If you watch any wilderness survival shows, you know that resourcefulness is critical. While there are numerous creative ways to start fires and kill things, your life will be a whole lot easier if you have some emergency tools with you. Don’t want to carry a ton of stuff with you when you go hiking? Try carrying a small tool that can do a multitude of things. Australian company Mutant Design has designed a modern, 3D printed version of the Swiss Army Knife. The TwinBlade 360 Prototype Survival Tool probably shouldn’t even be called a knife, because that would be discounting the fact that it’s also an axe, a pick, a hammer, a one or two-pronged spear, and a grappling hook. You can pretty much chop or climb anything with it.
“This wide range of capabilities might just make all the difference in a survival situation,” says Mutant Design’s Chris Czech.
At first glance, the tool looks like a pretty standard knife. However, once you open it up, you can have a lot of fun.
The knife consists of two blades that can move in any direction, independent of one another. A spring-loaded locking mechanism allows for the blades to be securely locked into place in any position. The user also has multiple options for carrying the tool, thanks to its hollow skeleton handle. Several connection points allow for a carabiner to be attached so that the tool can be carried on a belt or backpack, and you can even attach it to a stick or broom handle to create a spear – perfect for fishing or collecting high-hanging fruit, Czech suggests. Or, in a non-survival situation, you can simply be that badass hiker who carries a spear.
The tool, when folded up, can still be used as a small hammer, and it also possesses a strong tip that can be used to pry open cans or, depending on where you are, shellfish. At this time, the TwinBlade 360 is still in the prototyping stage. Further safety and strength testing is required, but it has proved to be useful and functional thus far.
The prototype is currently available for purchase as an .STL download for $6.99. Some minor assembly is required using screws, springs and glue, but the user is assured that it’s an easy process. Czech does caution that as the tool is a prototype, it should not be used as a fully functional survival tool, but you can still print one to play around with, as long as caution is used.
Mutant Designs seems to have perfected multi-purpose items. I never would have thought that a beer stein could be anything but a beer stein, but the company’s iStein drink caddy can also be used as a lantern or hand warmer, among other things. So next time you go hiking or camping, you can have all of your survival needs covered: knives, axes, spears, lanterns, and, importantly, beer. Discuss this design in the 3D Printed Survival Tool forum thread on 3DPB.com.