Locking A Beer With A 3D Printer

Have a nice, refreshing IPA sitting in the fridge along with a ton of other beers that have ‘Light’ or ‘Ice’ in their name? Obviously one variety is for guests and the other is for hosts, but how do you make sure the drunkards at your house tell the difference? A beer bottle lock, of course.

Because all beer bottles are pretty much a standard size, [Jon-A-Tron] was able to create a small 3D printed device that fit over the bottle cap. The two pieces are held together with a 4-40 hex screw, and the actual lock comes from a six-pack of luggage padlocks found at the hardware store.

It’s a great device to keep the slackers away from the good stuff, and also adds a neat challenge to anyone that’s cool enough to know basic lock picking. Of course, anyone with a TSA master key can also open the beer lock, but if you’re hosting a party with guest who frequently carry master keys around with them, you’re probably having too good of a time to care.

54 thoughts on “Locking A Beer With A 3D Printer

    1. According to this part of the instructable you could probably rest the “lock” on a hard edge of a table or wall and slam down on the top to pop the cap off, as you would if there were no lock. Even better you could 3D Print a large prying opener. If the whole lock was a little taller it might engage the neck more and be more secure.

      “The first step in the design is to measure the bottle. The shapes of bottles vary pretty widely, but the caps seem to be totally standard. Because of that I decided to make the lock clamp onto the bottle cap, and left some wiggle room for the size of the neck.”

  1. Nice. Reminds me of a lock I devised in Metal Shop some 25 years ago. I was a heavy soft drink addict back then, and looking at a week of full-time tests, I needed some nice chilled soda during the day, but couldn’t leave the premesis and didn’t want to run the risk of people nicking my drink.
    So I devised a contraption that would keep the cap on the bottle, but hinged in a way that it could easily be taken off the bottle once the padlock was removed. Good times. :)

        1. If you ‘lock up’ the good beer to drink only for yourself during a party while leaving the ‘swill’ for everyone else, that’s trashy, and more than likely will be the only thing people remember about you and that party 10 years from now. Just put the good beer somewhere else instead and drink the swill if you don’t think your guests are worthy of it.

          1. Yeah seems pretty trashy to me. The last thing you want is some pissed off guest breaking the neck off the beer, trying to pry your lock thing off. Then you have blood, beer and glass everywhere. I’m with HV if you don’t want to share your good beer, then hide them before the party.

        2. I’m from germany, we only have what you call “real” beer, and the half-empty-bottle-thing happened to me innumerable times. The point is: if you insist being a terrible host who gives his guest piss in bottles, then that is a poor choice already. If you must rub it into your guests face how low you value them by putting a lock onto the good stuff, then maybe you shouldnt invite people over in the first place.

          1. I’m from America where most people like to drink pisswater. It is quite common over here for people to open up a real beer, take a swig, and then make that blech pucker face. The remainder of the bottle then sits undrunk on the counter, or worse, winds up getting spilled on the rug.

            The only time I ever purchase the pisswater we Americans call beer is because my guests actually prefer it. I know, it is embarrassing to have friends who drink that stuff, but hey, some things you just have to live with.

  2. future modification: five more of these, and a u-shaped rod with a straight bar that fits through them, letting you lock up a six pack with one lock, because who wants to try to get a key into a keyhole after 5 beers?

    1. The first thing i thought. Deepining the hole and printing a cap to be glued in the hole might make it just a little bit harer. Anyway this is about making it just a little bit harder than picking up a sixpack in the store. Tf you live next to a store V1 might be enough. If you live in an extremely remote aerea with the store about 1 hour away.. well,,, buy a safe with builtin cooling.

      1. If your guest doesn’t see that lock and realize that you don’t want them to drink the beer, then there is not much you can do. Someone sneaky would punch a hole though the beer cap, and pour it into a glass. Someone with no class would break the beer bottle’s neck on you counter tops, drink your beer, split bloody pieces of glass on your carpet, urinate on your lawn and defile your daughter.

