Programable Cryptex

by richards Nov 28, 2012
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I've been unable to get the skull to print properly, doesn't seem to matter what printer I use it comes with deep grooves around the whole print around the area of the mouth.

Thanks for an interesting build.
I'm in the planning stage and I've sorted out the files looking at the images and the .STL files in Slic3r, however, I was looking to do a 6 or 7 ring build.
There are 5, 6 & 7 ring central support .STL files but it looks like there is only a 5 ring Core Tube file. Do you have the 6 & 7 core .STL files or is there a way to make them from the 5 file?
Thanks for the help.

Please check the filenames.
Its a bit hard to identify the right things i need to print.

Looks like something has gone wrong with the thingiverse zipfile. I don't have any control over this as its created by the web site.
Best I can suggest is to download the files individually. Hope this helps.

So what exactly is the difference between cryptex_spacer_lock and cryptex_spacer_ring and how many do I print of each?

Hi, you need 5 spacers and one locking ring. The locking ring had extra detail to allow it engage with features on the central tube so the cryptex does not fall apart when opened.

So, just tried to slice the skull end with CURA 2.6.2. The G-code appears corrupted. There are numerous gaps in the skull where layers where put in as circles instead of as the shape of the skull. Tried downloading several times and still the same result every time.

Update: I opened the file with 3d Builder and it detected some errors that it was able to correct. It looks like I am able to get a complete skull print now.

I had to run it throught Netfabb, but it printed amazingly the second time.

Do I have to print the lock and ring inlay files aswell?

The inlay files are an alternative set depending on whether you want the text proud of the surface or inlayed. You just need one or the other depending on the look you want.

Would there be any difference if I scaled this up to 200% or more?

Can't see an issue, that will impressive. Post if you build it please.

About how large is the storage on the inside?

How to change the letters on the rings. I am a huge fan of stargate and I wanna change the letters to gate letters.

Hi, Sorry your going to have to design a new ring. I can post a blank one in a number or formats if that helps.

Has anyone else noticed that the pins on the core tube are too long for the ring1+2 pairs to fit over them? Even when aligned to the unlock position, the ring2 parts intrude into the pin channel by about 2mm. I've shaved the pins down on the core tube model and will be reprinting it (and posting a superhero-themed make when it's all done).

If only Cura would put support material between those pins instead of everywhere else that doesn't matter...

Hi, I have made a number of these and had no problems, A 2mm overlap on the pins is a lot and I would have spotted it. Is your printer printing the parts round or are you getting slightly oval parts?

Everything is circular and at 100% scale. All the parts fit together well in every other respect. Ring1 and ring2 fit together well and rather snugly. The letter rings spin freely when stacked up with the spacer rings on the central support. The spacer rings easily slide over the pins. Ring1 is simply thicker all the way around (inner diameter to outer diameter) than the ID/OD of the pin slot on the spacer rings.

I downloaded the assembly.stl just to confirm the issue, here is a screenshot from Blender showing ring1 highlighted behind the spacer ring: http://imgur.com/M4t5aSC

The portion of ring1 that is visible through the spacer ring's pin slot (at 12 o'clock, showing the ring2 alignment notch) is the issue. This may be the source of the problems beavertank and 3daybreaker were having which they solved (incorrectly) by scaling the parts.

Is there a customizer to change the letters?

Im printing two of these for my brother for christmas/birthday and would like to change the end caps to just flat ends so they can sit vertical. Is there anything special about the ends or can i just make it the same diameter?

Which way did you print the elements? I mean did you have the ABC rings lay down? The 5 pcs stl file have them "standing" vertically on the A which seems a bit odd. ( http://link.jepb.no/ZgHf ). And everything else? An "orientation" guide + support type guide on each part would be lovely!

Finally got it printed & working.

  1. Printed all rings laying down, the thickest i had brim since some of them lifted (the spacers).
  2. Printed the CORE with the "open end" down with brim and 0 support. Pointed the "pins" on the side towards the fan on the printer and removed the "overhang" after with a knife.
  3. Printed the shell standing up with brim.
  4. Both ends printed with the flat side down with support on overhang touching buildplate.

3 days of printing (printing while i'm home and awake so took a few parts a day.) and i got my self a programmable cryptex. Its about 3-5 mm extra spacing on it so basiccly i can pull it apart and read the code on each ring by seperating them the 3-5mm. So could be a little more "precise".

Would love to have one where i can print preprogrammed codelayers without the inlay and select my own height on it So if you have any files or parametric stuff which we can use to define our own codes + width of each ring (to tighten it up) it would be perfect.

Thanks ! :D

Great you got it printed. Sorry I did not get a chance to reply to your original post.

Not sure what printing software you are using, I have uploaded the rings and other parts to orientate with z in the right plain, they load rotated correctly in the up software I use so i am not sure why they are loading rotated in yours.

Your build looks good, the tightness of the assembly was more the assembly order rather than the precision of the parts. I found you had to fully assembly the cryptex with the core loose and then glue it in place while holding the assembly tight together, this will take out the tolerances and keep things tight.

I did design it to be programmable. If you want it fixed then you could glue the programming rings in place.

I designed the files in a licensed copy of Pro-engineer (now creo), I will post them if anyone wants them. These files will only open in something like solid works or creo but not the educational version of creo.

