Dice engraving

What are the settings for engraving acrylic dice? How about plastic? Can you engrave plastic? I am in the middle of creating a board game that needs customized dice, so I am trying to make them myself.

I’m new here and I am trying to find information. I spent hours looking through the forum and can’t seem to find the information I need. Maybe I just don’t know how to word my search correctly. I am at a loss right now.

I think for acrylic dice you’d just use acrylic settings. The material height is going to be the more challenging part there, and setting up a jig so you can engrave precisely. Search terms would be “cutting without the tray” if your dice are more than a half inch tall, and “using a jig” or something similar.

“Plastic” is kind of a generic term. First thing is you need to make sure it doesn’t contain PVC, since that will make your machine die a slow, miserable death. Search for “burn test,” I think?

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If the dice are acrylic one of the acrylic settings will work. It really doesn’t matter if you are engraving acrylic flat sheets or acrylic dice. Acrylic is acrylic. Whether or not you can engrave plastic depends on the type of plastic.

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That’s what I am afraid of. When I am looking for blank dice that are plastic, they will label it as plastic but not what type of plastic it is. I don’t feel confident in taking that risk.

Yeah, I’d stick with the acrylic ones, myself. :slight_smile:

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Yeah, that’s what I am thinking. I wanted to keep the plastic as a back up option in case I couldn’t find acrylic ones I liked. Plastic scares me to much though.

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“dice blanks”

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I’ve never seen acrylic dice. I’d be very suspicious of any that claimed to be. Most dice on the market are made of resin. I’ve had a bunch of chessex blanks for a while (read: years) and have never gotten around to engraving them.

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https://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_rods_tubes_shapes/cast_acrylic_cubes/136

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Here is a You Tube video about fire-testing to see if a substance has chloride in it. Good info for determining what not to put in your Glowforge.

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No offense, but acrylic is a plastic resin.

Many blanks available commercially are made from acrylic.

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Hmm I’d like to see a cast acrylic rpg seven or ten set.

And no offense taken, I understand that acrylic is a specific resin but my experience in rpg dice blanks is that they’re a non-acrylic resin or inexpensive plastic, usually injection molded.

A bit of googling yields some bespoke cast acrylic dice for sale but no blanks yet.

Hi, I got some dice blanks from amazon that specifically said “acrylic” in the description (though, I know that doesn’t necessarily mean they were, they did engrave nicely). I used 335/40/225lpi for a fairly deep engrave. It was probably a higher power than needed. I also masked them so I could easily use a dab of acrylic to help make the symbols being engraved stand out.

The problem I had was an alignment issue and getting the height right without the crumb tray. For a jig, in the end I made a thin box (about 2mm shorter than the dice) of card stock, taped it to a couple of scraps of draft board and taped it all to the bottom of the crumb-tray-free machine. Step one was cutting dice sized squares out of the top of the box. Then I could drop the dice into the holes, knowing that the icons I was engraving would be lined up, even if it didn’t look like it was on the software once it had refocussed on the dice.

I have seen a number of YT videos of people casting their own dice with acrylic resin. Mostly, they seem to cast them with the numbers rather than trying to apply them in a separate step. There are tutorials on making molds or, you can just buy molds ready-to-go. I can probably dig some of those videos up from my viewing history, if you like.

The Glowforge is wonderful but, not everything is a nail …

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I have a full casting rig, with a pressure pot and the whole nine yards. It’s a fun thing to make your own dice. I also have an elegoo mars, and casting silicone so in theory I could make my own masters, though I haven’t bothered to try that yet.

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That would be fun! I have an Elegoo Mars and, have thought about trying some printed dice or masters. I haven’t done any casting in ages but, keep thinking about it.

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