        1. replace “guest” with “frat brother,” who might well steal your beer, urinate on your lawn, and defile your sister.

          over 4 years, these could pay off the makerbot in saved beer costs.

          1. Why would you put something like this on your beer if your friends didn’t act like dicks from a frat house? If the people coming to your house are true friends, then just ask them not to drink you super pretentious IPA. If they are really your friends they will leave it alone, if they drink it never invite them back. If they are frat bros they will destroy your beer just to spite you. Put a lock on it they’ll break the glass, find a way to replace your beer with urine, or just leave it in a hot car for 2 weeks.

  3. this is nice, and pushed me to look at the price of a “makerbot replicator”.
    3200€ !!! Wow ! Do you have to invest that much money to be able to print something fonctionnal ?
    It’s a bit of a let down…

    1. Nah – if you look around, you can find many pre-assembled and kit machines that cost a lot less; do your research, check the various 3D printing forums (to study reviews of various machines and such), then purchase.

      Alternatively, you can go the DIY route (RepRap) – the “hardcore” way to do it is from scratch, but it might be better to build a “RepStrap”, which is basically your first machine – which isn’t super accurate – to build the parts for your second machine, which is more accurate, then keep building parts for a new machine with the last machine until you get the maximum accuracy attainable (certain upper-limits apply). Generally only 2 or 3 iterations are really needed; beyond that you’re just looking for larger volume, dual extruders, or extras like that.

      Also – in case you are wondering how you can build a more accurate machine with one less accurate, just think about it carefully – for that’s the history of machining.

      An easier way is to research the various RepRap models available – then decide whether you want a metric or imperial standard machine (most go with metric; in your case it is likely given that you priced in euros) – then select what model and type you want. At that point, see if you can find someone to print you the parts, or sometimes you can find the model’s parts on ebay that someone sells as a service.

      Either way, you’ll also need to buy parts like stepper motors, stepper drivers, a controller of some sort, various hardware (pulleys, belts, screws/bolts, threaded rod, smooth rod, bearings, etc) – then go through the process of assembly, tuning, testing, etc. Most machines (even a MakerBot) you have to tune and test until you get a good print, and sometimes you have to do this on an occasional basis anyhow (as parts wear or get out of alignment from usage).

  4. No social etiquette. It’d be less rude to just not offer beer to people who didn’t bring their own.

    Only non-dickish way to use this is so your roommates, whom you get along with, don’t drink it. But a simple tag should be good enough.

  5. What is more refreshing than a micro-brewed “IPA”?… Well, sucking on a used bicycle tire mostly. The lock should be used for preventing people with a potential good taste drinking the 99% IPA rubbish that is being offered (including the gutter water in the picture).

    1. Agreed, complete trash hipsters drink this shit because… HOPS!!. A good beer is balanced and malty see odells lineup I.E. the double pilsner, dead guy ale of rogue brewing, The Beast Grand Cru or Samael’s by Avery, or any (yet to be skunked) imports by Ayinger of germany. These beers deserve to be hidden and shared only with the closest of friends not that IPA garbage. American sense of beer has went off the deep end and this hops craze needs to stop.

      I’d much rather drink the Coors than ever again have that overpriced over-hopped piss in or near my mouth.

      I hate to say it but… NOT A HACK, he’s just a douche-bag.

  6. This doesn’t have to apply to beer bottles at parties. A version of his could secure your soda or other beverage in a community fridge for example. There is even a commercial version for wine and liquor bottles. Anyway, great project.

    What’s with all of the beer snobs all of the sudden?

  7. I suppose you could play a joke and not be cheap or a douche and put these locks on all the Coors light and “Natty-Light”, I actually don’t mind Natural Light lol, alcoholic water; but put the locks on the sh*t beer and leave all the good homebrewed IPA’s open. That would be funny lol

  8. Using a $2,500 3D printer to keep guests from drinking a $2.50 beer, in a way that completely rubs it in their face. Very nice.

    Equally effective but smarter, cheaper, and less offensive – wrap it in a few cents of butcher paper and freezer tape, and write “liverworst” on it with a Sharpie.

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