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Stiletto Business Card Case

by LoboCNC, published

Stiletto Business Card Case by LoboCNC Sep 13, 2016

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Summary

Sometimes business is a knife-fight. This spring-loaded business card case deals your card in a flash while the other guy is still fumbling with his wallet. Push your card out nice and easy, or snap it out with panache. Either way, you'll close the deal.

Holds about 20 business cards. (Standard American 3.5" x 2")

Watch it in action: https://youtu.be/wHK3hb5xk-0

UPDATE (12/17/16): I've improved the friction lock that holds the bottom part in place.
I've also uploaded the Solidworks files for anyone who wants to hack on it.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

MakerGear

Printer:

M2

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

0.2mm

Infill:

20%


Notes:

Print at exactly 0.2mm layer thickness so that the blank space underneath the spring prints properly. Also make sure that the spring section is fully fused without any line separation. I recommend printing in PLA as ABS may not have enough stiffness.

Post-Printing

First use an X-acto knife to gently liberate the tabs and spring section from the rest of the top. Then remove the built-in supports on the exit slot. Take the leaf springs and press them into place in the slots in the bottom. Then press the slot cover piece into place. Finally, press the button piece into place. The button is not quite symmetrical, so orient it so that you get the most travel out of the button.

To load, first drop your cards (up to 20) into the top part. Slide a couple of cards about half-way out towards the back and then compress the leading edge of the leaf springs against those cards as you slide the bottom on. Make sure the bottom is completely seated into the top.

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Ok, I printed this in PLA. It came out flawless and the parts fit great (some parts required hot glue because their tolerance wasn't tight enough). However, when the case is full of business cards and you leave it that way for a few hours, then the 3 springs that push against the business cards simply lose their... spring. They become more flat, and if you have only a few cards left, then there isn't enough sprint to push the cards all the way to the top, which means that obviously the entire mechanism stops working. I think these springs need to be at least twice as thick (I don't think they would break if you bend them that much), or it needs a different spring design.
Otherwise, great design.

How much and how fast the PLA leaf springs creep depends a lot on the ambient temperature. Try experimenting with scaling the X axis of the springs to make them thicker and see how they work. If you get them too thick, it will create too much friction and it will be difficult to feed the cards.

I've printed this twice, and both times the bump on the back of the spring won't fit into the slots on the "bottom" piece. Any advice?

You are probably over-extruding filament making the hole too small and the nub too big, or else maybe your bottom layer is too squashed and just the start of the hole is too small.

I had one printed at our local library. They had issues with trying to get it to print without a raft, so they added the raft. Not sure it it's the reason, but the top case warped (but only lengthwise).

The other issue is with the tabs and slots. Seems like either (or both) the slots are too narrow or the tabs are too wide. Some sanding and test fitting resolved this. Is there a setting that controls the edge tolerance?

I also notice that the top button (attached to the slide) can fit on both ways. But without the tabs centered there is a right way and wrong way to attach the button. How about making one of the tabs and slots longer than the other?

You want to attach the slider button so that it has the longest range of motion.

made that mistake too.. 8*)

Amazing..... excellent work!!

have it printed...(twice, actually) got everything all freed up and assembled, but it doesn't seem to "catch" the top card to push it out of the slot. Any suggestions?

First, the top has to print completely flat. If any corners are warped, it may not work. Next, make sure the slot is completely clear and that the cards can slide through it easily. Also make sure that the lip at the end of the slider that catches the back end of the card has a sharp corner. If not, clean it up with an exacto-knife. Lastly, make sure your stack of cards is completely flat, or if anything, bowed slightly upward.

Thanks for the tips!! Much better, but still a bit hit or miss.... Had the "slot cover" off to better see what was going on and discovered that if I pushed down slightly on the "grabber tab", it works every time. I'm wondering if it wouldn't make some sense to put a little "ramp" on the underside of the slot cover that would act to do the same thing as you pulled the slider button back. I don't have the ability to edit stl's or I'd try it myself....

Cant wait to try this out...it looks awesome! :)

Ill be attempting this print tonight!

Is there anything that gives details for assembly? the device isnt working. I am assuming i need to cut out the arms that appear to be blocking the slot where the cards are dispensed?

