Fully assembled 3D printable wrench

by barspin, published

Fully assembled 3D printable wrench by barspin Aug 24, 2013

Featured Thing!


After watching the infamous video from a few years back where Z-Corp prints a fully working wrench i decided i wanted to do the same thing on my own printer.

Now, i am not talking about a "print-several-pieces-and-then-assemble" version which there are already a ton of on the internet.
What i wanted to do was something i could print and that would actually be fully working straight out of the printer.
I like to think i came pretty close. All you need to do is to remove the internal support and your done!

Keep in mind this is a proof of concept, i just wanted to see if i could do it.

Updated 2013-10-16: Added "Printable Wrench W Longer Screw" which has a longer "screw" (3mm).

Updated 2013-08-30: I have added two new files. One with a slightly bigger gap between moving parts. This one has 0,55mm gap instead of 0,35mm. Let me know if it works out (in particular with PLA). I have also added a STEP file with no support for anyone who maight want it.

Here is a short video: youtu.be/oMmsJVUAK3Q

Experimantal "heavy duty" version: youmagine.com/designs/printable-wrench-reworked

Recent Comments

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I printed the larger gap model and came out great. It started out like a rusty wrench but after a few minutes of attention it started to glide nice. Very cool design of custom supports. Thanks.

Printed on replicator2 with PLA
-Supports off in software
- 200 micron

I've tried printing this several times...and the ends keep warping/lifting, which eventually gets hit by the extruders and pops off the build plate...I raised the build plate temp to 114 C, even scaled the object down. I'm using the MakerBot Replicator 2X with Black ABS filament, raft, and different colored supports.

Well, I ended up printing it in Cura and it seems to have worked OK! just trying to release the worm from the rest of the model now, the other parts have freed up OK...

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If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


1. Print
2. Remove support using a sharp knife or similar
3. Show your friends =)

Printed on a Replicator at 0,2mm in ABS


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Silverberger on Apr 13, 2014 said:

I printed the larger gap model and came out great. It started out like a rusty wrench but after a few minutes of attention it started to glide nice. Very cool design of custom supports. Thanks.

Printed on replicator2 with PLA
-Supports off in software
- 200 micron

abeferraro on Apr 3, 2014 said:

I've tried printing this several times...and the ends keep warping/lifting, which eventually gets hit by the extruders and pops off the build plate...I raised the build plate temp to 114 C, even scaled the object down. I'm using the MakerBot Replicator 2X with Black ABS filament, raft, and different colored supports.

amrbekhit on Mar 1, 2014 said:

I've just tried to print this on my Prusa i3 and noticed that unfortunately the threads on the worm gear aren't sticking to the heated bed very well during print (this is at the beginning of the print before they are joined together into the single worm). Enabling brim in slic3r won't work since it only applies it to the outer perimeters. Any advice?

amrbekhit on Mar 5, 2014 said:

Well, I ended up printing it in Cura and it seems to have worked OK! just trying to release the worm from the rest of the model now, the other parts have freed up OK...

nicolasg on Feb 17, 2014 said:

Will it be alright if I put up an scad that allows customization of the text inside the wrench ?

stroudlibrary on Jan 19, 2014 said:

Printed this on our Replicator 2 and it looks great. Had trouble getting supports off; one wouldn't come off at all. We downloaded the one with the bigger gap.

Anonymous on Dec 26, 2013 said:

Printed this in PLA using the wider gap version, sliced with Cura and printed on a MendelMax 1.5+. Main supports came out relatively easily, but I really can't get the worm gear out. I think it's fused to the body at the sides and I'm not sure there's much I can do about it now.

Anonymous on Dec 26, 2013 said:

Update: I used a small screwdriver to pry at the sides of the gear, and was able to move it. Still, this kinda dinged up the gear and while it moves a bit not it's still not moveable by hand very much.

Cyrus3D on Dec 22, 2013 said:

very nice, printed it with the following slicer settings:

60mm/s perimeter
100mm/s infill
25% infill
200micron per layer

bit tricky with the supports but very minimal support used and after bit twitching it works good :). one of my favorite designs

alexbilton on Dec 20, 2013 said:

Hi, I'm using rhino and can't cut any material out from this! I can cut material away from objects I make but it won't work with any I download and then open! Can anyone help?

lostsocks on Dec 19, 2013 said:

Got mine to work second time round, and is pretty cool! Used the following settings -

Makerbot Replicator 2
Used the version with the bigger gaps
Standard Print Settings ( 10& infill, 2 shells, 0.20mm layer height)
No rafts or supports

Took a bit of rocking to get the supports out, then kept using the screw to wiggle it loose enough to use.

hseipert on Nov 20, 2013 said:

I've printed this all out and it looks great, only problem is I can't remove the supports for the life of me. Is there anything that works well to get them out besides a big knife? I'm currently living in college dorm housing so I don't really have anything like that.

