Introduction: Dice Thrower!

The project conducted as part of the Computational Design and Digital Fabrication seminar in the ITECH masters program.

We have the pleasure of introducing you the dice thrower. We know that all of us are tired of wasting so much effort on throwing dice every time so here we give you the solution.

We initially designed a digital dice that incorporated moving LEDs, roulette system, “popping” mechanics, etc. However, these ideas were not as effective as we wanted it to be. After several trial and errors, we have come up with a digital dice thrower.

A sensor and a switch trigger the movement of the motors, and eventually throws the dice. Catapults usually have unpredictable results and that’s why we have designed a machine that includes a fabrication that directs the dice to one direction.

Step 1: Materials

Arduino Uno

· Bread Board

· Power Supply

· 9G Servo Motors (x2)

· Ultrasonic Sensor

· Micro Switcher

· 500 x 700 x 1.5mm Finnpappe (x2)

· 200 x 500 x 1.5mm Vivak Sheet

· Glue

Step 2: Preliminary Mechanisms

Momentum and tension are key components to the success of this project. The catapult system in the Dice Thrower! is the most essential part of the machine thus, an efficient system is needed. The placement of the motor and the axis affects the overall ability to throw the dice. In addition, the length of the elastic and its tension also mattered.

The sketches show different ways to maximize the pulling motion of the table. Through different iterations and sketch models, we were able to distinguish the mechanism that works the best for the Dice Thrower!

Step 3: Design & 3D Modeling

For visual purposes and efficiency, the Dice Thrower! is designed to be simple and minimal. We modeled the machine several times to narrow it down to one. Factors that helped us decide this is the amount of material to be used, size, and the easiest to assemble.

3D modeling made it easier to assign certain spaces for the mechanical elements of the project. The preliminary mechanisms were also 3D modeled in order to assume how far the table would turn given its circumstances.

Step 4: Fabrication & Assembly

Dice Thrower! is a project for everyone. It’s very easy to assemble and very cheap. The template includes all the parts needed for the machine. It can be laser cut or cut on your own. The model is based on a 1.5mm thickness and can be adjusted based on the preferred thickness. The total dimension of the machine is approximately 370 (l) x 140 (w) x 220 (h) mm.

Step 5: Breadboarding

It is important to prototype the circuit before finalizing the machine’s design. Initially, we were going to use a stepper motor and a servo motor however, we were unable to input the angle of rotation with the stepper motor. As a result, we had to incorporate another servo motor. The circuit diagram shows the circuit used for the machine but without the capacitors and the voltage regulator because we realized that we don´t need it.

Step 6: Wiring Assembly

Organizing the wires might be the most tedious part of this project. Despite the amount of preparation, the wires can still get a little crazy. The design fabrication includes specific pockets for the mechanism of the Dice Thrower! The allotted holes made it easier to connect everything without complicating the circuit.

Step 7: Trial & Error

Despite the amount of design process and planning, some thing will not go smoothly. A few things that needed to be tested is the bending capacity of the material chosen for the dice table. It should be able to withstand the tension without affecting its form. Furthermore, the length of the elastic fully depends on the type and thickness of the elastic. It was difficult to incorporate an elastic without the trial and error method.

Step 8: Have Fun!

After all your hard work, go ahead and enjoy it. It doesn’t only roll dice; go on and try it with different things!