Introduction: One Pill at a Time Dispenser

About: I am a mechanical engineer , a CAD enthusiast, a DIY fanatic and a punster who loves to try out new things every day


I love 3D design with all my heart. I am fascinated by the way it transforms simple ideas into real products. I always wanted to design a pill dispenser, however, I wanted to make one for myself to solve some problems in medication management that are not usually addressed by the existing pill dispensers.

The problems my dispenser addresses include;

  • Many pills flooding out of the dispenser whenever in use.
  • Unhygienic behaviour manifested by the need to first hold the pill before swallowing. For cases where hand sanitization facilities are not available, one should be able to take their medication safely.
  • Difficulties in cleaning due to complicated shapes.Inspiration


This design started with the inspiration of a retracted pen. I explored this option that reached a dead end after several days. I decided to give it a break. Several days later, while reading a memoir by John Elder Robison called Look Me In The Eye, I got an idea from his description of revolver gun. (I almost called this instructable '' The Pill Gun''). I researched and found out how the revolver and other guns work. My initial design included a spring mechanism as in guns but I decided to eliminate it as I discovered that I did not really need the pressure force out the pills.

Step 1: Resources Used

Time(To think out the design)

Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software(To draft out the design)

Access to a 3d printer(To bring the design to life)

Cleaning tools( My swiss knife come in handy)-(For cleaning and polishing the printed parts

Step 2: Description of Parts:


This is the storage compartment for the dispenser. It a square prism having a height of 8cm, width and length of 2cm , and wall thickness of 0.3cm. I had initially made it with a wall thickness of 0.08cm(do not judge me, its my first time to design for 3D printing). Hoever, this made the first printing a total failure in terms of bringing out the small details. I had to increase the thickness. This makes the hole cross section area about 1.4cm by 1.4cm which is perfect because the pill I designed for has a diameter of 1.2cm.

This part has flanges on two opposite top edges. These slide into grooves created on the cover.

It has another flange at the very top face that acts as a barrier as ensures that the opening in this container is in line with that on the cover.

The images show the model in Autodesk Fusion 360, final printed product.

Step 3: Cover 1

This is where all the magic happens. It has an opening at the bottom that is in line with the opening in the container. It also has another opening on one side from which the pill falls out of the dispenser. I made grooves at the bottom of the cover for attachment onto the container.

Step 4: Cover 2

This covers the opening on cover 1 Initially, the two covers were meant be printed together as one component with a living hinge connecting them. However after failure of the first printing, I decided to separate them.

Step 5: Testing Workability

Printing the parts

The STL files were sent out for printing as I currently do not own a 3D printer. The first round of printing was not so successful. I have attached the pictures of my first prototypes. Like I mentioned earlier, the two covers were initailly attached to each other but had to separate them out because the printer available could not take care of the small intricate details of the combination.

The other thing that I had to change was the wall thickness. I am proud of the second prototype though.

In this video, I show you how the dispenser works

Step 6: Make One for Yourself Too;

Attached are the STL files, you can print one exactly like mine or you can edit the files a little depending on the kind of pills you want to keep in it.

Hope you really enjoyed this instructable.

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