Dispatches from the front (Pre-Release Report) - Snake-Eyes!

Some asked about the ability to engrave dice that I get from Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Blank-White-Dice-16MM-Storage/dp/B00LW5CBL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493001514&sr=8-1&keywords=blank+dice+100)

These are a compression molded granular urea compound. They are your traditional heavy dice similar to the weight and feel of dominoes.

I grabbed a GF logo off Google Images and tried some different engraving settings. The best was the 1% power/335in per min/1355LPI but the 675LPI was pretty close. The 1355LPI engrave lettering was a good black while the 675LPI engrave was slightly on the brown side. The two Orodurin/elvish engraves were at 450 & 1355LPI.

Some staining is evident but a quick wipe afterward with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and it’s clean and sparkling.

There is an etch that can be felt by a fingernail but there’s no melting at the power/speeds/LPI used. The image was a pretty low res image but in the final logo you can even see the tiny TM that is part of the glowforge text.

Lots of potential for custom dice for games - either new or replacements ones. If you’re going to be making a bunch, I’d make a template & jig by cutting out some squares in a piece of plywood that you can drop the blank dice into. Then just keep rotating them to do each face.

BTW, these were .633" on a side. That meant it couldn’t be used with the crumb tray in place. I stacked an inch or so of baltic birch ply in place of the crumb tray, popped a dice on top, added the two together and then subtracted the 1.5" height of the stock crumb tray to determine the setting for the GFUI’s “material thickness” - the height it is above the crumb tray. (This is counter to most lasers where you’re setting the distance between the lens and the material.) Upload, print and push the blinking button!


For future reference, Glowforge has made vector files of their logo available for us to use in projects. I bet these would turn out sharp as a knife.


This looks terrific! So, did it smell like a porty-potty on a warm summer’s eve?!


So cool! And thanks for the link @mpipes. Also, lots of assets at glowforge.com/press.


No smell at all. It’s a pretty stable resin compound and small engraving areas.


This is great! Do you think the colored dice would work as well?

Depends & I don’t know but they should :slight_smile:

Dice are made either of the urea resin these are or from acrylic. I would expect acrylic ones to act no differently than any acrylic. You’d get the normal white etch instead of the coloring that comes with these. You’d need to paint them I’d expect for best contrast. But that’s likely a quick brush & wipe action so no biggie, just one more step although you’d be able to get different color etches that way.

You’ll find more colors available in acrylic dice than urea resin which is constrained to the primary colors more or less. The trouble is it’s often hard to find out what they’re made of - I’ve even seen the ones I use referred to as “urea acrylic” which isn’t a thing :slight_smile:


Those turned out beautifully crisp! :relaxed:

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Thanks for the share!!! Giving me way too many ideas now.
I’m curios… Did you mask these prior? Wondering if that would have saved you the post-forge wiping. I also imagine that, if masked, one could paint the engrave in order to get a variety of colors there.


Ew! :sweat_drops:


No mask.

Downside is I needed to wipe it with alcohol. I used one of those Purell antiseptic wipes. But I could have just spritzed some on a paper towel and it would have worked as well. There was no rubbing or effort involved - the smoke stain just wipes off. It took longer to open the little wipe packet than it did to wipe the dice.

Upside is I didn’t need to mask or weed it. Ever try to mask six sides of a dice that are all about 5/8" square? I can’t imagine anything more tedious, especially in volume.

If masked you could paint before weeding. But I’m also pretty certain that painting the dice surface with a paint pen or brush would work and then wipe off the surface leaving the engraved portion colored. I’ll give that a shot tonight when I get home and report back.


Urea is different than urine (the eww factor). It’s a ubiquitous nitrogen compound. You’ll find it in face creams (for rehydration of skin), food (used to brown pretzels), cigarettes (flavoring agent), toothpaste (whitening), soap (dishwashing liquids), ethanol production, glues, fabric dyes, fertilizer (highest nitrogen density of any solid fertilizer) and swimming pools (delays chlorine breakdown). It’s odorless, colorless, solid (it’s a salt), ph neutral and non-toxic. It’s everywhere and the fact that it’s a primary component of urine isn’t its fault :slight_smile:


It still comes from wee wee though! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Sorry, feel a bit childish today! :smiley:


Not any more. That was true decades ago, now it is petrochemical extracted.


Dinosaur wee wee?


So Matetial thickness has to be set manually for each job or only non proofgrade jobs? I thought I remembered something about the cameras auto detecting materal thickness (unless that’s only with the proofgrade QR)

Materials have to be above the crumb tray line to be used? So under .5" with tray or over 1.5" without? anything between .5" and 1.5" is unforgeable?

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No, you can add standoffs or a layer of whatever under to being it up to the focal range.


Got it

They are still quite laserable, but need a bit of shimming to make sure the surface to be engraved is in the .5" focus zone.

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