Shapeways interviews Kevin Cook, the Guinness Record Dice Collector

Shapeways community member Kevin Cook is in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the worlds largest dice collection. He is also quickly amassing a collection of 3D printed exemplars from Shapeways. Want an initial impression of how big exactly the world’s largest dice collection is? Take a gander at this page.

Joris Peels: How many dice do you have?

Kevin Cook: Dice counting towards the Guinness record as of receipt of my latest Shapeways shipment yesterday evening (not added to inventory yet) 29,423. Including my duplicates for trade I think I have about 35,000.

Joris Peels: When did you start collecting them?

Kevin Cook: 1977 (There are more details on the history of Kevin’s collection here)

Joris Peels: What is it about them that you like so much?

Kevin Cook: Interesting, I have conducted a lot of interviews and I do not recall anyone ever asking me this before. It is really hard to put into words. I look at them as small pieces of art. They are compact and each has its one purpose, whether general (normal pipped or numbered dice) or specific (dice made for a specific game or task).

Joris Peels: Do you have a favorite pair?

Kevin Cook: Not really … but there are several that mean a lot to me.

Joris Peels: Why are dice six sided?

Kevin Cook: Only some dice are 6 sided there have been dice with 4, 12 and 20 sides for over 2000 years.

Joris Peels: What were your first 3D printed dice?

Kevin Cook: My 20,000th die, Dice and Games in the UK printed it for me I had it laser engraved then I polished it myself.

Joris Peels: What does 3D printing mean for your die collecting hobby?

Kevin Cook: I have known of rapid prototyping / 3d printing for several years and I have been waiting for someone to do something like what Shapeways has done. It opens up a new market to me and I have given permission to several artists to use my on original creations. I look forward to the future.

Joris Peels: So you’re in the Guinness Book of Records?

Kevin Cook:Yes, unfortunately the record must be ‘refreshed’ in order for the current count to be raised. This is a lot of work so I have not gone to the trouble of refreshing the record. This is why the current official record is only 11,097.

4 comments

  1. Magic

    I was very pleased to read this article because I just ordered today my own custom dice with 6 different designs. But I am afraid I won’t break the record though (well, not today at least :) )

    I looked Kevin’s own creations and I really like the way he arranged the dots’ position when their number is bigger than 6. I had to face the same situation in one of my designs (from 7 to 12 dots) and this is a very interesting subject that mixes both art and maths…

    Congratulations for this collection!

    1. Kevin Cook

      Thanks … I am glad you like the dice I created … One of the reasons I did many of my creations was to make them ‘public domain’ so that anyone who cared to … can create them without fear of infringing a patent

    2. Vincent Greco

      I would like to understand better this patent issue: what you are saying is that if one of your fans reuse – say – the way you arranged 9 dots on a triangular face in a die, he cannot be sued for patent infrigement by anybody, because you already used that in your own designs and you made them public, right?
      But this works only if you were *the first one* to propose such an arrangement: if someone can prove that he did the same design before you (anteriority), then he can sue your fan (and yourself). Or am i wrong?
      These intelectual properties stuff are so complex… :(

    3. Kevin Cook

      I agree .. IP is complex … and I am not an IP attorney … just a layperson with a fair amount of experience ( I was the expert witness in the Crystal Caste vs Hasbro trial)

      It is my understanding … that if I produce and publicly display a die … one year after displaying that die … it can no longer be patented as it is now public domain … and any attempts to do so (patent) would likely be denied under ‘prior art’

      Now … if you also try to patent it … when at the same time … I dont know what the USPTO will do

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