Cryptex 2.0: customizable

by Michaelmi782, published

Cryptex 2.0: customizable by Michaelmi782 Jul 9, 2015
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This is a modification of my own Da Vinci Code Cryptex

The password is now customizable and there are clicking noises when you turn the rings.


You need five pins, five clicker and two decoshapes. The other parts only have to be printed once.

The inner letterring locks the tube. The outer letterring contents the letters. The special shape between inner and outer ring make costumizing possible.

You don't need to print the pins! You can take 3 mm filament, straighten it and cut it 5 times to 9mm length.
Thanks for the nice idea trepisky!

If you want to paint the cryptex, do this before assembly!

At first take the outer_tube and take one clicker. Fit the clicker into the first recess and press it down with a flat screwdriver. At the same time slide the fist letterring (C) over the clicker till it is flush to the outer tube. Repeat this process for all letterings (c,r,y,p,t) and take some superglue to fit the end piece over the outer tube to fix all.

The second part ist the assembly of the inner tube. Take the inner_tube and fit the pins into the holes. Take some superglue to fix them, if this is necessary.
the last part is glueing the deco_shapes on the flat front sides of the outer- and the inner-tube.

Make the antique look:
At first you have to color the cryptex completely in gold. After the color is dry, you take a old cloth, lay it down and make some lays. Now carefully put some black high fluent color on it. The last thing you have to do is to roll the Cryptex over that cloth. After some trials you can find out the right dose of color.

Now your finished. Please tell me your experiences.

And the most important: have fun!

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Far too tight on tolerances, i also have to use a hammer to put the parts together, ive measured with a gauge and i dont see a 0.4mm tolerance,
I will have to change the scale of the X,Y and reprint the outer parts for them to fit
No, its not my printer lol

Hello Jason! I printed exactly this version and it worked very well. And yes, there are no tolerances between the ring parts (Letterring and inner ring) and that was my plan. So you don't need glue to fix that parts. It is important to me that the other parts, inner ring and outer ring do not clack. so the tolerances are very low. Maybe your layer height is too high.

Comments deleted.

cant even fit the inner ring into the outer letter ring

try to prevent "elephants foot". the tolerances are very low. ;-)

it is tight but that is the way it is suppose to be. Are you printing at a .1? sometimes if you print higher the flushness of pieaces can be a bit off. Or try a bit of sandpaper.

I tried a little bit of sandpaper, I just got it fit! Thanks for the awesome design! I had to make custom pins from metal. For some reason I couldn't print the clickers and the pins. They kept on messing up, the clickers kept on looking to small. What settings should I be printing the clickers?

I'm not the design. But this was the first complicated thing I printed, and I did it for my daughter and had fun doing it. The clickers I did get to print however it didn't last long. I think I printed them sideways one at a time. Or maybe I printed like 4 at a time to give the layer a second to dry. But PLA basic 210, 60 bed, had it slow at like 45 print speed. Make sure they adhere good. The pins were tight too. Can see why you went with metal.

Very nice object when finished, works like a charm. I made too the crypter cover to change the code. I made a tiny tool https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2722756 , so it is easy to remove the two parts of a coded wheel.

Cryptex Ring Removal

Is this thing actually supposed to lock? Seems like in order for it to lock, you would need a spring mechanism that moved the pins outward when it came across the open slot. As it is now, if I keep the pins short, it allows the rings to turn but doesn't lock the cryptex. But if I make them longer, it doesn't allow the rings to turn. Maybe I'm missing something...

What are the inside dimensions?

This looks very great, congratulations!
I like this design and I have a question: is it hard to change this to 6 rings and take numbers, not letters? I'm very new to 3D-design and -printing. I need this for a birthday surprise. Which program is best for editing this?

Comments deleted.

there must be a failure in cura.. try to reinstall it.. i had no problems with a 0.4 mm nozzle.

Hi, I tried using 1 shell for the print and it worked just fine. but I do have one more question, when you paint the cryptex does the lettering show more distinctively on the outer lettering because it is difficult to see the letters. Thanks

Hey! At first paint all with the same color. Then take some paint with other color (at me it was black) and give it on something like a handkerchief. Simply roll the letterring on the handkerchief with the wet color and the letter will get more distinctively. ;-)

Hi Michaelmi782,
I was wondering if this is your design or if you remixed it. If it's your original design I'd like to ask you a question.

Awesome print but needed some work, had to sand all the bits to get them to fit and had all sorts of issues trying to print the clicker pieces which just keep breaking no matter the print specs and plastic

Yes I had that problem also with PLA so I print the clip in PETG and that solve the problem.

