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Lock On!

3D Printed Lock: Most Amazing Prints & Projects

Picture of Jacob Greenburg
by Jacob Greenburg
Feb 4, 2020
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A 3D printed lock offers interesting possibilities in terms of limitless customization. Check out some of the coolest 3D printed locks!

3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Unlock the Potential

A puzzle lock with the solution in plain sight
A puzzle lock with the solution in plain sight (Source: Mr. Puzzle via YouTube)

A seemingly everyday item, locks are prolific, found everywhere due to their ease of use and the necessity of keeping things safe. But if you’ve ever wondered about how these mechanical marvels work, what better way to find out than to make your own?

With this list, we’ll not only show you some 3D printable locks that you can make at home, but also give you a look into advanced projects and how professionals are using 3D printing to improve lock security.

If you’d like one of the following for yourself but don’t have the means to print something so delicate, consider turning to a 3D printing service. With Craftcloud, the 3D printing and price comparison service from All3DP, you’ll instantly find the best price and provider for your needs, with no additional fees!

Now, let’s get to the list!

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Lion Lock

The decorative lion lock
The decorative lion lock (Source: Gigi1970 via Thingiverse)

A decorative lock that’s reminiscent of historic times, this lock makes a beautiful piece to have and showcase. Simple in design but elegant in display, this seven-piece lock is easy to print and even easier to assemble with a full suite of assembly instructions.

With this lock on your print bed, you’ll feel like you’re recreating something of Victorian-era workmanship, right from the comfort of your home or workshop!

Who made it? Gigi1970

Who printed it? 15 users have posted Makes on Thingiverse, and there are well over 13,000 downloads.

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Secret Lock Book

The secret lock box book's interior can hold many things
The secret lock box book's interior can hold many things (Source: Mike Hershey via Thingiverse)

This 3D printed marvel is a decorative lock-box book that’s perfect for anyone who enjoys medieval-style objects. The lock book can be used for many things, from your squad of Dungeon & Dragons figurines, a dice collection, or even your everyday items. It’s fun to print and even more enjoyable to paint and assemble.

The novel design features a front latching mechanism that’s so decorative, it’s challenging to know how to open it unless you’re the owner.

Who made it? Mike Hershey

Who printed it? With 22 well-made user uploaded prints and 23,000 downloads, this model is a hit.

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Programmable Combination Lock

The rear tumblers of this programmable combination lock give a great veiw into the lock's inner workings
The rear tumblers of this programmable combination lock give a great veiw into the lock's inner workings (Source: Runkel via Thingiverse)

Doubling as a demonstration of how combination locks work, this design is sure to turn heads. The model and assembly are straightforward to print, and there’s even a video showing how the lock works , including the basis of the design.

So, if you’ve always wondered how a combination lock functioned, print out one of these and wonder no longer!

Who made it? Hans Milling

Who printed it? With four confirmed makes and 18,000 downloads, this model has piqued a number of people’s curiosity.

Where to get it? Thingiverse

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Lockpick Puzzle

The lockpick puzzle can entertain for hours
The lockpick puzzle can entertain for hours (Source: Devin Montes via MyMiniFactory)

Known for his YouTube influence in the 3D printing and maker community, Devin Montes of Make Anything has some world-class designs. For this project, he put together a lock puzzle that you twist and turn to remove the key.

Very popular and well-received, this model is a great project to test both your puzzle skills and the precision of your 3D printer. Make your own and try your hand at this 3D printed lock puzzle.

Who made it? Devin Montes (Make Anything)

Who printed it? With over 4,500 downloads, several comments, and a few makes posted, this print-in-place lock-picking puzzle has people excited to take their turn.

Where to get it? MyMiniFactory

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Realistic Handcuffs

3D printed handcuffs
3D printed handcuffs (Source: Stephen Thone via cults3D)

Locks can be considered useful in many different shapes and forms. In this particular application, the creator makes use of a custom lock interface that works as replica handcuffs.

The design is intriguing and very novel considering the print-in-place chain links and the way the key mechanism works on the natural stiffness of the 3D printed material.

Who made it? Steve Thone (Sthone)

Who printed it? Steve provides images of his own creation, and the model has over 300 downloads.

Where to get it? Cults3D

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Advanced Projects & Developments

Various types of 3D printable keys from UrbanAlps
Various types of 3D printable keys from Urban Alps Urban Alps AG via YouTube

While the previous models are makeable by most, the following are much more sophisticated, showcasing the potential of 3D printing. Let’s take a look at what these motivated makers and companies have produced!

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Ford's Wheel Locks

A voice pattern based 3D printed key
A voice-pattern-based 3D printed key (Source: Ford via Endgadget)

When it comes to customized automotive components, few come off as more flashy or expensive than alloy wheel rims. These parts can cost thousands of dollars and are typically held with a special lock that makes them difficult to steal.

The issue is, the more creative the lock, the more creative the thief. People have even been known to create wax moldes of high-end wheel rim locks and replicate the keys to steal them. That is where Ford’s engineering team got creative.

They developed a custom rim lock and paired key that are 3D printed based on the audio wave patterns of your voice. Say something like, “I love my Ford,” and they can analyze the waveform of your voice, turn it into a unique key, and 3D print it. The unique pattern makes it more difficult to breach the security of your high-end rims, as every key is different.

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Stealth Key

The 3D printed metal stealth key cannot be replicated from scans or photographs
The 3D printed metal stealth key cannot be replicated from scans or photographs (Source: Alice Morby via Dezeen)

With the rise of 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies, there’s legitimate concern over the security of our locking devices. 3D printed bump keys, automatic lock pickers, 3D scanning, having people pining for something more secure.

This is where Urban Alps’ 3D printed Stealth Key comes into play. This key has an inverted design, meaning the key cannot be 3D scanned and replicated. all this is thanks to the hidden teeth, an inverted design where the “code” is effectively hidden within the key while remaining entirely mechanical.

While the key certainly has a unique design, the accompanying tumbler mechanism was cleverly made to fit in a standard cylindrical barrel lock.

This project is the result of several years of research, and the unique design allows for 850 possible key combinations. While not available to everyone (yet), this gives us a glimpse into the future of mechanical locks and security.

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Combination Lock Breaker

The automatic combination lock breaker
The automatic combination lock breaker (Source: Samy Kamkar via samy.pl)

Okay, so it’s not a lock, but it does have something to do with locks… Specifically, it breaks them!

Created by Samy Kamkar, this 3D printed lock breaker is powered with a small battery. It features an Arduino brain, 3D printed structures, and a few motors for lock-cracking.

The machine works off a principle portrayed through YouTube: how to crack a combination lock in eight tries or less. Using iterative programming and the ability to detect whether or not a lock opened or not, the device makes multiple attempts until the lock is cracked.

If you’re interested in making your own, a full tutorial is available on Samy Kamkar’s website.

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3D Printed Lock: Prints & Projects

Lock It Up

A mini 3D printed lock
A mini 3D printed lock (Source: Raffo San via YouTube)

In this list, we saw some fun, easy to print locks, and some larger project-based locks all incorporating 3D printing. We even had a look at industrial projects based on 3D printed locks, perhaps gaining a glimpse at the possibilities for the keys of the future.

We hope you liked our foray into the wild world of lock enthusiasts. If you’ve had experience with a 3D printed lock project and want to share, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Happy printing!

(Lead image source: Code Dojo)

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License: The text of "3D Printed Lock: Most Amazing Prints & Projects" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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