Introduction: The Ultimate Maker's Tool

For this project I wanted to design a tool that could fit in my wallet that would give me access to tools that are useful while working on projects. This meant including a ruler, compass, protractor and various hex nut wrench sizes. In terms of steps I wanted to include the design process, so anyone could design there own tool for making and designing things specific to them. However, I have also included the .svg and .stl file so anyone can edit there own credit card sized maker tool despite limited knowledge.

Step 1: Things You Will Need

This project can be completed for a very minimal cost and there is free software for each step. The tools I used specifically in these instructions are in bold, however it ultimately does not matter which one you use.

  • A 2d vector design program that can export .svg file types
    • Adobe Illustrator
    • Inkscape
    • etc.
  • A 3d program that can import .svg files
    • Fusion 360
    • Blender
    • etc.
  • A means to 3d print
    • 3d printer
    • 3d hubs
    • eMachineShop
    • etc.

Step 2: Designing the Tool

These instructions are only meant to be guidelines and should be used as a framework for your own design, however specific measurements I used are,

  • 2 mm diameter holes for compass
  • 5 mm increments on the ruler with 1 cm marked with a hole instead of indent
  • Hex nut dimensions from m1.6 to m10 using slightly larger hole sizes for printer tolerance
  • 90 degree protractor with 5 degree increments

Part 1: 2d designing

  1. Open up your 2d vector design program of choice, in this case I used Adobe Illustrator.
  2. Start by created a new document, 85.6 mm by 53.98 mm, landscape.
  3. Layout each section of the maker's tool with basic forms (protractor, ruler, compass, hex nuts, etc.)
  4. Weld together the shapes to create one flat vector shape.
  5. Export the design as a .svg file

Part 2: 3d designing

  1. Create a new document in your program of choice, in this case I used Fusion 360.
  2. Import the svg into the program.
  3. Check the scale of the svg import and rescale if necessary.
  4. Extrude the imported svg, I used a 1.5 mm extrude to ensure the printed part lasts a long time.
  5. Finish off the Design adding fillets and other small details.
  6. Finally, export the design as an stl.


Step 3: Slicing the Design, Printing and Finishing

Part 1: Slicing
  1. Import the stl into your slicer program, and orientate it on the build plate.
  2. I used 100% infill and decreased movement speeds to improve durability and accuracy.
  3. Export the gcode.

Part 2: Printing

  1. At this point you can either use a 3d printing service or your own printer, it ultimately does not matter.
  2. Once the print is finished you can remove it from the remove it from the print plate and finish the print. This can entail removing small defections or fixing hole sizes depending on the printer's accuracy.

Build a Tool Contest 2017

Participated in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017