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A more efficient way to stamp paint Answered

Hi all!

I have been working on a crowd source campaign for elaborately designed dice for a while now and have a problem with my home manufacturing process...hopefully, someone can give me some ideas.

I need to find a quick and efficient way to apply paint to the raised surfaces of the dice faces. You can see in the rendered pic the 3d printed file that I'll be making the mold from. I made the numbers extend out instead of going in to simplify the painting but need to get down a system of applying the paint.

I was thinking some sort of stamping but thought that was only good with ink.

Any input is appreciated...



Hi and thanks for the suggestions! I've uploaded the pic of the dice face mold using the newer uploader. You can see that the top faces that are white are the ones I want to paint. Anything that can be set up easily by one person (me!) and cranked out dependably is the goal. If there's a type of sponge that takes paint well and applies evenly would be a big help. As for 3d printing in color...too expensive and time consuming for my needs.


That looks like a really easy job for semi soft sponge.
Unless you need the sides of the numbers painted too.
For higher volumes you can also use roller printer.
Basically just a reservoir of paint kept at the same level with a sponge roller on top.
Depending on how still your dice is you can either push it over manually or use a second roller on top to always have the same pressure.
That way it is no problem to paint between 130 and 200 pieces per hour, a bit more with a well sorted workflow and a helping hand.

I think you might have my solution! Do you have any links or info with this roller printer? I'm hoping I can develop a "micro-manufacturing-hub" in my basement to start my small business.

Sorry no links we just used a normal paint roller (the thin foam kind) and cut the metal off the handle to fit into a plastic container.
The plastic cap at one end of the roller was drilled out to allow the metal pin to go through.
There was only about 4cm of free space to the bottom of the container so we did not have to use huge amounts of paint at once.

For the support roller we did the same only that it was in a wooden frame with some thumb screws to adjust the height a bit.
To use it as a double roller the container was places in a cutout of the plate holding the frame for the upper roller.

Thanks for expanding on your solution. If you get a minute it'd be great if you could attach a picture....having a bit of trouble visualizing.

Don't have that thing anymore but just think of a paint roller fixed over a shallow container so that a bit of the roller rests in the paint.

You're bloody kidding me!
That looks like a 50% size copy in metal with an added heater for the butter :(
Only thing missing is the side mounts for the spring loaded upper roller.
Ok we only cut a plastic box/container to fit the paint roller and added a lid and frame but if I would not know better than I would say someone found my hard drive in the rubbish some 10 years ago and used my pics ROFL
Just shows again how hard it is to actually invent really new things I guess...

Great find by the way!
Am sure Dmenegon will get a better clue now.

If it makes you feel better, this isn't a new invention.. I used one of these ages ago when I worked as a short order cook. They are great for evenly buttering a slice of bread so you can toast it on the griddle for all sorts of sandwiches (grilled cheese etc)

It's nice but if I need one I use the cleaning station for my soldering iron, it has two of these rollers ;)
But I do like the smoke machine, all I need now is to invent some hickory cigars to smoke my meat and fish LOL
They have been weird with their inventions back in the day.

Hi all,

I thought I'd share with you the solution I went with. As you can see from the pics, I took an old plastic place mat and cut holes for the numbers to use as a stencil. With a small roller that has the tight foam as opposed to the other kind I managed to paint all the numbers in a jiffy!


Since you have the files for the original, it should be easy to create a mask or open stencil. Make the mask the same height as your numerals. It will also act as a holder for the pieces too. Plop that over the matching die and you can roll on your paint/ink just like inking up a letterpress. Lift off and done. Good luck.

Thanks for the reply. I thought of stenciling but some of the numbers (there's 5 other dice) have closed holes that would be problematic for stenciling.

Maybe design the die with a filler piece in the holes/minimal support of the 6, 9, 0, 8 so that you can pop out after the painting. But I think a larger roller would be able to bridge the voids when inking and all that would be necessary is the outer stencil.

I think having the numbers extend out instead of being indented inwards some kind of sponge or roller might be the easiest (cheapest!) way to attack this problem. But I did have a similar idea that you mentioned...it's all about minimal steps in the process.

2 tangential questions:

Will dice be "true" with raised numbers?

Will the paint wear off during use


These are really elaborately designed than usual dice...more a collectable. If that answers question 1.

The paint won't contact any surfaces....the outer points will.

High voltage painting in front of a waterfall like in the automobile industry would be efficient in the paint use.
Not seeing any pics, so a bit hard to judge how good or bad stamping would work - but I know it can work well on uneven surfaces if the right type of sponge is used.
As an alternative there is also foil.
A lot of taxies and gouvernment vehicles used it here.
Simply put it is a quite stretchy sticky tape with really good adhesion.
Heat it with a hairdryer a bit and you get it around corners and into cavities.
Might not be perfect for a dice but if you are only after the sides...