Introduction: Beer Bottle Lock

Picture of Beer Bottle Lock

When you have guests over for the holidays, don't cast pearls before swine. Make a 3D-printed bottle lock for the craft beers, and let your friends and family drink the cheap ones. Bah Humbug!

If you want to see me 3D model a version of this project in real-time, check out this webinar I led which was lesson 3 of the Hour of Making Webinar series.

You can also watch the other two lessons here: Hour of Making Lesson 1: Make a Wax Stamp and Hour of Making Lesson 2: Make a Christmas Ornament.

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

The first step in the design is to measure the bottle. The shapes of bottles vary pretty widely, but the caps seem to be totally standard. Because of that I decided to make the lock clamp onto the bottle cap, and left some wiggle room for the size of the neck.

I made the rough shape of the bottle, then designed the lock to be a clamp with a single 4-40 screw as the hinge part. The other end of the clamp has a hole that fits an off-the-shelf luggage padlock I found in a 6-pack at a hardware store.

I used Fusion 360 for the design because it's a great solid modeling tool. It has mechanical assembly functions that let me test out the motion and figure out if it would easily come on and off of the bottle. Fusion 360 is free for students and hobbyists, and there's a ton of educational support on it. If you want to learn to 3D model the kind of work I do, I think this is the best choice on the market. Click the links below to sign up:



Step 2: 3D Printing

Picture of 3D Printing

I used a Makerbot Replicator 2, but this model would work with practically any 3D printer. When you model Fusion 360 properly, there is no cleanup whatsoever when you prep it for 3D printing. Just bring it into the Makerbot app, position it, and off you go.

This is not a simple monolithic object. There are "overhangs" because the hinge parts interlock and there are holes. So whatever printer you're using, make sure you use supports. The group of 6 took about 6 hours to print.

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

I designed it to use a 3/4" long 4-40 machine screw, washer, and nut to be embedded into the bottom of the print. The fit was so tight that the screw ended up threading into the plastic. The nut was totally unnecessary, and in fact it cracked the plastic when I hammered it in, so you could probably leave that out.

Step 4: Keep the Good Stuff to Yourself

Picture of Keep the Good Stuff to Yourself

You're already spending a fortune on friends and family over the holidays, so save some good stuff for yourself.


afiorio (author)2017-08-10

have any shop that im can purchase this red bootle lock ?

kaffeetrinker71 made it! (author)2016-12-26

A wonderful present for my friend!

Nice work!

kingspidey made it! (author)2017-03-24

It works well with a small zip tie instead of a padlock, too.

eyywillner (author)kingspidey2017-05-24

hi can you pls email me at re this ty

JON-A-TRON (author)eyywillner2017-05-26

Good idea!

frankhall (author)2016-06-16

You can secure your favorite stuff even from yourself.... Cool Project

NicoleM7 (author)2016-04-10

I dint understand what im supposed to do

NicoleM7 (author)2016-04-10


AJ805 (author)2015-11-04

Is there a way you could convert this to a solidworks file?

PaulP53 (author)2015-10-25

This is awsome. I just wish it would fit regular pop bottles

DougL2 (author)2015-08-23

rotated 180 degrees about Y axis for printing upside down( lettering/top printed on the glass ) so no brim needed at all. Also looking to add just a small fillet/ramp on the middle ridge so no support material would be needed at all. Will be using OpenSCAD for that. I don't care if the hinge part needs a little work on the inside.

Thomas U.W (author)2015-08-04

ts fine, insteed of screw tak a splint, like this in

Thomas U.W (author)2015-08-04


I think you mean

Peace and Good Lock


Martinventurado (author)2015-03-05

Perfect !! no one will steal me my beers. :-)

Ricksideas (author)2015-02-17

Good idea but I would simply unscrew the little bolt. Maybe a rivet or something that can not be removed without breaking it.

Skitchen69 made it! (author)2015-01-19

Great ^^

a very cool gadget...

thanks for sharing

(printed with the Mamba3D printer "low resolution med speed")

SparkySolar (author)2015-01-02

I could not find it on quirk whatever,
send the info I sent you the private message about when you have time?

rwayne22 (author)2014-12-28

I'm new to fusion 360, I'd like to modify the text do you have any advice?

justin35371 (author)2014-12-22

Did this guy lift your design?

SteveRoy made it! (author)2014-12-20

Works like a champ! Great design. I've had a few requests for them.

jimmypat (author)2014-12-16

Love this! Great idea and work!

dilipaz (author)2014-12-14


TechDante (author)2014-12-10

my lock printed on a duplicator 4 with raft and support.turned out great.used a nail as a pin the dropped some epoxy into where the bolt would have gone to trap the head.

dfunct (author)2014-12-08

Hey Man,

This is Seth, again. I have found a bug in the looking.stl file for IE. It works on Chrome but not in IE. I listed the bug report to the people in case they wanted to notify you.



dfunct (author)2014-12-08

Hello Again,

Is there a problem downloading the looking.stl file? I have tried many times. I am coming up with error warnings. Please recheck it.



dfunct (author)2014-12-08

Hello Everyone...

This is really the coolest there is (as of now)...locks, safety for beer, and/or presents for X-Mas (or whatever your shtick is).

