Creating the Die!

After the model is created on the computer it must be saved in a special format that turns continuous curves into an array of dots connected by line segments. Don’t worry if this sounds a bit confusing it will hopefully make more sense after the following explanation.

A computer can only work with discrete values, not continuous ranges. A curve is a mathematical model for an infinite number of points but a computer simply can not handle an infinite number of points so it slices the curve and models it as a series of points connected with straight lines. This reduces the continuous range of the curve down to a finite number of points. You may be asking yourself how many points is good enough. Well in simply depends on how good of an approximation you want, notice that 10 segments is already very close to approximating the curve below.

Going back to how this applies to slicing the model. The only difference between what I described above and how it applies to the model is that the above case shows a 2-D shape being approximated with lines. In the model we have a 3-D shape that is approximated with triangles. Triangles because they represent a surface with the least amount of points, just like how a line represents a 2-D curve with the least amount of points.


Shown above is the model after it has been sliced up into a finite number of triangles. The printer I used to create this object creates layer that around .001 inches thick and uses wax to fill in voids so it always is printing on a solid surface. The wax can be seen in the picture below.


After the print is complete it is put into an oven that melts the wax off of the part.


Finally I painted the Die, by using some acrylic paint and a calligraphy pen tip.



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