3D Wrenches for WaterWorks Game




About: Artist, 3D printer enthusiast

My family has a beloved game called Waterworks, which originally came with a set of small metal wrenches. They all were eventually lost, so for years we've had to make do with sad little pennies.

Now joy has been restored, thanks to the magic of 3-D printing!


3D printer

PLA filament

Internet access

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1:

My starting point was Thingiverse, where I found a nicely detailed pipe wrench about 250mm long. It was way too big for my purposes, so I uploaded the file to an easy-to-use online program called TinkerCAD to make changes.

Step 2:

Working in TinkerCAD, I scaled down the wrench while maintaining the proportions to keep it looking right. In the initial test on my 3D printer, I found that details on the back of the wrench made it difficult to print out cleanly. After flattening out the back in TinkerCAD, I reprinted wrenches at 45mm and 56mm. I decided that the 45mm wrench was my favorite: large enough to show some detail and not get lost easily, but not too big for the set of them to fit in the game box.

Step 3:

Checking out the Waterworks game online, I found that the set comes with ten wrenches, but given my family's track record I decided to make twelve. I printed them out in bronze-colored PLA, a plant-based plastic that doesn't give off nasty fumes when 3D printing.

Step 4:

To complete the set, I hand-sewed a pouch to keep the wrenches together. Sure, I could have gotten a set of replacement wrenches on eBay for three bucks, but where's the fun in that?

You can also find my files on Thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2803979

Thanks for reading my very first Instructable.

Games Contest

This is an entry in the
Games Contest



    • Indoor Lighting Contest

      Indoor Lighting Contest
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest

    8 Discussions


    12 days ago on Step 4

    No way!! I can't believe you authored this Instructable for replacement wrenches for Waterworks. I loved that game as a kid, and the lost wrenches were a bummer for sure. This makes me want to get a set of old cards and make my own wrenches. Thanks again.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 days ago

    Thanks! Those old table games were great fun to play; glad I've inspired you to play again.


    4 weeks ago

    We also played that game growing up... Nicely done.

    1 reply
    Alex in NZ

    5 weeks ago

    These are lovely little pieces. I'm glad that you can now play your game with something that looks right. The look and feel of pieces does definitely enhance the enjoyment of playing a game.

    1 reply
    StringGoddessAlex in NZ

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Thanks. You're right, having the right equipment really adds to a game.


    5 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing your first Instructable! Those are the coolest little game pieces! :)

    1 reply