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Author Topic: Custom dice for board games, etc.  (Read 720 times)

Deozaan

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Custom dice for board games, etc.
« on: April 26, 2016, 10:16:32 PM »
Hello,

I've recently been playing with the idea of having some custom dice made, but I have some fairly specific needs that don't seem to be covered by anything I can find in my searches for companies/sites that will make custom dice. I'm wondering if anyone here knows something I've been unable to find or has suggestions for me.

Here are my needs:

  • Normal, six-sided die.
  • Each side of the die has a different image/design (not numbers or pips).
  • Each side of the die has a different color.

And that's about it. None of the services that laser-etch the dice seem to allow for an option to make each face a different color. So that seems to leave me only with the option to buy blank dice and label each face with stickers.

I can find plenty of blank dice for sale on Amazon, but every single result for stickers are just dots (circles) instead of square stickers. If I have to resort to stickers, I'd really like to get square (preferably with rounded corners) stickers to cover as much of the face as possible. Any square stickers I find anywhere are not sized appropriately for dice, which usually seem to be 16mm3.

I'd also be glad to hear suggestions on how to make the stickers more permanent, i.e., keep them from peeling off or having the image worn away. Or if you have other ideas or suggestions for getting custom dice made other than blanks+stickers, I'd be glad to hear that as well.

Thanks!


4wd

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 11:02:36 PM »
Dice & Games LTD (UK) do custom dice with different colour each side, minimum order is 25 though.

But there may be companies in the USA that also do laser engraving.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 11:14:20 PM by 4wd »

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 11:38:07 PM »
Dice & Games LTD (UK) do custom dice with different colour each side, minimum order is 25 though.

But there may be companies in the USA that also do laser engraving.

Thanks! There are definitely US companies that do laser engraving, but none that I've found that allow me to choose different colors for each side.

That site looks potentially promising. Except now that I think of it, the images I wanted to use don't exactly lend themselves well to the silhouette design required for laser etching. But maybe I could modify them to fit that style. And I also have no idea how much it would cost to make. I clicked everywhere that seemed like it might lead to me a price, but I could never find one.

And again, because I had already ruled out laser-etching and was focusing on finding stickers to print, I guess I forgot that I would ideally like to have 2 colors on each face. I'd like a foreground and background color, unique to each face. But if I had to, I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

And having a minimum order of 25 is a bit much. I mean, I want to order maybe 20-30 dice, but that's with 10 different designs. I really don't want to have to order 250 dice to get my 10 designs made. This is yet another reason why using stickers might be best for my wants/needs.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 11:44:34 PM by Deozaan »

Ath

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 03:50:09 AM »
When looking for specialty stickers, did you check your local copy/print-shop? They usually have a high-res color laser printer and sticker backings that would do just fine, for an acceptable price. :up:

mouser

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 10:50:12 AM »
Recently a company put out some dice with colored sides that you can remove and change -- designed to be useful for prototyping games:
http://boardgamegeek...nes-prototyping-dice

IMG_0701_large.jpg

Stoic Joker

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 11:26:22 AM »
I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.

MilesAhead

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 11:39:56 AM »
I could just go with white dice with a single (but unique) color on each face.

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.


That sounds suspiciously like cheating to me man.



Heh heh.  The request made me think of Cosmic Wimpout






Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 05:16:00 PM »
When looking for specialty stickers, did you check your local copy/print-shop? They usually have a high-res color laser printer and sticker backings that would do just fine, for an acceptable price. :up:

I haven't checked any local brick-and-mortar places. I didn't think I knew of any local copy/print shops, but one just came to mind. Thanks for the suggestion!

If you're willing to use stickers, why not just get some medium - to any - size labels, print what you want on them (including face/background color), and then trim them to size for the die face.

This is an option I have considered, but was hoping to not have the imprecision of cutting them out myself. If I could find some template stickers that were the right size/shape, it would be much preferable than having to cut them out myself. Another possible option would be to find a hole punch that would make it easier to punch out a sticker in the right size/shape.

Recently a company put out some dice with colored sides that you can remove and change -- designed to be useful for prototyping games:
http://boardgamegeek...nes-prototyping-dice

Those look interesting, but still not quite right for what I want. I want the colors & designs on each face.

It's looking more and more like I'll be going the printing route.

Anyone know if 3D printers can do what I want? That would be cool.

EDIT: Looks like it's possible. Sort of. But that one looks like it can only do 3 colors at once.

