Introduction: "Fortune Frog" Money Clip

About: I am Electronic Visualization Artist. I look at things through the Looking Glasses.

The money clip/credit cards holder (As shown in photo 3) was in my procession for sometimes. It's very old, and I am looking for a new one.

I want to have money clip that could hold the credit cards or ID similar to the one I had, as well as some decoration on the money clip that reflects itself as the money clip better. And I want the money clip to be 3D Printable and could be made out of various materials, for example, plastic, brass, silver, stainless steel, etc.
Unfortunately, it really not easy to find such a money clip. So I decided to design my own money clip/card holder myself. And the result  are,  Fortune Frog Money Clip, as shown in picture 1 and 2.

Provided is the first version of the "Fortune Frog" money clip STL file.

Step 1: Design Concepts & Processes

There are three elements in my money clip. The credit card holder, the frog, the ancient Chinese coin.

In the western civilization, credit card is also used as a money. So I added the credit card holder as an element of my money clip.

Why the frog, and ancient Chinese coin?

While I did some research on money clip, the word money frog, a popular Chinese symbol for prosperity, show up on my search list as well. Also in some part of Japan, especially in Yamanashi Perfecture, some people believe that carrying the image of the frog as a good luck charm in your wallet will help bringing the money or prosperity back after you spending it.

For the ancient Chinese coin, which contains the square shape in the middle and round shape on the edge. These characteristics bear the meanings. The square in the middle representing the energy on earth, and the round shape representing the energy from heaven. So the ancient Chinese coin is believed to "move" the energy of fortune from heaven to earth or the person to get hold of the coin. And it is believed that if you tie these three coins together and put them in your wallet, they would bring you prosperity.

So I looked into it, and found that this is a good idea to add these elements into my money clip design.

Design Processes

I started the process by looking for the standard size of the credit card. I used the ISO/IEC 7801 (ID-1) standard size of credit card or ID card, which is 85.60 mm Long x 53.98 mm Wide, with a nominal Thickness of 0.76mm, and the round corner of radius of 2.88mm to 3.48mm.

I drew the actual credit card on my sketch book. Then I made some sketches of the frog that holding the coin with its mouth, and its hands. And created the actual drawing of my money clip.

I also drew the side view of the money clip design. So I knew roughly what would be the thickness of the money clip. I decided to have only two holder for credit card/ID because I do not want the money clip to be too thick to put it in my pocket.

The outer cover of the credit card/ID holder has the frog with the coin on its mouth. On the other cover of the credit card holder, there is only the frog with the void circle.

And on the money clipper, I designed it to be a frog with no arms holding a thick smaller coin in it mouth. The reason I did not added the arms of the frog because, I was afraid that the fragile articulate arms will be broken easily, while we insert or remove the banknote.

This thick coin extruded down almost touch the surface of the side of the credit card holder. The function of this thick coin is to press the layer of banknotes tightly in place. 

Step 2: 3D Modeling, the Clipper Frog

The process of 3D modeling for the 3D Printable "Fortune Frog" money clip were done in Autodesk's 3DS Max 8.

The reason I used 3DS MAX because It is the only 3D modeling that capable of texture mapping that I have in procession. And it is a lot easier to create a non geometry form 3D model using the texture map as a reference, than doing it free hand with out the reference.
One other good reason is that 3DS Max has a built in utility called "STL Check" that I used it to check my 3D model to see if it is "water tight", so it is good to make a 3D print out of it.

NOTE: You could substitute 3DS Max with any 3D modeling application that capable of texture mapping, if you want to do similar project.

Following are the steps I used to create the the money clipper:

Before I started to work with 3DS Max 8, I scanned the final design on my sketchbook. And edited the scanned image in Photoshop, by cropped the image to the area of the money clip only. Then saved the image to the working folder.

Image 1 In the 3DS Max 8, I created rectangle from "Standard Primitives" Tool. And converted it to Solid Rectangle.

Image 2 Load the scanned image of the money clip into a material editor to be used on the rectangle.

Image 3 Convert the rectangle to Solid Model, and map the texture on to it.