I am going to try the .stl files soon. Thanks for making this...

crittercrafter (author)2014-12-07

Guests and food safe (kicks auto correct) *

crittercrafter (author)2014-12-07

I just love the concept of this idea! Anyone's hubby, Ect run cnc, old mill Ect of that nature? Do they make their own cnc programs or know anyone? Okay well if you do know someone or they know someone they can easily take the measurements needed from any bottle and even make the lock from various types of metal (yes we are getting expensive here, if you don't have spare blocks of metal laying around like I do& not sure what to do with them, but I see safety for the young ones(1st) & (2nd) my gifts of rum cakes or my quests alcoholic drinks not to be watered down and upsetting everyone, right?. Any ways whatever u use and whatever bottle it's for just make sure the material is good safe and isn't going to leech something harmful into your beverage! Thank you so much for this idea! ?

rybitski made it! (author)2014-12-07

I think it looks better in green. Just in time for my brother's birthday.

ChrisT8 (author)2014-12-05

I love this Beer Bottle Lock! I am going to try it out on our 3d printer. These would make great stocking stuffers this time of year.

For those of you who don't have a printer yet, the prices have come down quiet a bit.

3D Printer under $3000

3D Printer under $6,000

kudzu63 (author)2014-12-03

I don't have a 3D printer nor do I know anyone else that has one. I could however use about 10 of these to keep my kids from sucking down my Mountain Dews. They both have job and make more money than I do but they will not buy their own drinks. They wait until I go to bed and then just like big ole rats they attack. LOL

HHL (author)kudzu632014-12-05

Check out

You might have one close by.

ArticAkita (author)2014-12-05

What a novelty to get others to 'take the hint' wish I had a 3D printer! Cool instructable real clear pictures! AWESOME!,!!

michael.cobb.1610092 (author)2014-12-04

Cool idea Jonathan.

xNerdiusMaximusx (author)2014-12-02

This is fantastic. I want to mod this concept for wine bottles.

Vapor polish is just a cosmetic thing. The beauty of this design is that it still looks great even in just-printed form.

Also, fantastic write up and great pictures and content. Well done

foggy34 (author)xNerdiusMaximusx2014-12-04

if i was going to make one for wine bottles, i would make a "vacuum pump stopper" with some sort of locking mechanism. theres not really a "lip" on the bottles so maybe the vacuum could be the lock? alas you could always strap it to the bottom of the bottle.

google Outset B233 Stainless-Steel Wine-Bottle Stopper with Vacuum Pump

Metaphore (author)2014-12-03

Good idea. And if you lose your key, just unscrew the back.

theo67 (author)2014-12-03

My "friends" thought that they were excellent bottle openers and thanked me for attaching them in advance of their drinking, also added that for the screw off crown tops it was so much better as it saved them scratching their hands. Perhaps not what you intended but nevertheless served a useful purpose of being very convenient.

alexander.bulatov (author)2014-12-02

Gartholameau (author)2014-12-02

Nice job with the instructable. I like the idea, and the sense of humour you applied to the article. If it could be adapted to liqueur bottles, it might help not having your liqueur watered down by the household teenager. I only had one bottle ( a nice scotch) in the house, but did notice the change. Alas, he now has teenage years approaching rapidly, so I'll pass on this idea. :-)

bmmsben made it! (author)2014-12-02

Great project, easy printing and assembly. I'm planning on printing 6 more and buying 5 really good bombers and one Smirnoff Ice. Over Christmas the adults in the family will all get a random key in their stocking. The beer their key opens is the one they get to drink. (They can also keep the lock.)

bunnydeath (author)2014-12-02

Interesting idea and nicely executed, the suggested modifications are awesome. With that said... I actually like my guests and they can have any beer in the fridge. More often than not, when they visit they bring beer to stock my fridge. And, I bring beer to their house when I visit. Avoid being the cheap stuff and you'll be better for it. No need to be passive-agressive about it.

gravityisweak (author)2014-12-01

Next up: Make some molds and cast these in metal! The quickest way for a fiendish thief to break this off would probably be to take a heat gun to it for a few seconds. Although if any guests in my house are breaking off my beer locks, the "it was an accident" excuse goes out the window, and so do they.

chrwei (author)gravityisweak2014-12-02

it's going to take more than a few seconds for a heat gun to get it to the 200C needed to melt it, and likely ruin the beer in the process. aluminum would make a nicer looking product though.

gravityisweak (author)chrwei2014-12-02

Possibly, but the 200C is the point at which the plastic would be completely molten. I only have to hit 3D printed PLA parts with a heat gun for a few seconds to soften them enough to bend them. Although I'm curious now. I might have to print a test part and see how long it takes to pull one off of a cold beer with the help of a heat gun. I don't think anyone reading this instructable believes this to be an actual security product anyway. At least I hope not.

joshmt2012 made it! (author)2014-12-02

I did a little redesign and used a pressed in pin instead of a nut and bolt, great instrucables!!

jdenslinger (author)2014-12-02

It seems a bit screwy and less riveting than expected, but great starter idea! Maybe you can figure out what issue my statement hinges on? I only hope my thoughts fasten upon your idea.


But I love it!

manawy (author)2014-12-02

I need this for my pop at work. Getting tired of every one steeling my pop

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a full-time Designer at the Instructables Design Studio (best job ever). My background is in residential architecture, film set design, film animatronics, media ... More »
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