When I try the skull end it appears about 2 times the size of the normal handle. Any advice?

yes, it says in the instructions that you have to shrink it down by 50%.

Can someone please advise how to print the central tube? When I print with no support, the notches sag, so it doesn't work. However, when I add support, the whole tube gets filled in, as slic3r insists the "roof" needs to be supported too. I'm fairly new to printing, so any advise would be tremendously welcome.

I printed mine on a Replicator 2, and while the notches sag slightly, it is still quite usable. I used a razor and shaved the sagging areas off of the notches and it works perfectly, no support needed.

Hi! I am also just printing it now as I type :) starting off with the two Elvis heads! I hope that with my slow print speed and layering that the overhang parts will also print nicely :( as I am not sure how to set the support material yet! I will post here or you can message me privately so we can exchange the outcomes!

What about a nice table stand for the cryptex ? (like samurai swords are often dispayed)
It seems that you can use the grooves in the ends as the support place :-)

Nice, I printed a few rings and both endpoints, however, I fail to get ring-2 into ring-1.
Would you happen to have a picture of that fitting?
I think I have to go into scaling against each other.
I print in PLA with 0.25 layer. I will start the tubes on 98% as Beavertank did.
When the tubes are printed, I will scale the rings up till they fit both into each other and around the tube.

I have scaled ring-1 to 103% This fits. No need to scale down the tube sections :-)

Tip: Add a small tab at the inside back of the lock ring that aligns with the notch on the central support and it won't slip off so easily when opening/closing. :)

Very nice design :)
However, when I try to print the ring1 I get some wierd results. The letters and the lines between them don't print so well.
It would be nive to have a ring1 with the letters "engraved" in the ring.
Maybe that would result in a better print?

Done. Thanks for the comment. Please see cryptex_ring1_inlay.

Mine came out nice but I had one issue that I didn't notice until I had finished gluing the parts together. When i printed the cryptex end there was a slight sag in the overhang below. (I didn't use support) I didn't think it would amass to any issues but after gluing the central support and core tube ended up slightly crooked.

So my reccomendation, if your printing leaves a sag on the cryptex end part, make sure it doesn't interfere with the notch on central support and core tube.

Awesome! It took a little finagling to get mine to print, so for anyone interested in printing this I'd recommend starting with a single Ring1 and Ring2 just to make sure they fit properly. 

I ended up having to print Ring1 at 103% and Cryptex_Core_Tube at 98% to get everything to fit together, but the end result is still very impressive.I also used the acetone vapor bath smoothing method (http://www.soliforum.com/topic/448/diy-smoothing-station-ii/)http://www.soliforum.com/topic... and the mechanism glides like butter. I would highly recommend that sort of finishing for this print.

Did you also scale the central support down to 98% ?

Nope. In my case I have some issues with internal diameter being correct although external diameter is right (some combination of excess extrusion and bad software compensation for material squish is the probable cause) so I could either print the core tube at full size, then slightly scale up each piece outside of it, or keep the central support the same size, then scale down the core tube and scale up the outer pieces.

...because I (for some reason) started by printing the central support I was sort of stuck in the latter path.

I understand. My parts now fit, with only ring1 scaled up to 103%. No other scaling needed.

Consider a stand ? "-) see my latest publish.

There seems to be internal faces in cryptex ring2.stl

I think I have fixed it with the update to ring2. Many thanks for spotting this.

Very cool design!

While i haven't made one yet, i believe i have somewhat understood how these work.
If i am correct, would trying to pull the cryptex open while turning the rings lock the ring when it reaches its "open" position?
One way to work around this would be to not only include a slit at the "open" position, but also have a groove at every "closed" position that is deep enough to lock the ring in any position once the cryptex is pulled.

Hi, although the method shown on youtube will not work with this design it is possible to pick the lock by pulling on the end and testing the resistance of each ring. I have added features to ring2 to make this much more difficult.

Folk who have already printed ring2 can add these features by filling 0.5mm groves into the sides.

 Heads up - ring 2 is partially hovering above the build platform. I don't know whether that is intended or not, but it's likely going to result in a failed print.

I think it may be due to detail on the underside. I have posted a ring2_ns (no support) file with a flat lower face. Should fix it.

I am currently printing the bits. I printed 5 x ring 1 without support in ABS on my Replicator at .20 and the letters are fantastic. I was surprised with the quality. I had to print them one at a time as the stack of 5 did not work, obviously it needs support for the second ring. I will post a pic when it is finished.

Sounds good, Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

well played sir. Do you think it will function correctly if i print it scaled down a little? It Looks like it's a little on the Large side. I love that you modeled the letters. do they need support when printing?

Hi, Just posted a mini cryptex. Much smaller (half the diameter). Should work better than a scale down version.

Hi, No reason why it wont work scaled down, it is a bit on the large size. I have made 4 for Christmas presents and its used up quite a bit of my ABS. I have an UP printer and print the letter ring with support. Not tried it without support but some letters with verticals like I, L, M etc may not come out too well.

Letters worked fine without supports on my print.

So where do you put the vinegar trap?

vinegar? so last century. Thinking of v2 having a 1000v generator built in.