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Subject: Making my own rocket dice. What is the ideal shape for a rocket dice? rss

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Haakon Gaarder
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I'm thinking of making my own rocket dice by 3d printing and then casting. I know the dice will not be 100% balanced because of this production technique, and I'm fine with it. But I want the shape of the dice to be as optimized as possible, and I think the rocket should be able to stand up. I have very good control of the shape using my 3d application. Here is my starting point, a 6 sided cyllinder with round top and bottom. All the sides are symmetrical(same length).

Any suggestions for what to think about when designing this? I guess it will roll better if it is not too elongated. And the edges should be sharp to ensure precise rolling.
 
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I'm probably displaying some fundamental ignorance here, but this seems to be a long-winded way of going about things when hexagonal wooden strips are available cheaply.

They could easily be fettled to make rounded or edged ends.

What have I missed? I suppose it might just be that I don't think - as yet - 'home' 3d printers are fit for any purpose other than experimentation.

Oh, wait, are you thinking of fancy-looking things like e.g. https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/projects/452116/photo-main.jpg?... ?

I'll get my coat.
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M.C.Crispy
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Somebody tell me what the point of Rocket Dice is? Is it just aesthetics if you're playing a Space-themed game?
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Looking at the photo I found the word 'suppository' sprung to mind. Perhaps they are used to 'congratulate' the winner?

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Haakon Gaarder
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Yes, I want to make fancy looking rocket dice like those you linked to. To be used as dice in games where the dice are missiles and ships, like Alien Frontiers, Quantum and Eclipse. I want to make them myself instead of buying them because I enjoy making stuff like that, and I'd like to be able to fully customize them.

I'm hoping to discuss what shape is optimal for a rocket dice in this thread. I hope to get input from people who know about the math, like weight distribution etc. Maybe there is not much to it, just symmetry, but I'd like to get some input just in case. A good starting point could be to ask, are the rocket dice from Game Salute optimally shaped for their purpose? What could be improved?

Here is how mine is looking so far, all the dice sides are square:
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It's not so much maths as physics, really (in terms of the design, that is). Speaking as neither a brain scientist or a rocket surgeon I do have to say that your sides look too short. You're going to get a lot of wobble along the long axis.

If you make the sides longer I don't think you need worry at all about the relative weight of the protrusions at the ends - that wouldn't affect the rotation.

If you were to add 'legs' or fins (fewer than the number of corners or sides) then that would introduce a bias, but in a different thread a tiny bias was not thought to be a major issue.

I didn't wholeheartedly agree: if you are rolling one biased die often - the bias will have an effect. If you are rolling one biased die infrequently, the bias may not matter much. If you are rolling very many similarly-biased dice often the bias will have an effect. If you are rolling very many similarly biased dice infrequently the bias may or may not matter, depending on the 'sensitivity' of the game to dice roll results. if you are rolling many randomly-biased dice the biases (?) would tend to cancel each other out.

If you are heavily engraving numbers or pips or images into the faces, that too will introduce a bias - that is what the discussion in the other thread was about. Six pips remove six times the material as one pip. Having lots of pips on adjacent sides would move the centre of gravity away from those sides, and hence make those sides more likely to be uppermost.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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You're going to need to watch the ratio of the long side of the faces compared to the diameter of the die and the length of the long axis. If you don't get it right, it won't roll around the long axis (which is, I guess, what is intended). I don't think your current prototype will work very well in that respect. Other than that, you'll have to watch overall size as in games like Alien Frontiers there are specific locations marked on the board and you need to fit these fairly well.

I quite like the idea of these dice for Merchant of Venus because they roll in a predictable direction, which is attractive as we always roll on the board instead of in a dice tray.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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mccrispy wrote:
Other than that, you'll have to watch overall size as in games like Alien Frontiers there are specific locations marked on the board and you need to fit these fairly well.
Ah! just seen that Alien Frontiers 4 Ed. is "rocket dice compatible"
 
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Haakon Gaarder
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Glad I posted this. Interesting input from both of you. I've obviously been pushing the design in the wrong direction, as I've tried to make it as little elongated as possible. Will make it longer. I'm also adding fins on the bottom, I'll align them to be symmetrical with the dice sides.
 
