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 Post subject: LF Plush Dice pattern
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:04 pm 
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I thought maybe the geekified and thoroughly creative people on this board would know - I'm looking for patterns to make plush polyhedral gaming dice. You know, the usual d20, d10, d8, etc. As a gamer dad, I thought these would fun presents for my 12 and 26 month olds. you know, never hurts to start them early... :) Google brings up a company who used to make them, but has been discontinued for at least a couple years now. However, I have access to Sewing Wizards with Embroidery Machines, and thought it would be just as easy to do myself!

If anyone knows of such a set of patterns, I'd appreciate any pointers you might have. Thanks muchly!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:28 pm 
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A quick web search turns up http://www.learner.org/interactives/geo ... tonic.html or http://www.mathsisfun.com/platonic_solids.html. Those have paper patterns for the nets, but you should be able to make a fabric pattern by adding tabs on every edge, sewing them all together, and turning it inside-out at the last minute.

Although, fabric being what it is, that'll just produce a sphere. Hm. You might be stuck cutting out polygons (twelve pentagons, etc) with tabs, all in different colors, and sewing every edge separately.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:58 am 
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I would think that fabric will not be stiff enough, the sides will bulge (if stuffed) and the edges will crinkle.

I'd suggest using card stiffeners inside each face, either glued on or in pockets. A wire armature would also work but be less child-safe.

I've made dice from card and paper patterns before, and the dodecahedron and icosohedron in particular need careful construction to ensure they are regular.

They will not be properly random, being unbalanced, but I don't suppose that will matter too much.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:55 pm 
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Thanks guys, I thought about that too, and remember making those as a kid too. Great idea, but like you said, fabric won't hold the edges I need. I'm expecting to have to cut out a separate traingle for each face and then sew them all together.

Go to this webpage for images of what I'm looking for. This is exactly what I want, but unfortunately they don't make them anymore... :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Yeah, anything beyond an 8 winds up as a sphere, looks like.

Maybe you can create small billets or cones of stuffing and jam them in the corners. I don't know plushie technology.

Just in case the five basic solids aren't enough of a challenge:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ArchimedeanSolid.html
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CatalanSolid.html

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Now Now all. Toddlers do not need dice that come up with precisely random or easily read results! I am sure their parental GMs will be shading any rolls in their favor. The main concern is that the dice will not break anything fragile or draw blood when hurled vaguely in the direction of said GMs. My husband actually bought our kids extra huge high impact dice at that age which I immediately hid in a drawer. I was pleased when he found some plush dice. Putting stiffener in will hold for some time but it will eventually become deformed due to the unorthodox dice handling of small gamers which includes more chewing and sleeping on than is usual even among hardcore adult gamers. Patterns for polyhedrons should not be too difficult to make, it would be like taking a quilt pattern and rather than sewing the pieces flat you sew them up 3-D.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:11 pm 
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One thing you might consider: rather than stuffing it with loose cotton, get some foam sheets like this

http://www.joann.com/regular-density-ur ... efv1=false

and carefully carve the shape you want. Obviously, the more sides on your dice, the more difficult that would be. A square block would be really easy.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:31 am 
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I would suggest a combined approach:

Cut a foam rubber core with the proper number of sides, but smaller than the finished filler will need to be.

Glue or "baste" batting material cut to shape for each side to the foam rubber core.

Make your outer cover of whatever fabric you find suitable.

You now have a core that will retain its shape better, while still having the generally softer feel of a plush-toy. This is similar to some multi-layer/core pillows that have been available for years.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:12 pm 
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ventris wrote:
Toddlers do not need dice that come up with precisely random or easily read results! I am sure their parental GMs will be shading any rolls in their favor. The main concern is that the dice will not break anything fragile or draw blood when hurled vaguely in the direction of said GMs.


lol exactly. I was thinking plush mostly so the baby can chew on them and the two-year-old can throw them (like he does everything else) without anyone/thing getting hurt.

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Patterns for polyhedrons should not be too difficult to make, it would be like taking a quilt pattern and rather than sewing the pieces flat you sew them up 3-D.


That's more or less what I had in mind, I'm just not handy enough to do the pattern making myself... :)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:28 pm 
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I agree that a foam core will make a more durable toy. I can't think of an easy way to cut a regular platonic solid (other than a cube) from solid foam without some extra maths and careful cutting at accurate angles. Suggestions might include

Tetrahedron. Dihedral angle is roughly 70°. Cut a triangular column, reset the cutter for 70° and cut three sides...

Octahedron. Dihedral angle is roughly 110° I'd make this from two square pyramids each with sides at 55° to the base.

Icosahedron. Three slices - top, bottom and central belt. Angles can be found in tables like the one below. Cut top and bottom first, make the belt of the right thickness then stick top and bottom on (carefully aligned point-to-edge) and cut the faces. Good luck.

Dodecahedron. I'd start by making a template of the regular pentagonal face in card to use for marking out, and make the solid in two halves, but finishing it off is going to be interesting.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_p ... ral_angles

Of course another way is to accept that the dice will all end up roughly spherical , make them out of the correctly shaped sides and stuff them till they are solid enough.

http://www.jimloy.com/geometry/hedra.htm
http://www.korthalsaltes.com/cuadros.php?type=p

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:16 am 
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Some tips for cutting soft foam:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqodjNexy7w

Apparently you can also get the foam wet and put it in a freezer before cutting.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:23 pm 
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AlanD wrote:
I can't think of an easy way to cut a regular platonic solid (other than a cube) from solid foam without some extra maths and careful cutting at accurate angles.

If there’s a fab lab near you, you could also slice the polyhedron into layers and laser cut these from the foam.

(Why spend an hour doing something by hand when you can spend four hours automating it? :))


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