Introduction: 3D Print a Fully Functional Key

Picture of 3D Print a Fully Functional Key

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to 3D Print a funcational key? Well, it is and I can assure you it works just fine. I would not use it as a main key, but it is great to print a few spare keys to your room, office or house. Save your key on a usb stick or cloud drive and print it anywhere!

I only have 1 key to my office so I decided to test out a 3D Printed spare key. It works great and I haven't had it break on me after using it 50+ times. Like I said, it is perfectly fine for a spare key.

Step 1: Download OpenScad 3D Modeling Software

Picture of Download OpenScad 3D Modeling Software

Download OpenScad here for your operating system. If you've never used or heard of OpenScad before, it is a great way to create customizable parametric models. This means that I could give an OpenScad model to someone with zero modeling experience and that can modify it just by changing a few numbers.

Step 2: Create Your Key

Picture of Create Your Key

First, download the Kwikset KW1 or the Schlage SC1 file depending on the key you want to print. These models were created by Nirav Patel. Open the file in OpenScad and change the last line of the code by entering in the key code of the lock. Your key may have the key code written on the side, but if not you can measure the key and compare the numbers here.

Compile the program and then export the file to an stl that you can print. If you don't have access to a 3D Printer, you can use 3D Hubs to find a local 3D Printer near you.

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Thank you!


KagenS (author)2015-10-28

how do you add and 6th pin to the open scad code

cas0001000 (author)2015-05-06

Awesome. I needed a temp key on those mornings that I forget my office key. Threw a plastic one in my glove box of each car. I reverse engineered my numbers from my metal key. Kw=approximately





evileddead (author)cas00010002015-05-07

Might want to remove the measurements and measurable image.
On an instrucable about 3d printing a key, you basically just gave the internet a copy of your key.

Proto G (author)evileddead2015-05-07

If someone copies my key from a picture and they somehow find the exact lock that the key opens, they deserve my stuff. I think it is stupid when I see someone blurring their keys on the internet. If someone wants to break in, they will break in. Your locks are not safe and if they are, then the key can't be copied from a picture anyway.

kevint9 (author)Proto G2015-05-18

Keys can be copied from photos.

Proto G (author)kevint92015-05-18

I know, regular keys are not very hard to copy. I was heavy into lockpicking and could open most front doors in a few minutes without a key. You can not copy a medeco key even if you had it right in front of you. A locksmith will not even attempt to make a copy of a medeco key without the original card with the code on it.

cas0001000 (author)evileddead2015-05-07

Good luck. Have to get into the building, past the alarms first. Much easier to throw a rock though the window. (BTW don't do that! I don't want to clean up the mess.) Only the guys I work with would that picture be useful but they would have to get a printer first. Took 4 trys with my Maker Gear M2 to get a key that would work (Calibrated to +-.001"). So knock yourself out 24121. Cops will be here before you get my office door open. ;-)

Proto G (author)cas00010002015-05-06

Thanks. It turned out great, I'm glad you liked it.

rabbit_man (author)2015-05-11

I know a person that tried both 3d printed and laser cut acrylic car key and found the laser cut worked better. "User" beware, many newer cars have chips in the keys. For example, with VW and Audi, if you attempt to start the car and it doesn't find the appropriate chip, it will erase all keys in memory and you'll have to have your car towed to the stealership to re-authenticate your keys ($100+ bill).

taur561 (author)2015-05-08

Very very good . Where can I find the source for all the various key codes ? I would love to build this and try it out .

ArticAkita (author)2015-05-05

how would it hold up unlocking a vehicle door?

taur561 (author)ArticAkita2015-05-08

Probably very well . A few years ago there was a company making plastic emergency key copies in a credit card form from which the key pop in and out . Neat idea .

Proto G (author)ArticAkita2015-05-05

Someone did an instructable on a 3d printed car key here

I suppose it might get you out of trouble, but the chances of it breaking are much higher.

RezLar (author)2015-05-07

How do you know which key to use? The reference numbers at the bottom are different for each.

Proto G (author)RezLar2015-05-07

I'm not sure what you mean. You use a Schlage key if you have a Schlage lock and a Kwikset key if you have a Kwikset lock.

RezLar (author)Proto G2015-05-07

Ok I see thanks.

PJMOR (author)2015-05-06

Interesting concept, though a bit worrying it might break in the lock.

Proto G (author)PJMOR2015-05-06

Everyone says that. I have used it more than 50 times and it's still going strong. I'm not worried about it breaking off at all. If it's hard to turn, either your key is sloppy or your lock is sloppy. Plus, if that were to happen, it isn't difficult to extract a key from a standard Schlage or Kwikset lock. It's a spare key and should be used as such.

ArticAkita (author)2015-05-05

like if you locked the keys inside it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working ... More »
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