3D Printed Turk's Head Dice





Introduction: 3D Printed Turk's Head Dice

About: I've been a software developer my whole life, studied computer science with a focus on 3D graphics in college, was an effects artist for Dreamworks Animation and have taught technology to kids and adults he...

I'm working on an app which generates 3D models of Turk's head knots which can then be 3D printed. I thought it would be cool to generate Turk's head dice, so I went about making it happen!

Step 1: Design

This is a tool I wrote which allows you to design Turk's head knots on a knot grid: http://freakinsweetapps.com/knots/knotgrid/advanced.html

Using that tool, I designed the knot that would work as a die, which is the image above. If you'd like to see the knot in the tool above you can copy the contents of this file into the Save/Load text box at the bottom: http://freakinsweetapps.com/knots/die.txt

Step 2: Prototype

I was pretty sure that knot would nicely cover a cube, but I needed to give it a shot. I added some lines to the knot which I could cut along and fold to form it into a cube. It all fit together perfectly!

Step 3: Implement

Next, I implemented the mapping from the flat grid to a 3D cube. Here are renders from my app.

Step 4: 3D Print

I had it 3D printed through Shapeways, check it out! 

This one is about the size of a real die, which is so small a lot of the detail was lost:  

This one is a little bigger than a 2" cube, but you can see the weave pattern very well! http://www.shapeways.com/model/1162426/large-turk-s-head-die.html



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    14 Discussions

    This is awesome!
    Has anybody you know ever tried to actually tie this knot ?

    8 replies

    My Dad and I tied this over the last few days! I'll probably post another instructable soon showing the process.


    That's crazy!
    I can only imagine how long it took to dress that up neatly.
    Awesome job, and skills !

    Thanks! Luckily, there was no need to dress up the knot at the end. We tied it directly on the cube. There are some places that are tighter than others, but it's pretty good. I'll post in progress shots as an instructable soon!

    Not yet! But I'll probably give it a try soon. It takes 12 strands, though, so it might be tricky to finish the ends off inconspicuously.

    Oh, right, I didn't notice this at first glance.Thought it was a single strand.
    Could you please share the associated knot data so I could use it inside your app and also give it a try ?
    Or even directly the OU sequence ?

    Just gave your app a quick try it's pretty sweet !

    It did get messed up in the commend, so you can get the data here: http://freakinsweetapps.com/knots/die.txt

    Send me pictures if you successfully tie it and I'll post them in the instructable!

    Btw, I've also had Kraftwurx 3D print my models in gold. This image is 10K white gold. Soon I'd like to try out i.materialise's titanium material. It's awesome what they can do with 3D printing!


    Thanks! I'm working on that, but also on an app which will let the user design their own! You can check out a demo here (it designs rings, but isn't the most user friendly yet): http://freakinsweetapps.com/knots/FreakinSweetKnots/

    I do make a small commission, but most of the cost is the material and production costs that Shapeways sets. One thing to note, since I haven't had it successfully printed yet, there's still a chance that Shapeways could reject the model. If you order one and it's rejected, you would of course get a refund, but I wanted to let you know!