned the master torturer and ordered him to crack the whip on the computer slave and demand he conjure another die with his arcane magic!   Yes, 20 sided coming soon.

    2. Seems to me that there’s no reason one couldn’t make their own personal steampunk adaptation of catan.

      Farming for brass, mining for leather, trading for airships, that kind of thing….

      1. SamSam, I have two words to say to you: Brilliant and Yoink!

        To everyone else, I have this idea for a new item. ;) lol

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