It's been a while since I've traveled, and you never know what to expect when you're away. Lots of people have told me that there is some pick pocketing potential in Europe. On a recent school trip to Italy, I decided to travel a little lighter. While I knew my backpack would make me stand out as a tourist, I didn't want to commit fashion suicide by wearing a fanny pack. Instead, I decided to design a belt clip that could hold my credit card, and some cash.
If you would like your own 3d printed money belt, check back soon. I will be revising the model so that it can be sold on shapeways.com. I need to do a little editing to the 3d model to make it affordable. If by chance I make any money from this design, I will use it to buy resources for my students.
Step 1: Design
This isn't an overly complicated design, so I decided to build my model directly in RHINO after measuring and modeling a standard credit card. Again, I typically recommend sketching your concepts first, but in this case, I was in a total hurry because I thought of making this thing the day before my flight departed.
You can see the slight variation in designs between the first and second models. In my first print, I didn't allow enough clearance for the belt to easily slide past the catch, and it ended up just snapping off. To remedy this situation without huge changes to the design, I moved the belt catch to the inside middle portion of the belt buckle. This is illustrated clearly in the third picture.
Step 2: PRINTING
I printed a couple versions of the belt buckle. The first one was not entirely successful, but the second version worked perfectly and I squeezed in the final print before I headed home to pack for my departure.
This print gave me the opportunity to try out the gecko sheets that I ordered for our UP 3d printer. I had no problems with the edges of the print lifting up. The only thing I noticed, is that the gecko sheet does tend to warp out of shape. This did not affect the print in a negative way. In the future I need to find a better way to clamp all of the edges of the gecko sheet to the build platform. The print table needs 6 more tapped holes so that the sheets can be anchored better.
Step 3: ASSEMBLY
- I took a plain black belt and cut off the buckle using a hack saw. You don't even need a belt large enough for your waist size, because you don't need a lot of overlap.
- Once you've printed out the belt buckle and card holder, you simply need to attach the belt using some 1/8" metal wire.
- You might also need to punch some extra holes in your belt to allow for more size adjustment.
Step 4: IN ACTION
My 3d printed money belt was the perfect travel companion. Not only was my money safe, I didn't have to sit on my wallet on the long flight, and bus rides. The other welcome surprise was that my money belt also housed my hotel key card and my 24 hour bus card... two things you don't want slipping out of your pocket when you reach for change to pay for your gelato.