Do you ever find yourself wondering how good your dice are? Because I do. Are they really random? Or do slight imperfections in their design favor one number over another? It’s impossible to know. Unless you have precision machined dice. And while you’re precision-machining some dice, why not make them in a variety of rare and exotic metals? Those are the questions Tuscon college student Amber Rix created her Kickstarter project to answer.
Launched December 6, the Precision Machined Dice project on Kickstarter currently sits at $32,701, over 10 times its initial funding goal of $3,000. It aims to deliver American-made, six-sided dice in a variety of metals, including aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass, titanium and tungsten to backers, but not just any old dice. These are precision machined according to exact mathematical standards, to ensure that each die has a precisely (or as near as is feasible) equal chance to land on any one of its six sides. Rix has a very in-depth mathematical explanation of how she hopes to achieve that, but essentially it amounts to drilling different hole depths on each face depending on how many pips are present, in order to balance the cube’s overall mass.
I’m not going to pretend I understand the math at work here. Rix’s explanation on the Kickstarter page is likely a much better read than whatever insight I can provide if you’re after the nerdy nitty-gritty.
I asked Rix why she wanted to make these to begin with, and at its heart the project is about delivering perfection to everyday folks. “If you’re going to do something you might as well do it right, right?” she said. “I could have very easily made cubed chunks of metal with drilled pips, but all of a sudden with a little more time and effort these chunks of metal become near perfect precision ‘cuts’ of metal. Rare metals. They are novelty items that no one else in the world may have.”
Personally, Rix was moved by her love of computer-aided drafting and product design to come up with these dice. As a college student working on graphic design and CAD, she wanted to make something that would help her share that passion with the rest of the world.
“I get the biggest thrill from making something digitally and then eventually being able to hold what I made in my hand, that’s why I love CAD so much,” she explained. “And nothing is worth doing if you don’t give it your all, so I made them precision. Anyone can make a cube in CAD or Solidworks, but its harder to make it precision, and the extra work makes the reward of completion a hundred times better.”
The stretch goal for the project was to get enough funding to be able to make dice out of relatively expensive tungsten metal. Now, the project has reached that level, and Rix has bigger dreams, including creating dice out of Damascus steel, and possibly even silver. She also would now like to look into the possibility of making her precision dice a product that continues beyond the initial Kickstarter shipment, sold through Amazon or perhaps her own website. Other potential projects could involve D4 through D20 dice, likely an attractive prospect to the perfectionist DnD-er, and a full game board created from precision-crafted metal.