Removable Shopping Trolley Tokens




About: I like to improve myself and things I find :) Learning new things every day is next to impossible but I still try - only a working brain can work. I have no special sector to cover, electronics, electrical s...

Don't you hate it coming from work and still needing to go shopping?
When you get to the shop and you need a trolley it will demand some currency, fake or real so the lock opens.
You start digging your pockets for a coin, all while the rain is pouring down on you.
Sure we all know these plastic tokens for your key ring...
But holder breaks or you leave it in a trolley as the next collection bay is too far away to be bothered in the rain...

I wanted something fast that can stay on my keyring without my keys hanging on the shopping trolley.

The solution:
Removable tokens for your shopping trolley!
You stick it in, the lock opens.
A little push to the left or right and you can remove the token and put your keys back in the pocket - how easy is that???

So far I could only test them here in Australia but the principle should work for all trolley locks that do not have a drawer system where you drop a coin in and push the drawer inside to release the trolley - for them you can only use coins or round tokens that stay in the trolley.
I have created STL files for the following currencies so far:
AU: 1$ and 2$
Europe: 1€ and 2€
US: Quarter and 1$
UK: One Pound

Here is a short video showing the token in action:

Notes on the printing:
Please print them with a solid infill in 0.1mm layers for stability and long life.
ABS or Nylon work best, PLA does the job but might require an early replacement depending on the usage as the material is not that strong.
For a shiny finnish on ABS you can finely sand the tokens and hang them into a closed jar with some acetone in it.
The ABS will soften and the surface will "melt" together resulting in a shiny and even more durable finnish.
Once you see the surface gets shiny taken out and have a inspection with good light, if not a smooth finnish put back a few minutes longer until satisfied.
Be careful no to touch until the smell of acetone is fully gone as you will leave fingerprints on the sticky surface.

As some people seem to like the idea but have no access to a 3D printer I will try to help:

The above image is a reference on how to draw a suitable template so you can create your token from wood or even metal with a scroll saw or jig saw.
It is pretty straight forward:
Start with a center line and one at a 90° angle to it - we use these as our reference lines.
Place the circle for the coin on the reference line and add another line 5mm from the vertical center line.
This will be reference point 1.
Use the horizontal center line to create your handle.
Where the handle lines meet the coin lines go back 5mm - this is reference point 2.
Now draw a nice circle between the reference points to thin the handle and coin area so it allow free movement.
A "leftover" on 8mm works quite well here.

Last words:
I created these tokens from scratch using Sketchup, I neither claim they work perfectly in all trolley locks out there as I could only test them in the models available around town here in AU.
All tokens in this Instructable are created exclusively for Instructables!
They are not uploaded anywhere else and I would like to keep it that way, if you feel otherwise please create your own models.
Feel free to print as many as you like, give them to friends and family members or as a little present to your nice neighbour or work mate.
If you want to commercialise them please include a tiny percentage for me ;)

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9 Discussions


3 years ago

Brilliant token gadget. Just what I need when struggling with my bicycle and trailer.


4 years ago on Introduction

Most of us on this side of the pond have no idea what you are talking about. Where I am the store provides the shopping cart for free.

2 replies

Aldi (a no frills grocery store) has these on the carts to try to keep people from leaving them in the parking lots. You use a quarter and cant get it back until you return it and click it to the other carts.


That might be the case but even around you the bigger cities will have some sort of mechanism to disable a trolley, barriers, electronics or the good old lock.
The Gatekeeper system is quite polular in the US and where they have it you see yellow lines and warning signs telling you that you reached the point where the trolley will stop.
Was not 100% sure how many trolley have locks in the US but since I found some manufacturers for them I though I include the tokens just in case.


4 years ago on Introduction

The Youtube vid is playing fine on my end, but I did have massive problems uploading it, so maybe there was just a problem with Youtube and not Instructables this time ;)

If anyone from outside AU tries the tokens I would appreciate some feedback to know if I got the dimensions right just from Wiki info.
Thank you liking the idea so much!


4 years ago on Introduction

Big city living has its challenges. I live in the Biggest Little City in the World.

Trying to understand how these "Trolleys" are used.

Do you park your car far far away, so someone doesn't scratch your paint job or worse and then trudge to a store returning with what we call a grocery cart to transfer the heavy items from your store to your car ?

I'm a Czech and we always have a fist size large fabric net bag for these unscheduled purchasing events.


BTW before the video bleeped out, I did see and appreciate the swing and remove, Neat feature.

The Vid or the Tube never got far enough again to let me see that action a second time let alone the full length movie.

I'm beginning to think this site is not Buggy at all ... but rather under concentrated hacker attack...


4 years ago on Introduction

Nice idea will have to try and work out the dimensions so I can make one with a scroll saw.


4 years ago

So sinister. I like it.