I also found this which shows off a printer capable of printing up to 390,000 colors, but that seems to be a site for buying the printer itself. Who knows if I could find a place that would let me make a custom order from them without buying the printer, or how much it would cost for such an order?

« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 05:48:09 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 06:33:34 PM »
On the subject of stickers, I still need to check a local print shop, but I did find a couple places online that seem like they could do it:

For the USA: http://www.stickeryou.com/
For the UK: https://www.stickythings.co.uk/

Looks like StickerYou could possibly do it for about $10 while StickyThings can possibly do it for about £24.00.


I also went to a local print shop today and found out I can print out a 12"x18" sheet of label paper for ~$2.85 per sheet. I'm thinking that's probably what I'm going to do. Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately. I haven't had any luck finding a square hole punch at the size I'd need. I'm starting to consider if it would be worth it to build my own somehow.


Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 07:12:36 PM »
I guess I'm committed to the sticker method, as I just bought some of these:

50 Blank White Dice 16MM
Blank Dice.jpg


Edvard

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 07:37:39 PM »
Paint. 

Potentially messier, but more durable and customizable.  You can get very small jars of paint at most craft stores, so you're not paying for a ton more than you need.
Find a paint that will stick to the material those die are made of, preferably a gloss enamel of some sort, so it's durable when dry, then just draw the designs on with a Sharpie after.  FWIW, Sharpies also come in sets of colors, like crayons.

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2016, 12:46:23 AM »
I've got the PDF all ready to go for the printer:

GIMP Result.pngCustom dice for board games, etc.

That's at 12.5% zoom (when you click it to view it "full-size"). I've got enough for 3 sets of 13 different dice in that image, with spare room for more. I'm really going to hate myself when I have to cut all these out and apply them one by one. :'(


Paint.

That would be a decent suggestion if not for the fact that I'm not very artistic and as you can see above, the designs are a bit more complex than a simple sharpie can handle. Or at least more complex than what I can pull off with sharpies. :D


Ath

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2016, 03:47:35 AM »
Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately.
scalpel knife and steel ruler as a guide, on a sturdy backing like plywood?

tomos

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2016, 05:13:58 AM »
^ a proper cutting mat/board will make it much easier (and wont blunt the blades so much).
http://www.amazon.co...cutting+mat+graphics
Tom

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2016, 08:43:53 AM »
I've got the PDF all ready to go for the printer:

GIMP Result.pngCustom dice for board games, etc.

That's at 12.5% zoom (when you click it to view it "full-size"). I've got enough for 3 sets of 13 different dice in that image, with spare room for more. I'm really going to hate myself when I have to cut all these out and apply them one by one. :'(


Paint.

That would be a decent suggestion if not for the fact that I'm not very artistic and as you can see above, the designs are a bit more complex than a simple sharpie can handle. Or at least more complex than what I can pull off with sharpies. :D

Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2016, 08:50:53 AM »
Now I just need to figure out how to cut out the individual images from the sheet efficiently and accurately.
scalpel knife and steel ruler as a guide, on a sturdy backing like plywood?
^ a proper cutting mat/board will make it much easier (and wont blunt the blades so much).
http://www.amazon.co...cutting+mat+graphics

I am going to check more local crafting/hobby stores for a hole punch today, but someone pointed this one out to me online, which looks like it may just be perfect for the job since it's just slightly smaller than 16mm and has rounded corners and everything:

SmPunch_-_SquareInUse72_1024x1024.jpg
http://www.little-windows.com/products/small-rounded-square-5-8-punch


Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.


wraith808

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2016, 09:56:59 AM »
Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.

That's what I was figuring- but you can get stickers with just the cutouts, can't you?  I just figured I'd suggest as your designs don't seem to cover the whole side when the color is taken out of the equation.

Deozaan

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2016, 02:22:08 AM »
Could you paint the colors, and then layer the stickers?

I guess? But that would require transparent stickers or something, or else the stickers would cover the paint.

That's what I was figuring- but you can get stickers with just the cutouts, can't you?  I just figured I'd suggest as your designs don't seem to cover the whole side when the color is taken out of the equation.


Yeah, but that seems like even more work and expenses: Buying paint and then hand-painting them. Buying extra special transparent stickers and then cutting them out in their unique shapes, etc.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Custom dice for board games, etc.
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2016, 07:52:32 AM »
Try it backwards. Apply the stickers as originally planned, and then apply a clear/plastic coat to enhance durability.

Just be sure do some material compatibility testing first so you know the two wont react badly to each other (some paints may smear/lift/dissolve the sticker's ink).