Dice have been around for more than four thousand years, the earliest discovered in Egypt! The best dice were carved from bone and ivory but could be made from almost anything. You can find ancient examples of d20s, d4s, and d6s from all over the world.
In modern times, we still use different types of dice for things like Dungeons and Dragons to craps and other casino games. The various types of games go with the types of dice. But did you ever wonder what goes into making them?
From precise machining to meticulous hand carving, you can find gaming dice made in many different ways. With tabletop games having a surge in popularity, the need for dice is greater than ever! Read on to learn how the best dice are crafted!
Precision Is Key
Casino dice are federally regulated to be of certain precision. The tolerance of these dice can’t be more than 1/2000th of an inch! This is to prevent accusations of cheating from being leveled at the casino.
They make these precision dice by machining them from a block of plastic. Then the pips are drilled out and then filled in with colored epoxy that matches the dice’s density. This makes sure every face is the same weight.
Most polyhedral dice are manufactured using a process known as plastic injection molding. This process is fast and allows for mass production of these dice sets. The process is also cheap, aside from the creation of the steel mold for the dice.
They reuse the mold for different colored dice, cutting down on the successive price of the dice runs. They manufacture the dice using a plastic called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) which is clear plastic. Different pigments get added to get the various colors and designs.
Shaken & Stirred
After the cooling process, they put the dice in a tumbling machine. This is to wear down the rough edges and nubs of plastic from cutting them out of the mold. Once tumbled, they get painted, then tumbled again so that the only paint left is in the numbers, then polished and inspected for any flaws.
Getting that beautiful marbled look you see in many dice sets is not easy. You achieve the look by using two or more colors in the batch of PMMA, but it works best with a plunger-style mixer instead of a reciprocating screw mixer. The screw heats the plastic and mixes the two pigments too evenly.
A speckled look gets achieved by mixing two different polymers together, each with different melting points. The base color breaks down faster than the accent color, leaving the speckles. Sometimes a special glitter powder gets added to the mix instead, making the dice extra sparkly.
The Best Dice for Your Best Games
Whether you need them for the best board games or your latest tabletop campaign, there’s playing dice for you! Finding the best dice for you lets you customize your games and set the right mood. With the right dice, luck will be on your side!
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