First iteration of spiral dice tower

So here is my first iteration of a spiral dice tower. Unfortunately the die slides more than it tumbles so there’s some tweaks to be made. Anyone have ideas? I have a couple but I know there are way smarter people here than I am. Looking for any and all feedback. I already know that I need some more clearance for the dice entry and exits, so that’s already on the “to-do” list.


What a neat idea!

You’ve made the steps so even, though, and each gap so gradual, it doesn’t seem like there’s much opportunity for the die to get much of the quarter or half turn it would need to start rotating forward.

Much like a real life staircase, I wonder if you couldn’t avoid sliding by flattening out the steps to be a little more horizontal, and start a tumble going by removing a step near the top.

Also, if gravity serves you well, the die will be at its fastest immediately before hitting the “ground” at the bottom of your tower. If you give it a little more space to roll or bounce at the bottom, that might help turn the accumulated momentum into the unpredictable roll you’re looking for. (Couldn’t quite tell if that’s the clearance you were getting at, or if you just meant for ease of picking it up.)


That’s exactly what I was thinking…flatten out the steps a bit and give them some drop between steps might “encourage” the die to tumble more…the clearance part is at the top…sometimes the die gets stuck. I just need to add some room so that it just free falls in whatever orientation it lands in.

What about a small ridge in the middle of each step, or each other step to make the dice tumble?

Cool tower!:grinning:

1 Like

Thanks! stilll needs a few improvements though…

Interesting issue.

I wonder if exiting out in the direction of your momentum would help. Exit where that black door like part is. It seems like you lose all that built up motion trying to take that last right hand corner.

These dice towers are a great early project, this one has a nice “twist” =snare crash=


If you make the steps steeper and increase the friction that should cause the die to roll rather than slide?

ultimately I think my worry would be the gradual twist from the spiral nature would not introduce side to side flips, just gently guide the die in a slow twist about the Z axis.

Dang it looks cool though.

Lots of good ideas and the design is beautiful. My armchair suggestion would be to alternate the angle of the “steps:” steep, shallow (but not flat), steep, shallow, etc. Each die would accelerate down the steep step and transfer some of the energy into a bounce off of the shallow-pitched ones.:sunglasses:

My solution would be to add a randomizer to each step. Similar to the rubber walls of Craps tables where the pyramid shapes are designed to catch a die and force a change. Some such similar method on each step should do the trick.


There are some good suggestions above.

One thing I notice right off the bat is there should be some more of a height difference between each
step. Currently, you have the beginning of one step almost at the same height as the end of the previous one. If you change that, it will allow the die to tumble more.


If you want to keep the angles the way they are, you might try putting a lip at the end of each step to encourage it to tip over.

Cool tower! It was fun to watch the video. Reminded me of the old research lab days, using static mixers (you might try Googling that and see how they are designed). Static mixers are for mixing two liquids to turbulent flow without using mechanical mixing. An engineer could explain it better.

I like it. I’m thinking with a slight drop out at the end would be the simplest randomized. Nice looking design though.

Beautiful design. I love that it’s clear, too - fun to watch!

Given how fast the die gets going on the way down, I’m thinking that you just need to tweak the beginning and end. At the beginning, it looks like you needed to push the die to start down. Perhaps you could make the first ‘step’ angle down towards the center more? And for the vertical bar at the bottom, perhaps make it a bit more angled (e.g. 45 degrees from the plane of the door) so that the die bounces out o the door? It might need to go over the bottom step.

For more randomness, how about making the steps alternate sloping in and out, so that instead of being level, they make the die bounce in and out a bit?


So here is the latest iteration. Works much better now. I kept the first step at a steep angle to impart som momentum to the die and then flattened out the remaining steps to give bounce and more of a drop between steps. One thing to pay attention to though that I obviously missed was the direction of the steps when I laid out the engraving. It lined up so beautifully in the program but not so much on the final assembly. I was too excited to get it cut that I didn’t do any QA prior to hitting the go button. Still I really like how it turned out.

Thank you all for the great suggestions on how to solve my problem.


Short video of it in action. Much more of a tumble action vice the sliding action I had earlier.


Use some thin black EVA foam to cover the black ramps, that will give the dice some bounce

@kodiakkoehlers you mentioned a video of dice moving through this, but I don’t see a link. Can you provide it again?