Have you ever wondered if it was possible to 3D Print a functional key? Well, it is and I can assure you that 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!

Step 1: 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

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 cuts and compare the numbers here.

Compile the program and then export the file to an stl that you can print.

Step 3: Print Your Key

If you don't have access to a 3D Printer, you can use 3D Hubs to find a local 3D Printer near you.

Step 4: Cut Your Metal Blank

I have an old manual key cutter I got from a surplus store. If you don't have access to a key cutter, take your plastic key to your local hardware store and they will make a copy for you.

Step 5: Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read my instructable. I hope you found it useful and informative. If you really liked it, please consider voting for me in the Epilog VIII, 3D Printing, and Arduino contests.

Let me know if you have any questions about my project.


Anthony (Proto G)

<p>you technically aren't making a metal key with a 3d printer. You are making a plastic key from a 3d printer. The title How to make a metal key with a 3d printer should read how to make a plastic key with a 3d printer as a backup. :)</p>
<p>why couldn't you just take the original key to the hardware store to get copied instead of printing a key</p>
<p>Of course you would if you had your key. The point of this is to show you how to keep a digital backup of your key. If you lose your last key, you can print another one. </p>
<p>PLA will also work as a working key itself. Just use it with care, and make sure it doesn't break inside the lock. For backup use, it's just fine though.</p>
I would change the project name to what you wrote on the comments, cool idea tho keep a digital copy of your key

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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