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Medication Bottle Opener

by sauer, published

Medication Bottle Opener by sauer Oct 5, 2015
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update 6/21/16 Meeting with express scripts Thursday with a slightly different prototype to see about getting this on the market. Will make a more updated update afterwards

update 2/25/16 so apparently this was considered cool by some people and it got mentioned in this article: http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2016/02/student-3d-printing-designs-help-those-disabilities-tackle-daily-tasks and http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2016/02/15/5-student-designs-that-prove-3d-printing-is-reshaping-education.
If you want I can post a video demo of how to use it, just say so in comments

So my father has MS, due to this, one of the small nuances he has is opening regular pill bottles. Now rather than making dozens of new pill bottles for him, I decided I'll start working on making a tool to help him open the freak'n bottle. In the new version it works with the 90 day bottles as well.

It works by gripping either the bottom or the top of bottles. Personally I think it works best placed on a table with the bottle your trying to open on top of it.

Print Settings


Doesn't Matter




lower is better




A thicker layer height helps it grip the bottle better, however a lower layer height feels smoother, I guess it is a matter of personal preference and time your have. On .3 mm it can be printed in just over an hour.

How I Designed This

Mock Ups

So I designed this first mockup using inventor since that's what I'm learning in high school. I've made most of it parametricly relying heavily off the dimension of the pill bottle, hopefully I can learn openscad in time to try making a customizer version.

In the second mockup I changed to a handle design based off of feedback that some disabled people may not be able to grasp their hand all the way, however it would be possible for them to still use a lever. Another small experimental feature I added was a second ring inside for tackling smaller pill bottle caps.

mockup 1

mockup 2

for mockup 3 all I did was change that dimension from 1.5 to 1.475

'final' model

This was designed using a series of extrusions in inventor, then filleting them for more grip. After getting feedback from Venture Cafe, where someone with a broken had tried to use it, I decided that the lever is a must. It allows people to place their bottle on the opener, then well open it with just one working hand. (will add more about this later)

Custom Section

Displayed the Product at Venture Cafe

So Yesterday (10/23/15) I showed the medication bottle opener off at the venture cafe to get some user feedback, and I'm shocked that I had no negative feedback! There were several sales reps who now want to give my product to their clients (for Free!) to make life easier on them. Decided I should probably get back to the injection mold guys about getting one of those so this would cost less than $1 per unit. Thanks for inspiring me to create this product, hope it helps a lot of people.

Now with a no handle option

There is a no handle option for the uncapper mockup 2 now.

As a small note, after the competition I'll make the license more open, just would prefer no remakes before then.

Additional Resources

One thing if you do not have to worry about having non 'child proof' lids is to just ask your pharmacist for easy open pill bottles, most carriers have some form of arthritis friendly containers.

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I printed the prototype 2.0 and I think the grippy things are too rounded. They don't seem to grip the caps well enough. They should be more triangular and square on the Z-axis.. These are all too curvy, I think.

So the way I use this and show people how to use it, is you put the opener on the table, then put the bottle on it. Push down on the lid and twist the opener

so.... it grips the bottom of the bottle? that's really strange.

Yeah, it that way you only need to be able to push down on the lid and push the lever/handle, removes the need for a lot of grip strength

Yeah, it that way you only need to be able to push down on the lid and push the lever/handle, removes the need for a lot of grip strength

So, should I make an indentation in the back to allow for the ability to attach a magnet so it can be placed on a fridge, or leave the back plain so it remains easier to print?

Awesome concept. I know a couple people who might find something like this helpful.

Glad to hear it. If you make one, I'd love to hear your feedback on what I can do to improve it.

In mockup 3, it should now (hopefully) fit the standard orange and white prescription pill bottles. (its set to a diameter of 1.475 inches, as opposed to 1.5 inches earlier)

Hey! I had a similar idea, and have printed several prototypes of my design so far, ( my idea is just bottles in general, I can send you some pics if u want), I have not entered yet though., so yeah... I downloaded your file just now and am printing it on my 3D printer. I'll test it and send you some feedback.

I'd love to see how it turns out. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Ok, it printed out great, no probs there. I printed at I think about 15-20% infill, thick walls, and low quality. A raft, but No supports. It fits nicely in the hand, but unfortunately, I could find any med bottles that fit, and I don't think my printer is big enough to print the second version of your opener. I'll keep looking though, and good luck!

Here's the link to the pic of it printed

Thank you so much, were the medicine bottles lids to small or too large?

Hey, um, most were too small, but the orange type with the white cap wer the type you were trying for right?
And if the first version doesn't work I'll try the second

Yup. That was my goal for the first mockup, slowly trying to make it compatible with more types

Ok, i think I know where one of those is, when I find it I'll test it and tell you

Comments deleted.

Thank you very much! It is very appreciated.

Ok, so I found one of the orange ones with a white cap, the ones for prescription medication, and the opener is too big. Could just be my printer, it's definitely got its shortcomings, but yeah, if you decreased the diameter of the circle by like 1 or 2 millimeters, I think it would work.

okay. I'll do that now. I made it for 1.5 inch diameter lids, and didn't know how close it would be.

Sure, sorry about the double post... That happened by mistake

Comments deleted.

Ok, cool, thanks.