The D20, or twenty-sided die, is most commonly known in the shape of a regular icosahedron. It’s a fantastic, enchanting geometry, and one that has held the balance of fate in innumerable tabletop roleplaying games over the years. It was this sacred geometry that [Greg Davill] chose to bless with the glory of glowing RGB LEDs. Now, [Greg] has shared the files so you can build your own.
The development blog of the D20 is a great read, highlighting the challenges of creating such a compact item that glows so brilliantly. The design uses a full 2400 1.5 mm x 1.5mm LEDs, in the old-school RGB style, split evenly between the twenty sides. That’s right, there’s no fancy self-addressing smart LEDs here — each LED is manually controlled directly by [Greg]’s hardware. A SAMD51 and ICE40UP5K FPGA are put to work running the displays. Each panel is held together in a barely-there 3D printed frame, linked together with ribbon cables to keep things compact. A Sony camera battery is slotted inside the tight confines of the frame to supply the necessary power.
We first covered the project late last year, and it’s great to see it out there now in a form that’s readily reproduced. Assembly of such a board is not for the faint of heart, however, with plenty of fine SMD parts to tangle with. We suspect this is just yet another salvo in the ongoing arms race of LED glowables, and we can’t wait to see what [Greg] — and the rest of the community — comes out with next. If you’ve got a lead on the new glowing hotness, let us know. Video after the break.
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Roll your negotiation skill, because this d20 is a hefty one. The Tweet is also below. We are charmed by [Greg Davill]’s twenty-sided LED contraption, but what do we call it? Is it a device? A sculpture? A die? Even though “d20” is right on his custom controller PCB, we don’t think this will grace the table at the next elf campaign since it is rather like taking a Rolls Royce to the grocery store. Our builder estimates the price tag at $350 USD and that includes twenty custom PCB light panels with their components, a controller board, one battery pack, and the 3D printed chassis that has to friction-fit the light faces.
Power and communication for all the panels rely on twenty ribbon cables daisy-chained throughout the printed scaffolding, which you can see in the picture above. [Greg] made a six-sided LED cube last year, and there are more details for it, but we suspect he learned his lesson about soldering thousands of lights by hand. There are one-hundred-twenty LEDs per panel, times twenty, that is over two-thousand blinkenlights. We don’t yet have specs on the controller, but last time he used a SAMD51 processor to support over three-thousand lights. We don’t know where he’ll go next, but we’re game if he wants to make a chandelier for Hackaday’s secret underground lair.
(Editor’s Note: If you were at Supercon last year, and you got to play with this thing in the flesh, it’s worth it!)
Continue reading “The Most Expensive D20 You’ll See Today” →
With little more than pen, paper, dice, and imagination, a group of friends can transport themselves to another plane for shenanigans involving dungeons and/or dragons. An avid fan of D&D and a budding woodworker, Imgurian [CapnJackHarkness] decided to build gaming table with an inlaid TV for their inaugural project.
The tabletop is a 4’x4′ sheet of plywood, reinforced from underneath and cut out to accommodate a support box for the TV. Each leg ended up being four pieces of 1’x4′ wood, laminated together with a channel cut into one for the table’s power cable. An outer ledge has dice trays — if they’re even needed in today’s world — ready for all those nat 20s, cupholders because nobody likes crying over spilled drinks, and electrical outlets to keep devices charged. Foam squares cover the tabletop which can be easily removed and washed if needed — but more on that in a second. [CapnJackHarkness] painted the table as the wood rebuffed many attempts at staining, but they’re happy with how it turned out.
Continue reading “Dungeons And Dragons TV Tabletop!” →
[Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson] is a member of the NYC Resistor hackerspace and an avid fan of a D&D themed improv theatre called The Campaign. To show his appreciation, he decided to gift them a Christmas present: a giant D20. The original plan called for integrated LEDs to burst alight on a critical hit or miss, or let out pulses if it landed on another face. Cool, right? Well, easier said than done.
[Vejdemo-Johansson] figured a circle of 4 tilt sensors mounted on the one and twenty face would be enough to detect critical rolls. If any of the switches were tilted beyond 30 degrees, the switch would close. He mounted eight ball-tilt switches and glued in the LEDs. A hackerspace friend also helped him put together an astable multivibrator to generate the pulses for non-critical rolls.
This… did not work out so well. His tilt sensor array proved to be a veritable electronic cacophony and terribly sensitive to any movement. That and some other electronic troubles forced a shelving of any light shows on a critical hit or miss. [Vejdemo-Johansson] kept the pulsing LEDs which made for a cool effect when shining through the mirrored, red acrylic panes he used for the die faces. Foam caulk backer rods protect as the die’s structure to stop it from being shattered on its first use.
Before The Campaign’s next show, [Vejdemo-Johansson] managed to stealthily swap-out of the troupe’s original die with his gift, only for it to be immediately thrown in a way that would definitely void any electronic warranty. Check out the reveal after the break (warning, some NSFW language)!
Continue reading “Giant D20 Is A Critical Hit In More Ways Than One” →