I didn't have to sand any parts!
When I printed the first outside ring I saw that I wasn't able to insert it into the inner ring. I used a vernier to calculate the magnification factor. I lost 1 outer ring but with the new size they were all ok and fit perfectly with no play.
The magnification used on the outer ring was 101.8% on X & Y axis. I kept the Z axis to be 100%.

I made a small disk to be inserted and glued at the outer tube inside end. This way I just need to unscrew the cover, from the inside, to change the code.

Also I did increase the x and y factor of the outer letter ring to 101.8% to be able to insert them into the inner ring.


cryptex cover

Hi There,

I have assembled the print, however, the pins seem to be blocking the letters from sliding. It happens on every outer piece, once the tube with the pins is slide in. You can no longer turn the letters, the pins block it.

Yeah that seems to be a major flaw to this design. I'm wondering how it's supposed to work at all. A real cryptex would need to keep the pins down when turning the rings and push the pins outward when it comes across the open slot. It looks really nice but I'm starting to think it wasn't actually designed to lock.

I didn't print it yet, but I very appreciate that you thought of FDM printing limitations during your design process. Furthermore no supports are needed. Great. (No support > manually designed support > Simplify 3D support >> Cura support > slic3r support.)

Amazing work... all parts looking great but (yeah there is always but) can you change end cap so glue is not needed? there are better ways than using glue... was thinking that you could use pins to hold end cap in place and only when cryptex is unlocked you can remove it and change code?

will make some sketch and post it here.

What a THING !!

many thanks for your hard work on this

All was going well on my flashforge dreamer until a power cut on the last bit

Ive printed in PLA @ 200C/60C @ 0.10 layer height with 40% infill @ 30% overlap and 200% shell , 2 outlines and 4 tops/bottoms

I printed the clickers in PLA*PLUS (240C/70C) from Rigidink ... they work very very well, printed 100% solid @ 0.10 layer

Everything seems to be sliding together well with just the odd pluke to clip off

For my printer, I think the tolerances are too tight. I've done lots and lots of sanding, and I can barely the the outer tube sliding over the inner. The letter rings I can only get onto the inner clicker rings with a hammer. Then getting the assembled tumbler over the rest - well, sanding, sanding - got it on to test. Then when I pulled it off I broke off two of the pins!

I'm using a Monoprice 15365 - which is a great printer for $200, but I guess it can't make this model perfectly enough. I'd love to try a "looser" fit version.

One other thing - letters were very hard to read - having them stand taller, maybe a smidge bigger, would be great.

Anyway - thanks for taking the time to put this up. I'll revisit when I get an upgrade on my equipment.

The clearance of 0.4mm between the inner and outer tube is theoretically more than enough. Because sliding things orthogonal to the layers is difficult sanding/scratiching is required. However, the inner and outer letter rings are designed with absolutely no clearance. A value of 0.2mm would be good.One could scale the outer lettings by a factor of 1.005 to achieve 0.2mm clearance.

Thanks for great model Michael!
Made one, posted it already.
Only few my ideas about:
Dont you think its better close inner holes for pins? That isnt hard for printing but may help with pins assemble.
Clickers are rly bad parts of this great stl. Hard to print, hard to glue. From 5 my pins (all pins were exactly alike each other) 2 were ok, 1 glued too low and 2 too high, so some rings hard to spin when other - easy. I saw in other models they were part of model but i also dont like that idea. Dont like it but dont have idea to offer sorry =/
Also any ideas about reassemle cryptex? As i understood even if rings can be reassembled many times you cant take them from outer tube cuz endpiece tube glued on it, right?
Just some thoughts about no offence

Does anyone have pics on how this is put together? I think im stupid, I cant seem to figure it out. Specifically, the clickers, pins, and which way the outer and inner rings go together. How far do I put the pins in? Do I glue them in place?

Hey Kalebbroo!
Look at the last sample pictures, there is a explosion drawing. if you have problems write to me. You can choose the password of the rings. So you turn the hole on the inner_ring to the letter you want to choose at the outer_ring. Look at the pictures for the orientation of the shoulder of the inner_ring. You must press it to the end. Normally you don't have to glue the inner and the outer ring. But you must glue the pins in place. And you can also glue the clickers at the edges in place but you don't have to.

I can't fit the outer rings over the inner rings after printing. So I'm trying ninjaflex outer rings. That would also solve the problem of being able to change the code.

how can I choose the password?

He Riba,
you have a inner ring and a outer ring. The rotate angle between this rings makes the letter for your password.