Have you looked at the Post-Printing instructions under Thing Details?

Yes, did I miss something? I didn't see anything mentioned there regarding my points of confusion.

Definitely possible I'm missing something.

You mentioned removing the arms in the exit slot - these are the built-in supports that I was referring too. What other problems are you having? Have you freed up the spring sections as shown in the 6th photo?

In the end, I did cut out those supports. That went well. The slider (independent button) doesn't attach, I'm guessing I need to glue it together(?).

Also, and this may be my cards...But the catcher doesn't catch the cards. There seems to be to much flex in THE fillament.

I finally got it to print the retainer wall on the bottom piece but it printed hollow and open at the top so I'm not sure whats going on.

When I printed the bottom of the case for some reason it didn't print the wall section that keeps all the cards from falling out of the front, can you tell me how to fix it so I can print another one the right way.

Maybe a wall thickness issue? Try slicing with 0.4mm perimeter lines.

I was doing .1mm layer height I forgot to change the thickness.

I printed in PLA on a Tinkerine Ditto+, 200 micron resolution with 20% infill. The built-in spring sprung the first time I tried to use it. I will try to incorporate a real, tiny spring and see what happens.

I was thinking the same thing. Maybe a small spring. You'd have to change the logic. Looks like your built in spring pulls, then snaps back. But, I was thinking of a bic pen spring, then the release slide and stop would have to be modified.

I'm going to our local library tomorrow to print this version.

Oh, one more thing. How about including the the zip file the Printing_Instructions.txt

would a .1mm layer thickness be worth a try?

0.1mm layers might work. The print-in-place spring in top.STL is the only thing I'm not sure about. There is a gap underneath the spring of 0.2mm. If you print with 0.1mm layers, the spring will start printing in air 2 full layers above the part below it, and that might be too great a distance for it to get the partial adhesion needed print properly. Or it might work fine. Give it a try..

I tried..... .2mm is the best. wasted a print a .1

Love the design! Fascinating watching the half with the spring mech print out.
Any possibility of a modified version to support UK standard cards? 85mm x 55mm seems to be the norm here.

I'll look into making an 85mm x 55mm version. But also, because the size adjustment is relatively small, you might try simply scaling the original files - scale the length by 96% and the width by 108% and leave Z at 100%. (You'll have to adjust which axis is which on the leaf spring, because it gets printed on its side.) The only question is how well your slicer handles the integral spring in the cover. If it comes out OK, then it should work.

I'll try a version rescaled in cura and see how it comes out, thanks for the percentages.

did you try this?

I did not, because I forgot! However, the printer is running as I type and in a few hours I'll have the results ;)

aaarg the suspention is killing me...did it work? ;)

Damn thing takes a while to print!
It printed just fine, and the size seems about right but sadly no functional success.
The card I've used may be too thick, or perhaps the sizing is too tight but they dont slip through the opening like they should, and the sprung clip does not grab a card and present it.

Great design though, but right now I've not gotten it to work.

Please let us know how you get on! :)

Love the design! Fascinating watching the half with the spring mech print out.
Any possibility of a modified version to support UK standard cards? 85mm x 55mm seems to be the norm here.

What is the space underneath the spring? I'm working on a similar spring system, but it didnt work for me ):

Do you mean: what is the space for?, or do you mean: what are the dimensions of the space?

I meant what are the dimensions of the space.

The indentations beneath the springs are 84.4mm long x 10.16mm wide x 0.8mm deep.

I agree that it really doesn't push cards through at all for me. I'm not sure if the card stock is too heavy or what, but the tab that is supposed to catch the back seems way too small to be reliable on a consistent basis.

OK, the print went well (see make), but the case doesn't stay together. Below are my thoughts/observations/ideas. Any help is welcome.

The little tab at the end isn't doing much, I tried to fix that end of it and nothing I've tried helped (trim it up a bit to get the tab to go fully into the notch.

There are two bumps at the back of the base that look like they should put friction on the case to keep it closed, but they aren't doing anything on mine.

My one thought is to heat the top case a bit and bend it in so I get a tighter fit when I slide it in.

Any thoughts on how I can fix my print of your awesome design?

I tried slowing my print way down as I am also running a MakerGear M2, so I know it should work. It worked much better, but I sent it off to my brother and didn't take a picture of it. It was pretty slick in yellow with black accents.

