I'm a huge fan of Dan Brown and the Da Vinci Code series of books / movies. When I first saw the Cryptex in the movie I was like "WHOA, That would be something cool to have / build." but alas, I had nothing at the time with which to accomplish that. I still don't have the equipment, but, my interest in another project got me started into 3D modeling and design. I had an idea to build something that is not that common and may fill a niche. I won't get into that project here, yet. This potential project would entail developing some prototype parts that do not exist and the fastest / cheapest way for rapid prototyping is 3D Printing. I started looking into 3D printers that are currently offered retail. I can't really afford even the basic one of these, and I needed something with a fairly large build envelope. So.. my research lead me to this site "Instructables.com" and I was floored with the types of things that were being build/hacked/explained, I was hooked. I found Taulman's instructable on his hacked Combination CNC mill and 3D printer ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Combination-CNC-Machine-and-3D-Printer/ ) I could definitely do that. (I was an industrial software developer working in motion control and system controls in a former life.)
All of this lead to where I'm at now. I've downloaded and experimented with several 3D CAD softwares and I eventually started working with 123D from Autodesk. Now, I took an AutoCAD class back when I was just out of high school, but that was WAY BACK in the early 80's, and things have definitely changed. Some of the current software have fairly steep learning curves. 123D was relatively easy to pickup and get things from my mind and digitize it. I eventually found that Autodesk offers full versions (Inventor Pro 2013) for free for students. SCORE!! Yea, there's a watermark on all of the prints that can't be erased when imported into a "real" version, but what do I care? I'm just interested in tinkering around and seeing what I can work out. The .stl's are clean and should work fine for 3D printing.
Ok, enough with that nonsense, on with the instructable...
The Hacked Cryptex.
First off, These are all original, from scratch designs. I drew inspiration from several examples posted here and other places. Honestly too many to list. Google cryptex and see how many examples there are. lol
There are a few examples on Instructables that are really well done, but the combination is either really hard to change or can't be changed. So I set out to design one that would be relatively easy to change the combination and be able to be printed in one go on a 3D printer that was capable of such a thing. (** note, This CAN NOT be printed on a conventional hacked 3D printer. the frame of the cryptex is designed such that the rings cannot be removed and therefore, cannot be placed on it if the parts were to be individually printed. I have another design that will be able to though, I'll post it soon!)
The design has a lock ring on the end, that when removed, provides the needed freedom of movement required to change the combination by rotating the lettered rings (black) on the floating ring (red). The lock ring cannot be removed unless the inner cylinder has been completely removed.
This is a 7-letter design, more combinations, harder to crack, (unless you use a hammer.) I did some quick research on what length of word, in the english language, is the most common. All of the sources unanimously claimed that 5 was the magic number. PAH!! I like 7, and I'm sticking to it!
Each pair of letter ring (black) and floating ring (red) rides on the frame of the cryptex. The floating rings have clearance for the tabs on the inner cylinder so that they can rotate. All except the last one which has been shortened to allow clearance for the lock ring. The lock ring has a notch that when properly fitted, will allow the inner cylinder to be inserted into the frame of the cryptex.
The lock ring itself is pretty simple. It has 4 cogs that when inserted and rotated into position will shorten the clearances of the rings and prevent them from them moving around too much, which would make the cryptex harder to work.
The inner cylinder is pretty much what you'd expect it to be. A number of cogs located along the keyway that will lock it into the frame when the rings are scrambled up. Oh.. notice the little inlay work on the end there. That was a bit of design inspiration and I used the Instructables Robot to pay homage to the site that got me hooked on the path of my current obsession.
I've included both .dwg 's along with a .dwg of the robot.
Thanks for Checking out my first Instructable!!!!