I've finished printing this, and I am attempting to assemble it, but no matter what I do, I can't seem to get the clickers to work. Do you have any pictures that show exactly how they are supposed to assemble?

Ney Nocturnal,
It can be that the material you used is too soft or not durable. In this case the clickers will not work. If the clickers do not stay in position (this can be when you print too fast or your nozzle diameter is so high that no corners will be formed), you can fix them in the edges with some glue.

same here, the clickers dont stay in their place...

Did I get that right, that you cannot change the code once it is build? the widest Diameter of the outer tube is to large for pulling the outer letterings over, right?. That should have been smaller with another Ringwich you could only remove once it is open...
Or did I got that wrong?

Hey eremit,
you are right, you can't change the code once the cryptex is build. I like your suggestion. When there is enough time I'll upgrade this Version of my cryptex.

Hey eremit,
you are right, you can't change the code once the cryptex is build. I like your suggestion. When there is enough time I'll upgrade this Version of my cryptex.

I've seen that it is easier to make the cap removable when you have regular access to the inside. Otherwise, you have to change the design of the rings also.
To make my print changeable,'I'll pring a small disc with holes for one or two screws, to glue it into the top of the outer tube. And the top cap will just screwed in. So you need access to the inside + a screw driver to change the combinations. And that is okay for me. Don't know how to cad screws and threads, than it would be more "native".

Hey eremit,
you are right, you can't change the code once the cryptex is build. I like your suggestion. When there is enough time I'll upgrade this Version of my cryptex.

any suggestions on printing the clickers they are pretty small and having some issues. Just asking while I print up the other parts. Using Cura at the moment.

Try to print simultaneously, not part after part. If you print part after part, they will get too hot. Print not too fast and I recommend to use PLA because you can cool PLA and it is more stiff than ABS.
Use blue tape.

So I got it and this is what I did. Some may say no kidding. But hey i'm new at this. One the orientation of the object threw me I tried a couple of ways to find that the best was on its side. Second I used a speed of only 5, its small it doesn't take long. Used PLA. with the .1 layer height. So I have a robo 3d plus and have a heated bed, glue worked fine. I used 215 print and 65 bed. I printed One at a time so the nozzle did not drag over such a small layer. I also used 3 skirts to make sure the filament was flowing. I pre heated, manually ran the extruder a couple of times. The thing runs a 9 point auto calibrate so in that time the plastic gets pulled back in hence the skirts. sure there may be other ways, like telling the Gcode not to calibrate since its so small anyways. but it worked.

How much did this cost to print?

Hey hattie,

The material costs are around 5,5€ and energy around 1,5€. So the whole production costs are around 7€. (Without worker costs)
you need some time for the right settings and supervision. ;-)

How long in total did the print take ?

Hey misskincaidxo,

it's hard to say. I never print the whole time through. But I need round two days and one night. ;-)

OK so I finished printing this today - now i will paint. The click springs seem to fall out while turning the dials. What would you suggest I use for glueing if I used PLA to print.

Also I have an idea - instead of the pins I will use small pieces of filament cut to the proper length - perhaps I might straighten the fillament before cutting with some heat applied (hot water works fine I guess).

Anyways: Beautiful project!!!

I had the same problem with the falling out clickers on one of my builds. The reason of this problem is the round edge the printer makes. You have to cut the clicker a little bit. For the best with a sharp knife or a file. You simply need sharp edges. The same, and more important, is the edge in the outer tube, where the clickers fit in. It should be sharp too.
Use this kind of blade for the easyest way of cutting:
(paper cutting knife with a sharp tip)

I used the loctite super glue for fixing my parts. It sticks almost of the plastics you can print.

Thats a very good idea!! Printing the pins is one of the hardest parts because they don't want to stick on the buildplate sometimes. I'll note this in my instructions. Thank you!

Comments deleted.

you can print the parts with 0.1-0.3mm layerheight withount any problems and it will work.
But you must prevent a elephant's foot, warping and lower walls that cave in! If you have one of this problems the parts won't perfectly fit together.

I recommend a 0.1mm layerheight because of the nicer apperance.

Comments deleted.

Hey zoemay,

I'm glad that you like it. I used smartABS. This is a kind of ABS with less thermal expension. But I think normal ABS should also work because of the small size of the parts. Printing with PLA should work very well I think.
The layer height I set was 0.1mm at 40mm/s for the outer shell.
But I'll start a trial today, to check the possibility for prints with 0.2mm and maybe 0.3mm.

I'll write it to the description