Hello.

Do you add name card size to thing details.
Usally, name card size 85X55 or 90X50 Size and your case suitalbe for 90X50 size.
If anyone need to print 85X55 size (like me) who don't know until print is finished.

Thank you.

ps. But this is very good design and working perfect.

Good point - I should try to avoid Americentrism. I've added that the card dimensions to the description.

Stiletto business card holder comment. Very very cool!! I am currently working on this. One piece of feedback I have is the joint between the squiggly spring and the center slider. I think this wold work well if you were to add a bigger fillet joining the pieces and or even tapered the end of the spring to get a bigger joint. Eliminate the weak spot. Very clever design!

A.J.

Good suggestion. I'll see what I can do.

Comments deleted.

Any idea why the serpentine design on the top cover won't print? Using Simplify3D as my slicer, and it prints the buttons with the design no problem, but the top cover is just plain.

What is your first layer thickness? The decorative pattern is only 0.2mm thick. If you set your first layer thickness to 0.19mm, that should guarantee the slicer will generate the pattern.

That fixed it. Thanks! Strange that the buttons printed OK with the original first layer thickness.

If you had been using a first layer thickness of exactly 0.2mm, then with some slicers, you'd be right on the hairy edge of finding the pattern or not. I use Simplify3d, too, which I thought sliced the STL file at the mid-point of each layer rather than at the top of each later, so it wouldn't be an issue. I should probably increase the depth of the pattern to 0.21mm to avoid the problem.

Yet another thing of the week for LoboCNC on the 3D Printing Today podcast. NICE!

That's where I heard about this and I'm totally going to print it. I look forward to trying this out. Thanks.

Comments deleted.

Hey thanks! You guys have been great boosters.

Worked great! Awesome design.

Hey, thanks! You should post a "make" of it.

Really amazing. How long do you think those printed 'springs' will last?

Hopefully, longer than the time that it take you to print a new case:) Actually, the springs don't really bend that much, so I don't think they'll outright break. What will happen is they'll get stretched out and you won't get as much force at full extension. One trick you can play to rejuvenate PLA springs is to hold them fully compressed and run them under pretty hot water. Once they cool, they'll be back a little closer to their "as printed" shape.

Nice. They really are cool though, I'll be printing one out soon to try it out. Still jealous of all your amazing modeling skills :P Life got pretty busy, has a baby, I haven't done much modeling in about 7 months. I really want to get back into it, just need to find that time...

Does that pattern that you print on the bed do anything but look nice? Help avoid curling?

The pattern is just decorative. The print-bed surface of a print is often a little random looking, so I wanted to have a pattern to distract from that.

Could you add the same pattern to the other side of card holder so that th design would look better?

Now there's a good idea. I'll look into it.

Jeff, you always impress me with your tinkering! So glad you are a member of The Foundry. We get to play with the fountain of awesome things that pour out of your brain! And thank-you for my new business card holder. :)

Thanks, Mary, and you are quite welcome.

I wonder if you could pause the print and put down a layer of tape before the spring prints. I working on cutting off the spring but I am going to have to dig a better knife out of my workshop.

Yeah, it is a little tricky. Start by freeing the little tabs on either side of the slider bar - you can use a little more force on those. Then work back & forth along each wiggle of the spring, moving from the tabs to the front wall. The trick is keeping the angle of the knife as low as possible. Also look at your print previewer to make sure the slicer actually left a blank layer between the spring and the surface below it.

I'm not sure how well putting down a layer of tape would work, but easy enough to try.

I think my printer might be extruding too much because the slots for the springs and buttons are a bit small and the curved gaps all molded together. what size print nozzle did you use?

My Makergear has a 0.35mm dia nozzle, but I've set the print line width to 0.45mm. I would imagine that a 0.4mm nozzle should work OK, but if your nozzle is larger, then details could get rounded over. Try lowering your extrusion multiplier by 5% or so. That'll also help with separating the spring from the surface below. Also try printing slower - that almost always helps. There's no doubt, though, that this is a bit of a tricky thing to print with all the fine details.

Thanks, I'll give it another go tomorrow. This is a really cool design.

Looks amazing. Can't wait to print this one up!

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