JAWILSON on Nov 12, 2013 said:
bradl on Nov 11, 2013 said:

I just printed this on my Up! plus, just had to scale it down using the print software by .80 and it works fine.

latigerlilly on Oct 25, 2013 said:

I think I know why the author can print one with his Makerbot while Repraps cannot. Correct me if I'm wrong (because I don't have a Reprap), the Makerbot's ReplicatorG software can allow you to do "partial support" while the Reprap's breakaway support material is all or nothing. With "partial support", the Makerbot will make a minimum of supports so that you won't be printing a lot of supports in between the gears. Therefore, you can break free and spin the gears after printing. However, Reprap operators with all or nothing supports will print too much support material so that the gears can't break free. Is this a correct assessment / guess?

barspin on Oct 27, 2013 said:

This thing does not utilise software support. Everything including support structures is done in CAD and is included in the STL file. But there are so many variables that come into play here, type of filament, diameter of filemant, printer/slicer settings, printer, surroundings and so on. As the tolerances might be "on the edge" for some there is not much needed for it to fail.

ramai on Oct 23, 2013 said:

Thank you barspin for liking my slic3r and printrbot jr friendly remake of your excellent wrench.

Once I actually printed it out and popped out your supports, I realized the genius of your design. Well done!

garry_qualls on Oct 22, 2013 said:

I finally got this printing well in ABS after dealing with a lot of feed problems with the stock mechanism on a Replicator 2X. I printed the version with the large gaps at the default size and things snapped apart and started working very easily. Very impressive! I am printing with 25% fill and 0.2 mm thickness. I also added some Makerware helper disks under the little pylons that support the break away bits. Before I did that, they peeled up and broke loose before the fourth layer was complete. I switched to a different filament (that claimed to be metallic silver but, of course, it's just grey) and noticed that it was significantly harder to remove the plugs and get the screw working. I finally figured out why. They awesome-wrench-filament was 1.7 mm in diameter and the it's-really-stuck-together wrench was printed with 1.8 mm filament. It turns out I was supposed to measure the filament thickness and change the filament diameter parameter in the profile! Who knew? The feed mechanism/software pushed the same number of centimeters of filament through the nozzle for each print, but the difficult wrench had almost 6% more filament squirted into it - hence the fused gaps. Thanks for the cool part! It's trying to get these cool ones to work that drags everyone through the pain of actually learning how to control these machines properly.

Vlermuisman on Oct 13, 2013 said:

Hi. I am a complete green rookie and got my first 3D printer 2 days ago, I am attempting this print as a form of training myself and learning the limitations of my printer. But after several attempts I am still unsuccessful at getting gear teeth that are not completely fused in both ABS and PLA (PLA came closer to success). If anyone can please share all the slicing parameters they used to get a workable print it will help me tons to understanding 3D printing quicker!

Object infill?
Layer height?
Number of shells?
Feedrate (mm/s)?
Travel feedrate?
Print temperature?
Support materials (none, exterior or full)?

I have a Mbot Cube Dual Extruder printer, and use ReplicatorG and Skeinforge 50 for generating .s3g files and slicing. I have 1.82mm filament (both ABS and PLA) and 0.4mm nozzle extruders.

Thank you very much :-)

tachichibi on Oct 9, 2013 said:

I attempted to print this on my Rostock Orion using Repetier, however it didn't print the worm gear or lower grip arm... D: what did i do wrong?

Preezerk on Nov 11, 2013 said:

Strange. I just printed 3 of them on my Rostock Max. Slic3r sliced them up and printed them just fine.

nickthetait on Oct 3, 2013 said:

I made one of these. Just want to make sure that barspin sees the description I wrote over there: http://www.thingiverse.com/mak...