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Yss: add three fins (to a hexagonal section) and I think you'll be OK.

The interesting possibility is, of course, how relatively easy it is using your method to make 5, 7, 11 or 13 sided die!
 
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Haakon Gaarder
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Here is my latest version. Elongated enough?
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Haakon Gaarder wrote:
Here is my latest version. Elongated enough?
I don't know for sure. However, the further from an overall spherical volume it describes the less prone to rolling on the short axis it will be. So I'd say it'll be better than the previous shape. Plus that's a more aesthetically pleasing shape to my eyes.
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Kolja Geldmacher
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Especially when printing something like this you can alter the center of gravity. by altering the size and depth of the pips. When you make the single pip the same extracted volume as the six pips extract together your good... Just keep them all at the same depth or you get another CoG issue!
Fh
 
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Brian
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Flashhawk wrote:
Especially when printing something like this you can alter the center of gravity. by altering the size and depth of the pips. When you make the single pip the same extracted volume as the six pips extract together your good... Just keep them all at the same depth or you get another CoG issue!
Fh

There is no center of gravity issue. The resulting part isn't precise enough for the effect of the pips to be noticeable.
 
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enoon wrote:
The interesting possibility is, of course, how relatively easy it is using your method to make 5, 7, 11 or 13 sided die!

The numbers would have to be on the corners though. I've seen it done, so it must work to some degree.
 
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J Graning
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From a quick read I can't see that anyone has given the best answer yet. . .


Rocket shaped. . . ninja


Sorry it had to be said.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Of course if you are worried about the effect of removing material with pips, you could always fill the pips with a contrasting colour of Milliput.
 
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Brian
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cornixt wrote:
enoon wrote:
The interesting possibility is, of course, how relatively easy it is using your method to make 5, 7, 11 or 13 sided die!

The numbers would have to be on the corners though. I've seen it done, so it must work to some degree.

Why would numbers have to be on the corners? Instead of having a hexagonal cross-section, it could be pentagonal or heptagonal.
 
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The flat part will be on the bottom. With an odd number of sides a corner will have to be the uppermost. Only shapes with an even number of sides will have flat faces on both the top and bottom.
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That's quite a good point!
 
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Brian
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Yup! I missed that.
 
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Haakon Gaarder
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Not too concerned about the pips right now, will adjust if I notice any bias after making the first. Here is the current design. I shortened the flat part a little to make it look more like a normal dice. Hopefully this will not affect rolling.
 
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M.C.Crispy
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Haakon Gaarder wrote:
Not too concerned about the pips right now, will adjust if I notice any bias after making the first. Here is the current design. I shortened the flat part a little to make it look more like a normal dice. Hopefully this will not affect rolling.
For some reason, it now looks more like a submarine than a rocket! Is it the yellow colour or is it the extended "nose"? I dunno, but it's a submarine for me. I like the longer shape with more square faces on the "collar" but unless you can balance the nose and tail it's going to roll a bit funny as it now looks a bit "nose heavy".
 
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My opinion? You'd have to shake and throw rather than rattle and roll.

I don't think they'll roll well at all. To roll I think the 'wet thumb in the air' approach would be that the flat sides need to be at least the length of the nose plus the tail to have them roll at all. Or perhaps make smooth transition to both ends to prevent the inevitable 'wobble' severely disrupting the rotation.

If you want to throw rather than roll, they're probably fine.

In conclusion: the faces seem too short compared to the overall length - but if you can do quick prototype, give them a go.
 
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Dave C
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You may want to make a little rocket with fins... then roll it and see what it does... the fins would stop it in certain positions... make notes and that's where you put your faces...

but beware... dice can land many, many ways... Like these dice
 
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