Introduction: 3D Printed Steel Name Keys

These are two name keys that I designed in Rhino and 3D printed in stainless steel through Ponoko. The names are of my first son and my wife. I wanted something custom that would last a while and the stainless steel was a perfect fit.

The design in Rhino was very straightforward. For the bodies of the keys I just used cylinders, tori, and a flattened sphere. For the names, I created the outlines in Illustrator and extruded them in Rhino. Put them all together, export an STL, upload it to Ponoko, and you're off to the races.

Well, a slow race, that is. It takes a bit of time for them to get printed, but it's worth it.


cnewb made it! (author)2013-02-17

Nicely done, without any profanity.

orion1977 made it! (author)2012-06-08

For some reason I really like one of the keys... I wonder why...

PKM made it! (author)2012-05-30

Wait, Ponoko will print on demand in metal?  Why did no-one tell me this?

OK, turns out it's got some caveats, but still... 3D print on demand metal stuff? Amazing :)

fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2012-05-31

Yeah, it's very nice in terms of a finished item as opposed to a prototype.

Also cool from Ponoko is the ability to print in glazed ceramic. Shapeways one-ups this by including those as well as printing in silver (lost wax technique)

poofrabbit made it! (author)2012-05-29

These are awesome! Are they the size of a key or larger? Either way, wonderful!! I really like Orion's, the atom shaped handle is awesome!

fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2012-05-29

They're much bigger. Each key is about 3.5" long. Right now Orion likes the other one better because he can put his fingers through it.

AngryRedhead made it! (author)2012-05-29

These would make wonderful duel purpose gift tags! I'm seeing a key ring in the future...

I particularly (no pun intended) like the one you made for Orion.

fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2012-05-29

Thanks! Yes, a key ring would be a functional use.

The first one I made was my wife's. I was trying to stay true to older style keys. When I got to Orion's I figured I'd try something different.

canucksgirl made it! (author)2012-05-29

Those are really nice! (Awesome name for a boy too). ;-)

fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2012-05-29

Thank you! And, yes, the name is fun. It's a big one to live up to and he's doing his best.

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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