Etch-a-Sketch for High Rollers


We've all been itching to get etching, and in May we will finally do it. Thanks to xBacon's post over on instructables, we have a schematic design for electronic dice.

The schematic and layout for this circuit has been completed. We will use that to etch our own circuit boards. You can then solder up your dice and use them for game night.

If you are feeling bold, and want to do some self-study, go ahead and create your own circuit layout. Just keep it small and simple, similar to this die circuit.

Here are the Eagle design files.

Here is the code (note: not complete as of early May 9th).

And last but not least, here are the step-by-step instructions.


I was able to keep the cost of materials very low. Kits are available for only $20 per pair of dice. Yes, you are welcome to do a single die for $10 if desired. If you would like to pre-pay, I can take money via, using email address: [masked]. Or just bring cash.


Please bring safety glasses and vinyl gloves for working with the chemicals. Also, your soldering equipment for assembling the circuits after the etch.


See you Saturday!



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  • Dan T.

    So, the folder "Maker/LED Dice" contains the design that we used in the meetup. Do not use that one, it contains the incorrect wiring for your LEDs, and will not work correctly.

    The folder "Maker/LED Dice 2" contains the corrected schematic, but the new layout is not yet completed as of this post.

    "Maker/LED Dice 2eh" appears to be a typo, don't use it.

    So, my plan was to fix the layout, re-etch enough boards for all the makers who participated, and distribute them. Don't solder up your board yet, a new board is coming soon to a solder bench near you! I will include a part placement diagram to help with assembly.


    May 27, 2013

    • Craig Z.

      Dan, Thanks for the update. I'll wait. BTW, in case you hadn't thought of it, make the mask with thicker lines so the etching will be more forgiving. Also, another thought, depending on how the space is set up, and what we have going on, it could be interesting to actually do some of that work at the Maker Faire. It might be deemed too big of a hassle to keep things safe and contained, but I do think it would be interesting to attendees.

      May 27, 2013

  • Dan T.

    Hey Craig,

    So, several things going on here.

    Despite all my efforts to prepare for that meetup, I still didn't get the design completely verified. Although my bread-board version was working, I ran out of time to get my own etched circuit board working before our meetup.

    After the second Maker got the same result of LEDs lighting in the same incorrect pattern, I became suspicious of my design. I have since carefully analyzed the schematic, and found that... MY CIRCUIT WAS WRONG! D'Oh! Not just the board layout, but the schematic too.

    May 27, 2013

  • Craig Z.

    Hey Dan, I don't know if anyone else is confused, but I'm finally getting around to assembling the dice and am unsure how to proceed. I imagine the eagle files probably has some sort of component piece, but the dropbox link has many files and directories and I'm not sure what to use. I tried opening the .sch and .brd files in LED Dice 2eh but I get the error "This is not an EAGLE file". If there are any simple tips on how to get past this initial hurdle I'd appreciate hearing them.

    May 26, 2013

  • Dan T.

    Yes, definitely plenty of kits. I have way more than are currently signed up. I have enough for 48 dice, or 24 pairs. Do come join us.

    May 10, 2013

  • Jon S.

    I'll join you all as well! I'm new to meetups and this looks interesting. Thanks,


    May 10, 2013

  • Cindy B.

    I will plan to join you, if you have a kit available.

    May 10, 2013

  • Dan T.

    I am not shamed, only frazzled! :) This was one of those projects that took 3 times longer than I expected.

    It is only $20 for a pair of dice, all components included. There are plenty of kits, definitely not too late to join!

    Please bring safety glasses, vinyl gloves, and don't wear your nice clothes!

    May 9, 2013

  • Craig Z.

    On the off chance that some people are waiting to RSVP until they know how much it will cost, I'll attempt to publicly shame Dan into giving an answer. So, how much? Is it too late for others to join in the build?

    May 6, 2013

  • Jeff N.

    See you there

    May 6, 2013

  • J

    Is there something we need to bring? Safety equipment? Anything?

    May 3, 2013

  • J

    I have been die-ing to try this! Thanks for setting this up!

    April 16, 2013

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