Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Prototype Dice Tower

Back in late October 2007 I built a dice tower. Now, for those of you who don't know what a dice tower is let me explain. A dice tower is a tool for randomising the roll of dice. You drop the dice into the top of the tower and as they fall they hit a number of alternating sloped ledges within the tower before falling out the bottom ramp into a catchment area.

The benefits of a dice tower are that 1) all players use the same mechanical method for rolling dice (reducing possible individual influence over dice rolls), and 2) the dice when rolled are kept in one area (thus eliminating game components being knocked over or the dice falling off the table).

The dice tower almost complete except for the final face of the tower

I really wanted to make a dice tower out of wood. However, I realised that it would be wise to make a prototype out of cardboard first. I chose card of about 3mm in thickness which was similar to the thickness of mounted game boards. Then, armed with a metal ruler and craft knife I set to work.

I didn't work off any plans. I knew roughly what I wanted and based the dimensions on what card I had available. I first constructed the tray the dice would fall into. Then I built the tower to fit into the tray. I purposely only built three sides of the tower so that I would have room to insert the internal ledges.

This shows the internal ledges and ramp

After measuring and cutting, the card pieces were glued with normal white glue (PVA wood glue). This glue gives a really strong bond to card board. The internal ledges were inserted at roughly 30 degree angles. After waiting for these to dry I glued on the front of the tower and then left it over night to fully dry. The completed dice tower stands about 30cm (1 foot) high.

The completed dice tower

I was very happy with my first dice test. The dice fell through the tower hitting the internal ledges with satisfying bumps and came to rest fully randomised in the tray. The tower is actually quite fun to use and is now a regular part of any game that requires the roll of dice. I haven't bothered to paint it or decorate it in any way as yet.

I'm now in the planning stage for my next project - building a wooden dice tower.

1 comment:

Ken Lee said...

Congrats on your successful first build. That dice tower looks real good.

I got lazy and bought mine.