Dicemaking FAQ

Welcome to the wonderful world of resin dicemaking! Here at Echo Delta Dice, we believe that sharing is caring. If you're just getting into making dice or are intimidated to start, I hope these dicemaking FAQ help ease your mind and give you the confidence to get out there and start making beautiful click clacks.

I'm still learning so much about the art of dicemaking every day myself, but these are some of the biggest questions I had when I was first starting out. Maybe they can help you, too!


What kind of resin should I use for dice casting?

There are SO many kinds of resin out there, I can't even begin to tell you which are the best as I haven't had nearly enough time to test them all. Here's what I can tell you:

  • Find a resin with a medium-high working time (around 40 minutes should work)
  • Non-yellowing resin is going to help preserve the look of your dice
  • Resin that claims to be bubble-free will help if you're looking to cast without a pressure pot

Because a standard size of resin usually only runs around $30, I would recommend trying one out before committing to a more bulk purchase. That way, if you don't love it, you haven't invested too much and can make the switch to something new that may work better for you!


Do I need a pressure pot to make dice?

Short answer - yes.

Long answer, there are definitely ways to make dice that don't require a pressure pot, but in my experience it's still impossible to get that crystal-clear, glass-like final product without using something to help remove those bubbles. It may be a climate thing, I may just not have found the right trick, but making dice before I got my pressure pot was like pouring little math rocks made of fizzy soda.

How can I make bubble-free dice without a pressure pot?

In my experience, you can't, but here are a few ways I've seen other people have success:

  • Using a water bath to warm the resin before pouring into your mold
  • Using a small portable heater or hair dryer to keep the resin warm
  • Adding some clear blender alcohol ink as you're mixing your resin
  • Just waiting - if you have resin with a long enough working time, you might be able to sit tight until all the bubbles rise and pop and still have enough malleability in your resin to pour into your molds

What kind of pressure pot do I need and how expensive is it?

If you're just getting started and want to stay on the cheaper side, this pressure pot from Harbor Freight will get the job done. Because it's initially made for filling with paint, you'll need to make some modifications. I used Rybonator's pressure pot modification instructions to get mine set up. I also had to order a new safety valve to replace the one it came with, because while Harbor Freight is great for the price point, you do get what you pay for. All told, the pressure pot costs around $140.

You will also need an air compressor to get that baby pressurized. I got this 3 gallon air compressor for around $75, though I will note that you'll need to refill it every 2-3 uses so if you're not a fan of that it wouldn't be a bad call to get a larger option. I will probably be putting up a blog going into all the details on this eventually, so bug me via DM if that's something you want to see!


What's the best way to color dice?

There are a lot of options for putting some color in your dice, from expensive pigments to plain ol' food coloring. I've been sticking with alcohol ink and mica powder, and have noticed two distinct differences:

  • Alcohol ink thins out your resin a bit, and as a result the colors will blend together a lot more and you'll miss out on some of that swirl effect.
  • Mica powder holds a bit more integrity within each color, but also creates an opaque look so your dice won't look as glassy.

These two options can be used concurrently, and it provides a ton of flexibility for your colors. You can also mix them as much or as little as you want for differing effects. 


What should I use for sanding and polishing my dice?

The finishing process of dicemaking requires sandpaper, polishing paper, and patience. At the very least, you'll need a variety of sandpaper grits (I start at 400 for the roughest patches and work up to a cool 22,000 in these Zona polishing papers for a nice, shiny finish.

Some additional goodies that can be super helpful in the finishing process for your dice:

  • Pottery wheel (I got a cheap mini pottery wheel - it's probably terrible for doing actual pottery, but it's great for finishing dice!)
  • Polishing paste (This headlight polish is cheap and can be found at your local auto parts store)

Using a pottery wheel and taping your papers to it saves your hand a ton of grief, and also helps you keep flat, uniform contact with the paper so you don't accidentally warp the shape of your dice.


How long does a set of dice need to cure?

The curing time for your dice depends entirely on what resin you use! In general, dice will need 24 hours to be cured, and then need to rest for another 12-24 hours before attempting to do any sanding or finishing.

In my experience, the dice are safe to remove from the pressure pot after about 12 hours, though if there's no need to take them out then it doesn't hurt to let them stay in there for the full cure time. I typically demold my dice after 21-22 hours, because I'm impatient - just be cautious as they can still be a bit soft and any excess pressure or a stray fingernail can damage the dice.


How do I make my own dice mold?

To make your own dice mold, you'll need a few things:

  • Silicone rubber
  • Something to house the mold
  • Something to secure your dice
  • Hot glue

Keep in mind that I primarily make cap molds, so if you're looking to make a different type of mold then you will need to do your own research to find the best materials for that type. I'm also planning on making a blog and potentially a YouTube video on this topic, so let me know if that's something you're interested in!

The silicone I'm currently using is the Let's Resin 15A, though there's a lot of chatter in the dicemaking world about DragonSkin and SORTA-Clear and a lot of it honestly comes down to personal preference. For my mold housing, I use a 4" piece of PVC coupling - it's cheap, easy, and fits a whole D20 set with ease. For securing my dice, I've used packing tape as well as Cricut transfer tape (which essentially does the same job as the packing tape, but without all the measuring and cutting. It's more expensive, but it does remove a decent bit of the labor. One important note with the Cricut tape is that it's not nearly as sticky as packing tape, so you may want to use a hybrid approach for the most security). Once your dice are secured and placed inside the mold housing, hot glue is a great way to seal up that bottom of the housing so the silicone can't leak out before it cures.


What kind of paint do I need to ink the numbers on my dice?

Inking your numbers is the easiest and most forgiving part of the dicemaking process. You can get fancy and use modeling paints like those common for painting minis, or you can get the basic 99¢ acrylic paints from your local craft store.