Steampunk Dice


Introduction: Steampunk Dice

Hello, and welcome. I hope that you find this tutorial helpful as I worked on this, with various steps added on as I went. I have also included the STL file of the final design, if you would like to print one yourself. All I ask is that if you do print it yourself, or share these designs to credit back to me with this tutorial. Otherwise, enjoy :)

the above image is the inspiration, my muse as it were, for this project. not mine in the least.

Final update: Thank you to all that voted, I won Runner-Up for the 2016 3D printing contest (pictured above).

Step 1: Technical Info

so I am going to build the design completely from scratch, and it'll be my first time doing so, so do please bear with me. I am was using sketchup for the rendering and editing of the entire project. However I have changed that to Autodesk's 123D Design. Turns out that Sketchup will not export to the required .stl file format, so DO NOT use sketchup for 3D rendering for 3D printing. The attatched picture is for designing the gears for the face decorations. Also helpful, 123D Design has some basic gear designs preloaded that i can just snap into place, probally saving several days of work :)

Step 2: The Core of a Die

so last night I went ahead and made the basic cube that is the foundation of a standard D6, as well as begining the "piping" that makes up the more unique edging of this die. Attatched is a screenshot from the software. For ease of viewing i did false color the cube orange, and the "piping" is currently the standard white. However, as one can see, I now have the more challenging aspect of adding the horizontal "pipes", as well as then smothing out the connections after that. I'll try to keep everyone updated as progress with this.

UPDATE: I have followed the advice of annieblocks, and I changed from using Google Sketchup to using Autodesk's 123D Design. As such, I have now included a screenshot(the blue one) of the current cube as it is. the core is 100mm L,W&H. each cylender that will become the pipes are 5mm in diameter, and 20mm in length, all centered on their appropriate edge.

Step 3: The Edges

As part of the design, the edges are supposed to look like copper pipes. As such, I inserted various cylinders along the edges to create that illusion, as well as the illusion of 3-way corner connectors. As you can see, the corners themselves are not done as of yet. However the edges are done, as you can see in the third picture.

Basic instructions of how I was able to create this illusion:

Main pipes 5mm radius, 20 long. Centered on each edge, 1/4 each in cube itself. Make cylinders 7mm radius, 10mm long, center on end of each existing rod. Extend 30mm to each corner, letting them overlap. Reduce length of each by 20 mm, separating from thinner rod. Extend end of each thinner rod by 20mm to fill the gap that was created, finishing the edging.

Towards the end I realized I was over complicating it, and so I inserted the 7mm radius rods 40mm long, still centered on 5mm rods, letting overlap. I would then reduce the length of the 7mm rods by 20mm, and extend the 5mm rods so there wouldn't be any gaps, giving the illusion of pipes going into the fittings, with decent proportions.

Rounding out the corners will be the next step, as it is a bit more complicated, and to me, merits it's own step, albeit a small one.

Step 4: The Corners

This set of pictures illustrates how I made the rounded corners

1. Start with corner you are working on (fore corner, first picture).

2. Extend ONE of the 7mm rods 7mm so its edge lies flush with the sides of the other 7mm rods (second picture).

3. Using the "fillet" command, I clicked on the very end of the newly extended rod, and had it fillet 6.5, rounding it out (third picture).

The final picture in this set shows how the die looks with all 8 corners rounded out.

Step 5: Pattern for the Gears

While this isn't a step per see, it is useful to know where to place everything at, so I included this picture as what I am using as my guide to how many gears to put on each side, with the "1" being at the "top" for orientation, and the "5" on the "left." It is also pertinent to note that on D6 dice, opposite sides must equal 7.

Step 6: The Sides

Being the most detailed portion of the entire die, and the uniqueness of it, the sides took the longest to complete. This was a whole new learning curve for me, having to figure out how to add these various shapes onto the cube core, position them all freehand, scale, and on occasion to rotate the individual gears. most pronounced with the rotation would be side "4", side "2" was the most obvious choice for me to play with scaling. The final side that I did complete was "6", but it went surprisingly easily. I was able to insert a single gear, then copy and paste, moving it down. Pasting another copy of the gear, I placed it between to make it into a curved shape. Thankfully I was able to also multi-select that set of 3 gears, and mirror it over. However it still didn't look quite right, so some more finessing to achieve the final result, pictured. It ended up being as simple as rotating each gear so all of the teeth would line up properly.

