How to Make a Cardboard Tumbling Dice Tower!

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Introduction: How to Make a Cardboard Tumbling Dice Tower!

About: Welcome to Verticees Papercraft. I am specialized in paper model design. You can view all my work at my website: cartesiadesign.com, or at my Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/Verticees. Thanks for viewing!

Hello Everyone,
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a card board dice tower. For those of you who don't know, a dice tower is a small tower that you can put dice in through the top. The dice will travel down the tower and will hit many obstacles before coming out of the bottom. Dice towers eliminate the need for rolling dice by hand.  However, some dice towers are very costly, but not his one! Th dice tower I will make in this Instructable is made from spare cardboard and other materials you probably have around the house. Let's begin!

What did I make?
I made a cardboard dice tower, which lets you put in a dice on the top and then spit the dice out through the bottom. It works by hitting the dice with many platforms as it travels down the tower. To make this, I used carboard, pliers, hot glue, paperclips, a pen, a ruler, and some paper.

How did you make it?
I got the idea for the project when I saw a game at an arcade. In the game, the player would put a coin in a slot, and the slot would bump against many rods on the way down. This gave me the idea for how many dice tower should work. I worked on this project completely by myself. As I  made worked on the project, my designs constantly changed. Originally, the tower was actually supposed to be a small cube, but I realized the cube would not be able to hold enough obstacles. I also had many different designs for the location and shape of the platforms. Because my design was constantly changing, I started this project over and over many times.

Where did you make it?
I made this project completely at home. This project connects to my life because I am an avid board game player, and my opponents often cheat with dice. This ensures that they don't cheat.

What did I learn?
I learned a lot of stuff from this project.  One of the challenges I encountered while building the tower was when I finished. I put a die into the top of the tower, but it did not come out of the bottom. It turned out the distance between two platforms was too close, so the dice could not pass through. I had to completely disassemble the tower, change the distance between platforms, and rebuild the tower. I am proudest of the paperclip supports underneath each platform. I came up with idea for supports and built them all by myself. These supports allow the user to change the angle of the platforms inside the tower. If I had to build this again, I would test if the dice could travel through the tower before completely assembling the tower.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials & Tools

For this project, you will need:
  • 3 small paperclips
  • spare cardboard
  • a ruler
  • scissors
  • a pen
  • thick paper
  • pliers
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue

Step 2: Make the Stencils.

In this step, we are going to make stencils for all the cardboard components required for the dice tower. The reason we are making stencils is because many components of the same size are needed, and it does not make sense to have to measure out the same shape 3 times!

Get your thick paper, pen, and ruler. Now, measure out the following pieces on the paper:
  • 4" x 4"
  • 6" x 2"
  • 5" x 2"
  • 2 1/4" x 2"
  • 1 1/4" x 2"
  • 1/2" x 4"
  • 1/2" x 1"
Once you have them all drawn out, cut them out using your scissors and write the measurements of the stencils on them. This will help us remember the dimensions of the pieces.

Step 3: Make the Cardboard Pieces.

For this step, you will need your stencils from step 2, your cardboard, and your pen.

Get all of your stencils and trace them using your pen on your  cardboard pieces. You will need:
  • one (4" x 4") piece
  • three (6" x 2") pieces
  • one (5" x 2") piece
  • one (2 1/4" x 2") piece
  • three (1 1/4" x 2") pieces
  • three (1/2" x 4") pieces
  • two (1/2" x 1") pieces
Once you have all the components traced out, cut them out using your scissors.

Step 4: Make the Platform Supports

For this step, you will need your three short paperclips and your pliers.

Take your pliers and use them to bend all the paperclips into straight lines. Then, use your pliers to grasp the middle of the bent paperclips, and twist the pliers back and forth until it snaps the paperclip in half. Repeat this on the other two paperclips.

You should now have six short metal rods. Take your pliers and bend each of them at about a 65 degree angle.



Step 5: Make the Platforms

For this step, you will need the six platform supports you made in Step 4, you hot glue and hot glue gun, your ruler, your pen, and the three 1 1/4" x 2" cardboard pieces you cut out in step 3.

Take your three 1 1/4" pieces and place them so the side that is two inches long is horizontal. Using your ruler, measure 1/4 of an inch from the border of the pieces towards their center. Now, get your hot glue gun and your six platform supports. Using the lines you drew as guidelines, glue the supports on the cardboard pieces. Make sure the angle vertex on the supports (the area of the bend) touches the edge of the pieces.

Repeat this on all three pieces.

Step 6: Measure Platform Location

For this step, you will need your your ruler, your pen, one of the 6" x 2" pieces,  and the 5" x 2" piece

Place your 6" x 2" cardboard piece next to the ruler so that the top of the piece aligns with the 0 inch mark. Make a mark at the 2 1/4" point and draw a straight line across.

Now, take your 5"' x 2" cardboard piece and place it next to the ruler. Make two marks on this piece: one at the 1" point and one at the 3 3/4" point. Draw a straight line at these points. This will be where we glue our platforms.

Step 7: Attach the Platforms

For this step, you will need your hot glue gun and hot glue, and the three finished platforms you made, and the two cardboard pieces you made markings in step 6.

Align the top of the platforms to the lines we drew in the previous step. Once the platform is aligned, glue down the two clips the meet the surface of the cardboard. Do not glue anything else but the paperclips. When you are done, you should have one platform on the 6" x 2" piece and two platforms on the 5" x 2" piece. 

Step 8: Begin Tower Assembly

For this project, you will need the two assembled walls you made in Step 7, your hot glue and hot glue gun, the two remaining 6" x 2" cardboard pieces, and the 2 1/4" cardboard piece.

