So we’ve had a roller coaster few months seeing our dice concepts developed into designs and then come to life in the manufacturing process.
If you’ve been following our social media, you know that we’re planning to do a snake skin design in stainless steel. At first everything went great. Melissa created a design that had a lot of detail, but took care to make the numbers legible. It was really important that the dice not only look good, but would be easy to use when you played with them.
The factory created some 3D models for the dice:
We loved the design, and so did the factory. They were very excited to work on the project to showcase what they could do.
Very quickly they created wax molds and then made silver masters for the dice.
We they sent us the first photos of the physical molds we were ecstatic, and started sharing the pictures on social media. Everything was set for an early October Kickstarter launch.
Then we had a little bit of a hiccup. The first prototypes didn’t come out right. The texture was wrong and there was some bubbling around the numbers.
The factory we’re working with is a fantastic jewelry manufacturer, and we chose them in large part because of their experience working with metal and doing detailed designs. We chose a design that was similar to what had been done on other pieces they manufactured, but unfortunately the design didn’t work well with the shape of the dice.
All of us, both here at Polyhydra and at the factory, really wanted the design we created and really wanted it made out of stainless steel. We were hopeful that if we just kept trying, eventually we’d figure it out.
The engineers at the factory have spent the last two months trying to solve the problem, and in that time they’ve made a lot of molds and prototypes, but so far nothing has worked. At this point we don’t think our design can be mass produced in stainless steel.
We have been able to get the design to work in brass though. We were worried some of the PVD coatings wouldn’t work with brass, but the factory did some tests and it comes out fine.
So instead of solid steel dice, we’re now making solid brass dice, and the brass dice look beautiful. As a material, brass is a bit more expensive than steel, and it’s considerably heavier, which is a plus. And these will be solid brass dice, not brass plated (in fact we believe the factory is going to plate the brass with silver to get the style effects). We’ll be able to keep our original design, but heavier, and we’ll be able to offer all the styles we were hoping to (we did some tests to make sure the styles we wanted would still work with brass).
So that’s what’s been going on up until now. We’re still hoping to launch our Kickstarter before the end of the year.
We’re going to open our Kickstarter by offering Solid Brass Rainbow Snake Skin Dice and Solid Brass Snake Skin Dice with a Hematite Coating. If we exceed our funding goals, we’re planning to offer Solid Brass Purple Snake Skin Dice and Solid Brass Snake Skin Dice with a Rose Gold Coating. All styles will be available as a set of 7 dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, and d20) as individual d20s, and as sets of 4d6. We’ll also be offering all styles as sets of 4 Fudge dice.
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