Instructables
Picture of Making a Stained-Glass d20
Today I'm going to take you through the steps needed to make your very own stained-glass d20.  There are some special tools and materials required so I'm going to call them out here:

Tools you will need:
A laser cutter / etcher
Vector editor software (i.e. Inkscape)
A cutting board with an angle measurement
A glass scorer
Score running pliers for glass (optional, but recommended)
A soldering iron
A small brush for the flux
An icosahedron jig

Materials you will need:
A sheet of stained glass (12" x 12")
A scrap piece of cardboard (roughly 11" x 11")
Adhesive backed copper foil
Solder
Flux
Soap

Once you have gathered everything that you need move on to the first step.  If you don't have a laser cutter the last step includes options for adding the numbers in other ways.  Also, since a lot of people have been asking in the comments, these, along with other art, can be purchased from B&B Glassworks (http://www.bandbglassworks.com)

Step 1: Making the Cardboard Template

Picture of Making the Cardboard Template
The first thing we're going to do is create a template to hold the glass pieces still while we're etching them.  To do this we need to open up our vector editing software and create an equilateral triangle; that is a triangle that has the same length on all three sides. Some software and laser cutters interact differently but you have to make sure that the outline of this triangle will be a cut line as opposed to an etched line.  Once you have done that you can duplicate that triangle 19 times and organize them in a compact area while making sure to leave some space between them.  Once you have them all laid out draw a square around them using a cut line so that the finished jig will fit nicely against the edge of the laser cutter's bed.

The next step is to put numbers in each triangle.  Here you can use any font that you like but remember that the top of the numbers always face a point of the triangle.  Also, if you're going to etch on the back of the glass, like we did, you need to remember to mirror your numbers so they show up correctly on the front.

Now send this to your laser cutter and let it go on your sheet of cardboard.  If it etches the numbers in the cardboard that's ok, we're not going to use those pieces for anything anyway.  What we want are the holes that are left behind.
 
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stephenf1 year ago
Really neat project. Great life counter for Magic the Gathering.
Wonder how it can illuminated (from the inside) -- leds, maybe?
How would batteries be replaced?
Kiteman2 years ago
You don't have to use a laser-cut template, though, do you. If you're handy with a pencil and protractor, you could cut the templates by hand, and you could use aerosol glass-frosting to add the numbers.

Big question, though: can you actually roll them?
Don't roll it, hang it from your rear-view mirror.
CaseyBorders (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
You could do it all by hand but in my experience it's a LOT harder and you don't get consistant results.

You can roll them as long as it's on carpet or another soft surface!
As I liked to tell my customers, feel free to roll them. They'll work at least one time before destroying your table or cracking (depending on the surface). Though it's surprising how tough they are. But something like this is not really meant to be a functional gaming tool. :)
Since the protruding, metal vertices should already be taking most of the impact of rolling, if you were to get some of the paint-on rubberised coating commonly used on tool handles, one or two layers would probably reduce the flex of the vertices to the point where it wouldn't crack the glass, especially if it was rolled gently. (Throwing it on the table is probably not going to be a good idea regardless.)

Of course, you're going to have to be very precise with your construction if you want the die to roll fairly.
not everyone has access to a laser cutter/etcher, although it would be meticulous and tedious, hand cut stencils aren't that difficult but there are other options as well. Print the wanted symbols on clear acetate and hand cut with a sharp razor or if you have access to a cricut you could cut out individual symbols on triangle shaped "masks" and use a cream etcher. For a more rustic look you could just draw the symbols with a marker and use a dremel with a diamond dust bit to engrave over the marker.

I may be mistaken but I think what Kiteman was trying to say is that you can offer options for some steps that wouldn't scare the less tool endowed away from attempting a recreation
CaseyBorders (author)  l8nite2 years ago
There are a couple of variations that could be used. You could use a glass etching chemical but, as I said, I've never had much luck with those. You could also get vinyl stickers from a hobby store and use those. I'll add a step to the end that will show some alternatives.
Dear. God....
I can't tell you how bad I want to make these, I mean I really really really want one of these. I play D&D and I love collecting dice. Sadly I have NONE of the tools necessary to make these, nor the money to buy said tools. These are stunning and I absolutely MUST find a way to get one in my house some how some way lol.

You dear, are a genius.
I was going to say that.

I would pay money for this.
CaseyBorders (author)  monsterlego2 years ago
Thank you! As I said you can feel free to contact my brother and mother and they would be glad to help you out with anything you need!
You could always fake it with cardboard/paper mache and a really good paint job + epoxy.
CaseyBorders (author)  LunaSweetBlood2 years ago
My brother and mother run a stained glass business. They ship all over. If you want to order one you can get it touch with them at www.bandglassworks.com
I am sending you so much internet love right now man.
Awesome! I haven't done stained glass in a long time, but I know mine never came out that well! Wonderful job :)
CaseyBorders (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Thank you very much! My brother and mother run a stained-glass company. You can check out their work at http://www.bandbglassworks.com Be sure to have a look at the gallery!
I would love some of those pieces like the Assassins Creed one and the Bobba Fett and the ! How much do they run on average? How much would one of these D20's be? How much would it be to commission a Skyrim dragon logo one?
I'm glad you like it! You'd really need to email my brother and mother about pricing. Their address is BandBGlassworks@gmail.com. They do all kinds of custom work so they can work up anything that you want!
That is such beautiful work! The Celtic design is, hands down, my favorite one!
CaseyBorders (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Thank you so much!!
jifka2 years ago
I've done a bunch of these already, but using some different techniques:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bloodyveg/2730330160/in/photostream
CaseyBorders (author)  jifka2 years ago
Oh, you use the copper foil to make numbers! Very clever! Do you mind if I add that to the list of options at the end of this instructable?
Sure - I also use a grinder and a hand-made jig to bevel each facet so they fit together snugly.
Redmipaw2 years ago
Make it bigger, throw a hinge, toggle and long chain and you have the cutest "Rise of The Geek " purse ever!
l8nite2 years ago
A very well thought out and prepared "ible" about a unique and pretty creation. However, like many who are involved in something or know something , it's assumed that others will know as well, I think these die are for some kind of game but have no idea which one. I think it would be helpful if you added a description of what they are and how they are used to the beginning of your "ible"

As a work of art I would imagine these would be spectacular sat on a base with led's shining through them
CaseyBorders (author)  l8nite2 years ago
d20's are used in a variety of table-top RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons. These are intended to be an art piece that shows off nerd pride as opposed to actually being used in game.
VACH.2 years ago
very beautiful :D
CaseyBorders (author)  VACH.2 years ago
Thank you very much!