My Dice Making Process
My dice making process is rather complex, and I intend to have blog posts that break down steps with short walk-through guides for those that are interested in the art form. However, in general, the process by which I create my dice is as follows:
Master Dice Creation:
• Font Creation: Prior to creating my master 3D files, I will use FontForge to create the font I will place on my masters. This not only includes the numbers that I will use but the logos that either I have designed or have had designed for me by those who are better at drawing than I am.
• 3D File Creation: Using a mixture of Fusion 360 and OpenSCAD, I personally design the shapes and sizes of my dice creations. Once designed digitally, I will use Chitubox to add supports and slice the files for my printers.
• 3D Printing: Once the files are created, I will print them using my Elegoo Mars or Phrozen Sonic Mini 3D Printers using Elegoo standard resins. After the print is completed, the prints themselves are clipped to remove the supports, washed in isopropal alcohol, water, cured under UV light and with heat in a non-food use toaster oven.
• Raw Mold of Masters: After the prints are processed, I will mold them raw - meaning that I have not done any finishing work to the prints prior to molding. Once the mold is completed, I then cast resin in the mold to create my master dice. These are cured under pressure in my pressure pot.
• Master Dice Finishing: When the cast is fully cured, roughly 24-48hours with the resin I use, I will begin the finishing process. This begins by sanding and leveling the faces of the dice, and finishes with polishing them until they have a mirror/glass-like surface.
• Master Molding: Next, the finished resin masters will be molded, typically in Dragon Skin fast 10. However, I am currently experimenting with other silicones. Again, these molds are pressure-cast to ensure there are no bubbles.
Resin Dice Creation:
• Dice Design Phase: With the molds completed, I can then begin to gather the materials I will use in my resin cast. This typically consists of mica powders, glitters, dried florals, animal bones, and pretty much anything I can fit in a dice. To help focus my dice design, I will typically hunt for inspiration photos on Pinterest that fit with the theme I would like to do. Then, I will use these to create a mood board that I can pull color and texture from.
• Prepping the space: Once I have the design figured out, I will prep my space for resin casting. This includes placing silicone mats down, gathering the ingredients I wish to include, checking my safety equipment and ensuring I have all the tools I need.
• Pouring: With safety gear in place, I will then mix my resin and place into the master molds I've created. Once all is in place, these are set into my pressure pot and cured under pressure for the duration of the time specified on the info sheets for the resin I am using. Typically I use Smooth-On 327 resin which has a demold time of 4 hours, which is how long it will remain in the pressure pot.
• Demolding: After the demold cure time is completed, I will remove the molds from my pressure pot and pop the dice out. These will then sit for roughly 8-12 hours (depending on the type of resin I'm using), to finish curing.
• Finishing: Lastly, after fully cured, I will lightly sand and polish all dice to ensure the mirror/glass-like finish remains on all faces. They will then be washed in a sonic jewelry cleaner to remove any sanding debris, then typically inked in acrylic paint.