Alzibiff on Oct 1, 2013 said:

After using Netfabb to fix the uploaded STL (for the version with more gap), the file slices without problem but when printed, I have been unable to free the worm gear. This applies to both of the prints which I have produced - one in PLA and a second in ABS. Both printed with 20% infill and 0.2mm layer height. This is so frustrating as the whole concept of this thing is brilliant and as a demo of the capabilities of a home 3D printer would be very impressive.

frank9399 on Oct 1, 2013 said:

As soon as I print one of these, I have a buddy that asks, "Can I have it?". I've printed five so far. Although my first one came out perfectly, it may have been beginner's luck. I've cracked a couple of them while removing the bottom support (the smaller of the two). And I've noticed in the three that I haven't broken, that the adjustable part of the wrench usually needs a bit of light finger pressure for guidance to keep it from binding up. There seems to be a bit of slop in it. Perhaps it's the gaps, but could it also be possible that, if the threaded cylinder that moves up and down within the wrench, were made a little longer, that it would help to keep the adjustable piece better aligned? There seems to be a 1/4" of room at the top where it could be lengthened. This is an awesome design, and if it could be perfected it would be truly amazing. It is so close now! I wish that I had the skills to do more than offer suggestions. Perhaps I will get there someday.

barspin on Oct 16, 2013 said:

I have extended the "threaded cylinder" 3mm, would you be willing to test it?

IanCunningham on Sep 27, 2013 said:

I scaled it up as large as it could get on a makerbot rep 2 and it was nearly too loose. I hate to be a burden, but could you upload one with an even smaller gap? Also, the worm gear was very very difficult to break off of the other moving part; if you could position those so they don't touch that'd be great.


barspin on Sep 28, 2013 said:

Thanks! I´ll have look and see what i can do!

frank9399 on Sep 23, 2013 said:

I printed the larger gap version on 9/21/13 with PLA on the Replicator 2. I printed at 240 degrees, high quality, using a raft. It came out perfectly. It just requires a bit of patience to clean up the raft and supports. Then I worked the worm gear for a while to get it to operate smoothly.

trentonfender on Sep 19, 2013 said:

How did you design this is it one piece that you made or is it multiple pieces made and then assembled in solidworks then converted to stl?

barspin on Sep 20, 2013 said:

I designed this one using a TopDown approach, meaning all parts are designed "in place" and then exported as a single STL.

villekl on Sep 13, 2013 said:

Does anyone know what's going on with us have the parts fused together? All my calibration parts print perfectly, but I still get zero gap between the screw and countertooths. I finally got one wrench to work but I had to drop my print temp. This helped to break the moving parts free but weakens layer bonding..

yournamehere18 on Sep 7, 2013 said:

I have been using Makerware and slicing with Skeinforge 0050

yournamehere18 on Sep 7, 2013 said:

Every time I try this (or anything requiring tolerance), the parts print fused solidly together. Can anyone recommend what profile settings I should tweak to make this work? I really like this and the gear bearing but I always end up with one solid piece on my Replicator

barspin on Sep 7, 2013 said:

What slicer are you using?

jmccorm on Sep 7, 2013 said:

Printed on a Makergear M2 with Simplify3D Creator software on 1.75mm blue ABS from SainSmart. 105C bed, 220C extruder.
No bed tape. Raft was 2 layer, 5mm offset, and 50% infill on the raft to hold the pieces
very steady. Rest of the infill was at 25%. Skirt was 2 layer, 0mm
offset with 2 outlines. Print quality set to High (0.15mm layer height),
top and bottom 3 layers as solid, 2 shells. Bed fan off. No printing issues, but the wrench was locked up tight.

Printed the more gap version, same parameters. I was able to remove the supports. The top clamp was free, but the screw was wedged tight. It just doesn't turn?

jmccorm on Sep 9, 2013 said:

I kept working with it. I probably made a good 10 attempts. But this is part of why I went with the Makergear M2. I knew from their high resolution Yoda print that the printer can really shine with a lot of tweaking. Although I think the print itself needs some adjusting on the sides of the screw.

Reduced to a 1 layer outline on the skirt. I adjusted the temperature to 225C for the first layer, then 220C for the rest. I felt that I needed more resolution to get better spacing, so I increased the object size by 50% (making it 9" long) and printed it diagonally on the bed (rotated 290 degrees). I decreased the layer size from .15mm to .12mm. It took some bed tweaking to get a stable print at that size, but arguably, it was worth it. It mostly required adjustment to the bed height (first with the Z access screw, later via the extruder offset in the Simplify3D Creator software) and some fine-tuning on the bed's leveling adjustment screws. The result is that I got that extra resolution, and it made it so where the screw was no longer completely welded to the sides.

Given the amount of effort I've put into this, I might just frame this thing and put it on the well.

jmccorm on Sep 7, 2013 said:

Printed another. Failed in that the screw was wedged tight. I picked it apart and it looks like it is welded together to the rest of the wrench at the left and right side. Of course, once I totally removed the screw, I was able to move the clamp left and right just fine. I am trying to figure out if there is something I can do different.

