Lock picking is certainly a handy skill when you or someone you know is standing — mouth agape with surprise and dismay — at the door, with no key, and a load of groceries in the car. It’s a surprising talent I’ve seen come in handy a couple of times on my own behalf when I was itching to get out of the dark and cold and into the comfort of my home.
While many might associate lock picking with some sort of nefarious intent, it’s actually a popular hobby or interest for many folks — something akin to enjoying puzzles — and referred to as lock sport. Often carrying a set of tools is not necessary, as one pick can take care of most basic jobs.
Working to hone his own lock sporting skills, machinist from 23b shop decided to design and 3D print a whole batch of lock picks after watching a friend experiencing one of those creative brainstorming moments — this one involving a zip tie that looked as if it was just waiting to be whittled into a lock pick. Working by hand, his friend was able to make the lock pick work but it quickly became worn out and it was a chore to create the identical pattern each time.
Machinist was also concerned that his Stratasys Dimension printer was not up to the task of printing these particular items due to the layer thickness of .010 or .013 and dimensional accuracy of +/- .002.” With a .001″ layer thickness and 600 DPI resolution, machinist felt like the Objet 3D printer was the machine for this particular job, and he set to work in making some reliable tools with an Autotrace tool from Solidworks.
Machinist points out that Autotrace wasn’t perfect but it got the job the done for him with smoothing out the edges. Once printed, it was time to play on a variety of different locks and test out the 3D printed lock picks — with success. They weren’t perfect, as some failed under pressure, but machinist was able to pick locks, and he did have to go back and refine the design, fixing some scaling issues. The goal is to perfect the tools enough so that a mold can be made and a number of these picks can be produced.
The beauty of 3D design is that tweaking and perfecting is simply as easy as going back to the digital design until the desired prototype is achieved. After that, a perfectly consistent product can be manufactured to suit the user’s needs. We look forward to hearing about ‘part two’ from machinist and reporting on his progress with this 3D printed product.
Have you 3D printed anything like these lock picks, just for fun? Tell us about it in the 3D Printed Lock Picking Tools forum over at 3DPB.com.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
Nano Dimension Leadership Struggles for Control over Electronics 3D Printing Company
According to a report from Israeli site CTech, leadership at Nano Dimension (Nasdaq: NNDM) may be fighting for control over the electronics 3D printing company. CEO Yoav Stern has requested...
BMW Begins Production of Hydrogen-Powered iX5 Vehicle with 3D Printed Parts
BMW Group announced that the auto giant has begun small-scale production of the iX5, touted by the company as the world’s first “sports activity vehicle” powered by hydrogen fuel cells....
Ursa Major and EOS to Disrupt Space Production with 3D Printed Copper
“Let’s build some engines!” That’s essentially what Ursa Major is doing. Based in Colorado, this space technology business is racing to improve humanity’s quest to explore the universe – several...
Art Basel Visitors Can Purchase Zero-Waste 3D Printed Furnishings
Art fairs are getting creative and launching new experiences for visitors. For example, during the 20th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach – the centerpiece of the city’s widely acclaimed...