Dice are instruments used to generate random numbers in various board and gambling games. Dice are being used in games since times immemorial. Usually, dice are cube-shaped and each face has 1-6 dots on it. It is of great interest to learn more about dice and how they are actually made.
More about dice
The history of dice can be dated back to as far as 2000 B.C. From ancient Egyptians to ancient Americans, everyone is known to have used dice. In olden times dice were made from natural materials such as bone and ivory. In those times, the dice were marked with faces and objects and were made in different shapes and sizes. The modern dice as we know them can be dated back to 600BC in China. In those times, dice were made manually. Slowly, as technology evolved, the modern methods of dice manufacturing were developed. Today, it is possible to mass-produce even the most complicated dice designs. Most dice today are made of plastic.
The standard dice are six-sided and made of plastic. Each face of the dice is marked with 1-6 dots in a way that the total of the opposite sides is seven. To make sure that the game is fair, the dice should be designed and constructed in a way that each side of the dice has an equal chance of landing face up. The outcome is decided based on the number that faces up. Some of the most common games that use dice include Monopoly, Ludo, Poker, etc.
These dice are available in a variety of colors and sizes depending on the game design. Typically, for board games, standard 12mm dice are used. Quite often, the sides of these dice are rounded to make them safe for use by children. On the other hand, the dice that are used in casinos have precision edges to ensure complete randomness and fairness. These dice are often larger-up up 33mm.
Apart from the standard dice, specialty dice are also manufactured for some novelty games. In these dice, the standard dots may be replaced by pictures, symbols, or words. For example, poker dice come with card faces printed on each face. Some dice come with more than six sides. In fact, some dice can have as many as 20 faces.
When manufacturing the dice, the design part is taken care of by the mold, which is a steel cavity of the shape of the dice that is to be formed. To make dice, plastic is injected into the cavity and it takes the shape of the mold as it hardens. The mold could be made up of two pieces that can be joined together to form the cavity. Depending on the type of dice to be produced, the mold could also be made of separate chambers that form different elements of the dice. When the individual pieces cool they can be joined together to make a single die. We will check out the detailed manufacturing process in a short while.
In the past, dice were made from a variety of materials including wood, bones, metals, seeds, glass, and more. Today, the most commonly used material is plastic. The plastic used for manufacturing dice should have high impact strength, should be heat stable, and be easily colored. An example of such plastic is polymethyl methacrylate. Sometimes, the filler material is added to plastic to make the dice more durable and high quality.
The mold for the dice is constructed from steel or aluminum. It is usually a 2-piece construction and the numbering for the dice is also a part of the mold itself. The numbering appears as extrusions on the mold surface.
The actual dice manufacturing process
Now that you know the basic process involved in making the dice and what it is made of, let us have a closer look at the exact manufacturing process. While the actual process will depend on the material used and the design required, the basic steps remain the same. The injection molding process is the most commonly used process, and it is followed by painting and finally, packaging.
At this stage, the plastic pellets are turned into dice using the injection molding process. These plastic pellets already contain the fillers and colorants. These pellets are heated and melted and then sent to a spreader that injects the material into a mold. The mold may be made of several chambers that can create multiple parts. The plastic is kept under pressure inside the mold. When the plastic cools and hardens, the mold is opened and the dice is ejected.
Once the dice are dried, they are painted and printed. It may be pained or coatings or stickers may be applied depending on the design requirements. It is ensured that the labels stick to the dice properly.
Finally, the dice are individually wrapped or bulk packaged before it is sent to the customer. They may be packed up into individual boxes or plastic packs for sale to end-users or groups packed into cardboard boxes if they are to be sent to the board game manufacturer. Once packed, the dice are shipped to the customer.
If you are looking for a reliable dice manufacturer that can meet all your design requirements at the best possible price, Top Imprint is your best bet. Get in touch with our team and they will help bring your board game designs to life.