Mighty Bottle Opener

I’ve been wanting something printable that I could carry around with me, especially after this Colbert Report thing. I finally settled on designing a bottle opener: something I could show off.

Mighty Opener

There’s already a bottle opener you can print, and it works really really well. Unfortunately it’s the size of a small moon, so you can’t really carry it with you everywhere. The reason it’s so big is because it uses a penny to bear the load. You need to have something metal to save the plastic, and a coin is an ingenious, albeit large, solution.

To make the opener smaller the coin would have to go. Using a bottle cap came to me almost immediately, but finding the correct implementation took some time. The Coin-Op uses the coin to support the full load, and initially that’s what I tried to do with a folded over cap. Things improved greatly when I discovered that ABS is strong enough to lift a cap, it just needs a protective layer to keep it from being chewed up.

And thus the Mighty Bottle Opener was born! As you can see, naming things is not my forte. I was looking for something that would encompass everything great about this new opener I designed: It’s smaller, lighter, key-chainable, yet still really strong.

Creating the Protector

…And then it was awful. The bottle cap barb above protected the plastic, but it kept getting pulled out by the opening process. There’s way more outward force than I anticipated. Of course I had already uploaded this awesome thing to Thingiverse, and it had gotten featured. Luckily it was project night down at Sprout so I started redesigning.

paperclip manipulation

I settled on using a paperclip looped all the way around to the back of the opener. Now any outward force on the protector is resisted by something stronger than friction. I was kicking myself because Aaron from dinostudios had suggested using a paperclip maybe a week before. Oh well.

paperclip protector

So there you go. A fantastic bottle opener and a design story to boot. We’ll see how well this design holds up. It’s still listed as a “work in progress” just in case.

UPDATE: This opener never really panned out. It works well when printed in PLA, but with ABS I was never able to effectively protect the plastic. I’ve posted a new design that works far better.

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