Take glue and apply it to the right edge of the 6" x 2" assembled wall, and then attach it to the left side of one the 6" x 2" pieces. Now, apply glue to the left edge of the 5" x 2" assembled wall, and attach it to the the right side of the same piece. Lastly, take your glue and apply some to the 2 1/4" side of the 2 1/4" x 2" piece. Now, place it on the bottom of the walls so it forms an angle as shown in the picture.

Step 9: Finish Tower Assembly

For this step, you will need your hot glue and hot glue gun, your almost finished tower from step 8, and your last 6" x 2" piece. 

Apple glue to the two edges of the tower, and then place the remaining 6" x 2" piece on top. Your tower is now complete!

Step 10: Make the Tower Floor

For this step, you will need your 4" x 4" cardboard piece, your three 1/2" x 4" cardboard pieces, your two 1/2" x 1" cardboard piece, and your hot glue gun with glue.

Take one of your 1/2" x 4" pieces and apply glue to the 4" edge. Attach it to one of the edges on the 4" x 4" square. Repeat this with the remain 1/2" x 4" pieces. On the remaining edge without a border, glue the two 1/2" x 1" pieces as shown in the picture. Finally, apply some glue to the bottom of the tower and glue it in the space between the two 1/2" x 1" pieces. Your tower and floor are now complete!

As as finishing touch, add a small 1" x 2" piece to the top of the tower and glue it there. 

Step 11: How to Use It!

To use the tower, simply take a dice and drop it in the top, and the dice will fall back down and will randomly land on one of its faces.
Look at the attached videos to see how it works.

Trouble Shooting:
If the dice does not come out of the bottom, it is probably stuck in between the platforms. To ensure this doesn't happen again, take your pen and push down on the platforms. Since they are adjustable (thanks to my design), you can adjust their angle, so that the dice won't get stuck again!


I really hoped you enjoyed this Instructable. Please leave comments, and please vote for this Instructable. Thank you!

Crafting Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Crafting Speed Challenge

Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Participated in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

Participated in the
Cardboard and Duct Tape Contest

7 People Made This Project!

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24 Discussions

0
chipmunk22bdk
chipmunk22bdk

2 months ago

I had to practically break the tower after I assembled it because I couldn't get my D20 unstuck with the test roll ☹ I might make another one 50% bigger.. twice as big wouldn't have good portability 🤔

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chipmunk22bdk
chipmunk22bdk

Reply 2 months ago

I just finished making this again but with all dimensions 50% larger, and now my D20 falls through beautifully. I also added a third paperclip support under each platform, simply for personal reassurance with the bigger pieces.

20200417_011922.jpg
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RobertK106
RobertK106

6 months ago

I agree that this should be at least 50% larger. 3"x3" would do it, even though you can adjust by pushing down the platforms, because pushing on the platforms runs the risk of actually breaking the platforms.

One more minor comment: because the lowest platform rolls toward the back of the tower, dice can land and stop on the bottom, inside the tower. This can be addressed with one more piece of cardboard, angled slightly, say 15 degrees. You don't need paper clips for this one, just brace it on the bottom with another small piece of cardboard. I plan to do this with the next one.

1
AllisonB73
AllisonB73

Tip 1 year ago

This was a great pattern. I added a stone printout, cut it to each section and decoupaged it to the cardboard before gluing together. It came out well if I say so myself. Next time I recommend making the pieces 50%-100% larger as the D20s don't fit in my tower.

D&D dice tower.jpg
0
Verticees
Verticees

Reply 6 years ago

Thanks!

0
einnis
einnis

6 years ago on Introduction

This would be awesome as a clear plexiglass too. Watch your dice tumble down!

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Verticees
Verticees

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

It sure would be cool! I'll probably make another one when I can get my hands on some plexiglass. I might even call it the "Ghost Tower", since you can see through it!

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DdraigGoch
DdraigGoch

7 years ago on Introduction

What a really good idea! I'm impressed and I think I might well make one, considering it's me who usually knocks over the components with the dice throw :D

Thank you very much for your very clear instructions and good photographs. I hope you do well in the competition and I've voted for you too. I agree that a little duct tape around the corners would strengthen it, even if it was internally applied.

0
Verticees
Verticees

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks so much! Kind comments like yours make my day!

0
bajablue
bajablue

7 years ago on Introduction

Great idea! If you encased the tower in duct tape, it would hold up longer. ;-) Voted!

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Winged Fist
Winged Fist

7 years ago on Introduction

Nice job and cool concept! I wish I thought of this when I was 14 and addicted to D&D;-)

I have one suggestion: You might want to consider getting yourself a roll of wood print contact paper, and wrapping your tower in it. This will serve two purposes: Making it look like it's made of wood (and covering up the cardboard), AND making it a bit sturdier.

If you want to get really fancy, you can also throw a coat of polyurethane over the contact paper and really make it look like wood! I've used this technique in a number of projects, including my Steampunk iPod Classic Case, and it's very effective;.

0
Verticees
Verticees

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for your suggestion! I never would have thought of that!

0
dreamberry
dreamberry

7 years ago on Introduction

Dude this is awesome! definitely going on my must build list!

0
Verticees
Verticees

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Thank you for viewing my Instructable! Tell me if you have any suggestions!

0
dozer789
dozer789

7 years ago on Introduction

Great Job! This is very cool, i never thought of anything like this. This will be great for my brother (He has a problem of sending the dice ALL OVER the house when he rolls)

I also voted for you. :D

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Verticees
Verticees

7 years ago on Introduction

Hello everyone! Don't forget to vote and comment on this Instructable! I could use all the suggestions!

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roboticarrow
roboticarrow

7 years ago on Introduction

Cool! You should try making one out of wood. It would look more professional.

0
Verticees
Verticees

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I wish I could, but I am only 14, so my access to power tools is very limited