Image 4 Create a solid circle to be used as the reference to the location of the Chinese coin (See details of making 3D coin in Step 4).

Image 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 I used the Spline command to trace the outline of the frog.

Image 10, 11, 12 Converted the outline to solid surface.

Image 13 Extrude the 2D Solid model of the frog to make 3D model as per desired height (I used 2.00mm as the height).

Now we have the 3D model of the money clip, "Clipper Frog". Later I will show you how to make the coin and attach it to the frog.

Step 3: Covers of Credit Card Holder

Following steps will show you how I created the covers on both side of Credit Card Holder.

Image 1 Hide the "Clipper Frog", then create circle to use as the reference location of the coins.

Image 2, 3 Trace the outline of the frog and the outline of the credit card holder.

Image 4, 5 Convert the outline of the credit card holder into 2D Surface.

Image 6, 7 Extrude the 2D Surface into 3D Model. (I used 1.75mm as the thickness)

Now I had one side of the cover. To make the other side of the credit card cover, I did duplicate this 3D model to be used as other side, since both side is almost identical. Only the outside cover will accommodate the Chinese coins, that will be created in the next Step.

Step 4: The Ancient Chinese Coin

As I mentioned earlier in Step 1, about the significant of the ancient Chinese coin. Let me tell you a little bit more about the coin that I will be using in my "Fortune Frog" money clip.

The coin is just a cash coin during the reign of Xianfeng Emperor. There are no special meaning on those four chinese alphabets. The top and bottom characters are the name of the Emperor, Xianfeng. The right to the left reading are Tongbao, which means a copper coin.

Following steps will show you how I created the coins.

Image 1 By google search on the internet I found this image of the coin (photo 1) that I want to use it in my money clip. I downloaded the image and edited by cropping the image to the only the coin boundary. 

Image 2 I used the reference circle of the coin, then converted it to Solid Model.  And load the prepared image of the coin into a material editor to be used on the solid circle.

Image 3 Trace the alphabets on the coin. And trace the round shape and square shape in the center of the coin.

Image 4, 5 Convert  the coin to 2D Surface and Extrude the 2D Surface into 3D model of the coin. Make a copy of this 3D coin and then hide it.

Image 6 Unhide the outside credit card holder. Rotate the 3D coin so the alphabets are facing outward (bottom side). Assemble the newly made 3D coin to the credit card holder

Image 7 Unhide the copy of the coin (I change the color of the copied coin to Gray to differentiate them). And I scale down the alphabet part of the coin so the mouth of the frog would not cover it when assemble this coin to "Clipper Frog"

Image 8, 9 Reposition the coin so it fit well with the "Clipper Frog" mouth.

Image 10, 11, 12 Shows each separate 3D models moved to it actual position as the money clip.

Image 13, 14, 15, 16 Before I proceed to the last step of assembling these parts together, I exported each parts out as STL file format.
And Imported them into Autodesk's 123D Beta App. to double check every parts whether it is "water tight" 

Step 5: Assemble the "Fortune Frog" Money Clip

Following steps will show you how I assembled the Fortune Frog Money Clip:

Image 1, 21 The renderings after I finished assembling the Fortune Frog Money Clip

Image 2, 3 Before I Combine, using Boolean - Union, to joint the coin and "Clipping Frog" together, I Chamfer the bottom of the coin so we could slide the banknote into the clipper very easily.

Image 4 I created 3D Model of the rim of the credit card holder.

Image 5, 6 Enable the 3D models of credit card/ID. To see that the rim was with the right dimension.

Image 7 Unhide the top part of the credit card holder.

Image 8 Created the joint between the top credit card holder and the "Clipper Frog"

Image 9, 10 Unhide the "clipper Frog" and the coin.

Image 11, 12 I created a 2D surface and texture map the surface with half banknote image, and placed it in the money clip to see how it will look when finish.

Image 13, 14, 15 ,16 ,17, 18 Assemble all the parts together using the Boolean - Union to joint all the parts together.

Image 19, 20 The finished "Fortune Frog" Money Clip ready to send to the third party fabricator!

Money Clip Challenge

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Money Clip Challenge