GarrettAlbert98 on Sep 5, 2013 said:

How strong is it? How much does is weigh?

Intentional3D on Sep 5, 2013 said:

Awesome model! We printed it at the maximum size on a Makerbot Replicator , 25% infill, 2 shells. Support broke away beautifully, and it totally works!

latigerlilly on Sep 26, 2013 said:

Thank you! Out of all the comments here, yours is the most helpful to me. I will duplicate what you did, except I will do 40% infill as I am afraid that 25% may not be strong enough to work for real (not just a demo print but wanna do some real work with it). I don't wanna do 100% infill because that tends to warp. I never do anything more than 80% infill, especially with a long flat object like this.

Kirkonpolttaja on Sep 5, 2013 said:

Slic3r tells me that the model has holes in it it wont export proper gcode.

jbrown123 on Sep 28, 2013 said:

I'm having the same problem. Slic3r says it is not manifold and that it has overlapping or self-intersection facets. The gcode generated is useless (doesn't even remotely look like a wrench). Anyone have a solution?

sgraber on Sep 5, 2013 said:

At this point I've given up printing this!

I've printed it two times in blue translucent PLA and once using natural ABS. I have no warp problems, but I have yet had success at breaking off all the supports and getting things moving. I printed the original file and the larger gap file with 3mm PLA @ 0.2mm layer height, 30% infill, 3 perimeters, 205C, heated bed 60C. Both broke when attempting to remove the support. I reprinted in ABS using the larger gap part thinking the greater flexibility of ABS might help: 3mm ABS @ 0.2mm layer height, 30% infill, 3 perimeters, 240C, heated bed 110C. Broke as soon as I tried freeing the support.


barspin on Sep 5, 2013 said:

Don't give up just yet! I'll think of something. I'll try to get back to you tonight! All right?

WillandMrData2 on Sep 5, 2013 said:

Hi, just a couple of thoughts, first tho i'd like to comment on the last couple of posts, a fully assembled print with no assembly but some clean up. You could fix your car with it depending on your printer and what its printing with including metal.
OK I actually am here to say about,,parts printed next to each other,,,or a duel color print "and correct me if i'm wrong",,

a .1mm gap is required between a duel color print means the two prints are so close they weld together.
a .2mm gap is a weak weld.
a .3mm gap is a break away weld.
a .4mm gap is a gap "this would be my recomended gap between parts so they don't weld together."
a 1mm gap is for sure a gap.

This is based on my Replicator work.
Also unless your printing on a raft,,,sometimes a long abs print curls so i put a birds foot of plastic at the end to help hold it down.
Also i have two raft clamps, they are two strips of metal with bends at each end that grip onto the build plate and hold down the print,,i wait for the raft to print then the first layer of the print to see where it is then put the two clamps on. "my clamps are two peaces of mecano metal strips".

GarrettAlbert98 on Sep 4, 2013 said:

Does it print fully assembled, or do we have to assemble it after we print it?

barspin on Sep 5, 2013 said:

It´s assembled. It´s designed so you can´t take it apart. Just print, remove support pieces and your good to go!

GarrettAlbert98 on Sep 4, 2013 said:

How many grams is it? How well does it work when printed with ABS?

mrpi64 on Sep 4, 2013 said:

Nice job! But could you fix your car with it? Grab a CNC machine and make it out of metal!

DannyN on Sep 4, 2013 said:

Hi, first, great PoC.

I tried printing it and still having issues... The original STL had to be repaired (my slicer thought it was broken). Now I tried several prints with the repaired one, all in ABS.

The bigger issue, the small parts would unstick from the hot bed, then bork all the print... also, the ends would eventually unstick and bend the tool, making further slices to get dragged...

FWIW, I'm on a Lulzbot ao-101

iCloud on Sep 4, 2013 said:

I Belive this maybe stolen probably not since on our dimesnion 1200es this is the test print

barspin on Sep 4, 2013 said:

This one is modeled after an original Bahco wrench with alterations to fit reprap style printers.

eric_schleicher on Aug 31, 2013 said:

Can someone upload (or send me) a gcode from a successful print for this. I would like to print but verify my slicer setting arent wacky before i start. i looked at my slicing and i'm not sure the screw will separate and work correctly ( https://www.dropbox.com/s/18qe...

donovan2580 on Aug 31, 2013 said:

Awesome - Very well done - Printed on a Rep 2, white PLA and after breaking out the support and working it for a but it looks great.