Step 7: The Print

So I was able to stop by my library to print it. I did take a couple pictures while it was printing, as well as the final copy. However it was a centimeter, and the details did not show up properly, as you can see with the extremely poor picture. So I had them reprint it, but bump it up to 25mm, aka 1 in. Thats the final picture, and as you can see, turned out far better. So thats how I was able to design and print my gear face, pipe edged steampunk style D6 die. Optional painting is always there, but I haven't done that as of yet. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and I am sorry for the wait for those that had been following this particular project.

Step 8: Done

just had to use an Xacto knife to trim off the excess inital support bed, but it finished beautifully. Hope you enjoyed my instructable.

Design Now: 3D Design Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Design Now: 3D Design Contest 2016



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    14 Discussions

    December 20, 2016 update:

    ITS DONE!!! Feel free to browse the entire tutorial, tell me if anything is unclear, or needs clarification. To all of those that have followed since the beginning, a big thank you to all for the encouragement! Enjoy, and I did make sure to include the STL file itself in case anyone would be interested in printing this themselves

    13 Nov 2016 update: I was able to finish the edging, see step 3 for details. corners to be finished within the next couple days.

    Why SketchUp? Do you know about Autodesk 123D Design software. It's easier in my opinion(and free!) unless you have a paid version of SketchUp, which I wouldn't know how to use or the benefits of. i love the idea. What material do you have available??:) I'm definite;y interested in your process !! : )

    7 replies

    I'm currently using sketchup because that was a program that was recommended by my local public library for the designing software, and I wanted a program that was on my hard drive rather then an online editor. Plus i do recall ages ago playing around with it, so it just seems to work, more or less, for now. As far as material, it is currently PLA filament. A link to my library's page on their 3D printers:

    Okay. So it looks like they mention Tinkercad, which is similar to the program I'm talking about, from what I can tell. I haven't checked it out yet. I know that Autodesk 123D is set up to work with 3D printers. I don't really think SketchUp is. I guess really I'm only mentioning it in the first place because I took part of a beginning architecture class last semester and it centered around using SketchUp. I eventually found it VERY time-consuming to work with. I have since looked up other software for both architecture and design and I really like Autodesk 123D Design. It is much more fluid. There is actually a library in Colorado (Library 21 C) that does 3D printing and has posted tutorials on how to use Autodesk 123D. I actually watched all those videos and took notes. It's really helpful.

    I guess I just mention it, again, because sketch up didn't really compare, for me. If you want to check out the tutorials that I did, look at this video(I'm sure there'll be links to the other ones on the page.) It's really more helpful and this software is free!! Check it out if you want, it may save you some time and get your inner gears working:)

    In general, for design, I would look up Autodesk. They do Tinkercad and so many other things. They're really a great company and give a lot back to the community and help people design their own projects. They actually run this site(or are affiliated-whatever it is-I'm pretty sure they run it) I just think they are so much more current. And they want to help. Autodesk and everything they do is just like a great big golden door into designing today. (I know, I know, I'm enamored and have become a natural spokeswoman. Oh man. Lol :)

    its quite fine annieblocks, sometimes I don't know how to turn off my sales voice if I'm talking about my breads from work(I work in a bakery). I have since switched to Autodesk 123D Design 64bit version. goodthing too as Sketchup cant export to the proper file format to print. However I've been kinda busy with other stuff, so the die have taken the backburner, plus having to start it all again from scratch. Thankfully, I wasn't too far along with it quite yet. I'll try to keep everyone updated on progress on it as I come along

    I think i'll try autodesk. tinkercad is part of the autodesk family, but is online only. I was also double checking some stuff with sketchup, and i'm going to ditch it entirely, for I cant save my file in the required .stl format to load in Cura, only sketchup .skp (or similar lettering, either way, not what i can truely use). Thank you Annieblocks for the suggestion.

    You're welcome! Good luck!!! Let me know what you find out! I hope these come out succesfully and impressive.

    That is just something AMAZING !!!