Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Mighty Bottle Opener

by br3ttb, published

Mighty Bottle Opener by br3ttb Jun 16, 2011

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UPDATE: I've been unable to find a reliable way to protect the plastic with this design. If you're using PLA, keep reading; people have had good results. If you're printing with ABS however, I recommend using this updated design: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:11025

The Coin-Op Bottle Opener ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1842 ) is awesome on so many levels. No wonder it's often the first thing that gets printed on a new machine. It doesn't take long to see its weakness though: it's HUGE.

This design keeps the same (strong, satisfying) jaw geometry, but puts it in a package that isn't a burden on your pants pocket. Also, because it's much smaller, it takes FAR less time to print.

One drawback is that you need to man-handle a paper clip to keep the plastic from getting chewed up. On the plus side you get to call yourself "crafty."

Also I removed most of the handle, so you may have to adjust your normal hand position. I find this opener works best with my thumb on top, index finger underneath.

(I've left this as a "work in progress" for the time being. It has done well in my testing, but please let me know if something doesn't work for you)


  • Part gets submitted using a modified bottle cap as the protector. looks awesome (it's still the title thumbnail)
  • Thing gets featured.
  • Turns out the bottle cap protector doesn't work all that well. Embarrassing update posted. (good thing it's a "work in progress")
  • Furious design session yeilds improved paper clip design. (thanks go out to thingiverse users waaronw and jprodgers for their contributions to that process)
  • Made the part ~1mm wider (to help the fill around the hole) and added a little recess for the paperclip on the back side.


Getting the Paper clip into the opener is pretty straight forward (see picture):

  1. Straighten the paperclip and bend it into a U.
  2. Slide the clip through the slots in the part until the U is flush with the back of the opener.
  3. Bend the free ends so that they are flush with the front of the jaw.
  4. Trim the ends so there is just enough wire left for the next step.
  5. Bend the wires back forming 2 new U's. The points should be lodged into the plastic at the back of the jaw. This will keep everything nice and snug.

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Could you post an stl with the holes for the paperclip removed?


Works fine at 90% infill.

I have not. not sure I even have access to any. I'd love to know if that works though!

I suspect that if the jaw is a little more supported and the print almost solid, it might work as just PLA, no metal at all. I'll run one off and see.

Yeah, works in just PLA. Needs to be a little bigger though, tends to slip off.

I realized that the "overhand method" I have pictured above isn't how I actually do it. here's what I do:

the heel of the opener is near the center of my palm, held there by my middle finger. index finger and thumb are on either side of the cap, holding the opener in place both side-to-side and front to back. this all but eliminates slippage.

The next time I open a bottle I'll try to remember to v

Great instructional pics.

Nice reuse of bottle cap scrap.

Awesome design study comparing the new and previous versions.

An epic Thing! Thanks for posting it!

thanks! keep checking back. I'm pretty happy with the design as is, but I think I can improve the protector. it currently has the tendency to slide out unless you melt it in there just right (or use epoxy)

Yeah ok. For those of you reading this on day 2+, turns out the bottle-cap-based protector design was awful. I could not get it to stay in there. There's a lot of outward force during opening. By looping a paperclip all the way out to the other side I think I have fixed that issue