Proof of concept - proven :)


gzumwalt on Aug 31, 2013 said:

Printed two, one with orange PLA, a second with black PLA. Neither worked. Still trying.

sgraber on Aug 31, 2013 said:

Same here. I printed the one with the wider gap with blue translucent PLA and it was better than the first, but it still did not work for me either. The support came out easier, but it was still a challenge. I ended up breaking it in the process of trying to free all of the parts. My next try will be with natural ABS.

BSchuler on Aug 31, 2013 said:

Printed perfectly in PLA at both 20% and 80% fill (the wider gap model) with raft. Support came free with a bit of wiggling. Nice model.

SlaveMassaDrivaJDCUBED on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Let me be clear. I reduced my Up printer temperature by 25 degrees by NOT USING a 20 buck switch, but soldered inline a 10 ohm resistor and drilled a 3/8 hole on a 45 degree angle in the fan shroud to get a bit of cooling. I figured I didnt want to mess with anything so I made it permanent except for the fact that I soldered a push button across both terminals of the resistor in case I have to check the value. Its my belief that the measuring component eroded over time, and maybe I would bring that resistance up if it would be required.

Anyway, everything released just fine. My only complaint is that the tolerances of the worm assembly are too great. On the existing model, I would thicken the worm screw's teethus by 5 thousands in every dimension.

Anonymous on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Printed the old model at 20% infill and couldn't separate the moving part. Printed the new model with wider gap and removable parts, infill 50%, ABS, layer height 0,2mm, raft, support, but I broke it before I could make it move. Maybe it would work with infill 100% (which wasn't suggested) or vertically - enough plastic wasted for now.

Anonymous on Aug 30, 2013 said:

That was on a R2X.

Kirkonpolttaja on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Next in line for printing with my Makergear Mosaic (M1) printer, need to print out spool holder first so i can leave my machine unattended for printing :)

below_cho on Aug 30, 2013 said:

Would you share the original file to us? Such as Blender/ 3D MAX. Because it is better to print the parts one by one to avoid stick together.

barspin on Aug 30, 2013 said:

I would not mind sharing the original file but it is from TopSolid 7 and you need ....well TopSolid 7 to open it. I have however uploded a STEP file w/o support, i hope that will work out for you. If you need some other format let me know and i will see what i can do!

WillandMrData2 on Aug 29, 2013 said:

Hi, Fist off good work, making things that don't require assembly makes sence, i reckon this is the point of machines that are capable of doing it.
I'd like to make a suggestion when making a one print item,,"i know it depends on the printer ,,but,,,,,,link all parts of the first layer with strings,,,so first layer becomes one peace.
Currently there are aprox 8 indervidual parts trying to stick to the build plate, if one breaks off the whole print fails. "i know the strings require cleaning off but for a couple of seconds to pull them off is a small price to pay to improve odds of a successful print."
Thanks tho its a great creation.
Bye for now and be well from Will and Mr Data :) :]

TinmanTechnology on Aug 28, 2013 said:

Printed in ABS, and can't quite get the support punched out... Any suggestions?

maciusr on Aug 29, 2013 said:

I had same thing with PLA and Replicator 2 - support got really stuck with rest of design. I end up with breaking whole wrench to see - now I'm considering to scale it up a bit and see if that improves situation.

Webelogs on Aug 27, 2013 said:

Nice job!!!! I printed this on my Rep 2, with PLA on a raft at the high setting. The worm gear is a little lose, but it works fine.

barspin on Aug 30, 2013 said:


MrJohn on Aug 25, 2013 said:

Tried and printed it. The screw got stuck.

SlaveMassaDrivaJDCUBED on Aug 25, 2013 said:

OK we all know this works with the UP printer with an inline 10 ohm resister to reduce temp by 25 degrees. But This Doesnt Close. This needs a redesign, I expect nothing but the best.

bob23 on Aug 25, 2013 said:

Printed great. Thanks a lot. Very neat.

jridley on Aug 24, 2013 said:

KISSlicer handles it just fine as is.

Tupni on Aug 24, 2013 said:

Can´t do it in slis3r

bob23 on Aug 24, 2013 said:

It worked for me with slic3r after running trough Netfabb. Printing now...

MacGyver on Aug 24, 2013 said:

When slicing this with SF50 I'm getting tons of the following errors:
This should never happen, there is a hole in the triangle mesh, each edge should have two faces.
3999 [2657] [1343, 1345]
Something will still be printed, but there is no guarantee that it will be the correct shape.
Once the gcode is saved, you should check over the layer with a z of:

I'm going to import it into Netfabb and see if that helps.