Variable Numerical Cryptex

by berky93, published

Variable Numerical Cryptex by berky93 May 15, 2015
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Cryptex with a 6-digit numerical combination. The combination can be changed to any number 000000 - 999999, but only when the device is open.


Print the following:

1x tube_outer
1x tube_inner
1x ring_end
6x ring_inner
6x ring_outer

Make sure the ring pieces are laying flat and the tube pieces are laying on their larger ends during printing for optimal results. Supports recommended, though some pieces (especially ring_outer) have been successful without them.

Insert a ring_inner into each ring_outer with the notch aligned to the desired number. Slide each ring section onto the tube_outer with the notches aligned to the slot. Attach ring_end to tube_outer by inserting it with the smooth side facing outwards and one of the notches aligned with the slot. Turn ring_end clockwise to lock the assembly in place.

To close, insert tube_inner into the assembly and scramble the combination. To re-open, align the combination with the markings on tube_inner and tube_outer and remove tube_inner.

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would it be easy to make this 10, 15, 20, etc digits?

Well the number of digits is entirely dependent on the two tubes. To increase the number of rings you would need to duplicate part of the inner tube to increase the number of notches, and then extend the outer tube (maintaining the notches that hold the end ring in place) to match the new length. It probably wouldn't be difficult to do in a polygon-based 3d modeling program. Unfortunately this is one of my earliest CAD designs so I didn't set it up for much variation, so given the simple construction that would be my suggestion.

All I have experience with is solidworks. I think i'd have to remake the whole design in SW to do anything like that with it. I'll see what I can do

You could probably do it in SolidWorks or other CAD program fairly easily, too, by simply cutting the model into chunks that you can duplicate to get the correct lengths.

That being said, the cryptex mechanism is generally pretty simple and (in my opinion) pretty interesting. It's a fun project to design your own, and then you can add custom features, such as the system I've put in that allows the combination to be changed when it's unlocked. If you do decide to design your own, you could make it totally custom.

Do you think scaling this bigger with still work? I'm thinking I want to make it BIG! lol

I see no reason why it wouldn't. The tolerances were designed for the size it prints at, so it could be a slightly looser fit when printed large, bit mechanically it should work just fine. If you do, be sure to post some pictures!

When I printed it the lock ring grooves were on the wrong side.

Try flipping it over, perhaps?

Thanks! I'll try that.

Comments deleted.

support or no support????????//???/????//?????????

Supports are recommended, yes. Some printers may be able to print the pieces without supports, but I've found that the supports really help ensure a functional mechanism, and printing with the proper orientation (larger sections on bottom, allowing curves to be made on the XY plane) results in not much cleanup anyway.

Can't figure out how to get supports inside the "ring_inner" part, using Cura. No matter how small the overhang angle, it doesn't want to create supports on the inside of the ring :(

Any ideas?

Have you tried Slic3r? I use that program and it works pretty well.

Late reply but, I have got it done with Slic3r, it worked very well! =) I will post photos of my build this weekend, it works very well. A bit stiff yet, but it does work =D

Also, I picked this design out of all the others, just because I thought it was the best designed. I really love it! =)

Thanks! I'm glad you like it!

Also, because of the nature of 3d printing it will loosen up some over time as the pieces wear a bit (since the tolerances are pretty closely tuned).

Ah yeah, I've noticed that with a lot of other parts where you put them together.. Just needs some use and then they work like.. well, if it was professionally made =D

Thanks for the reply! =)