Case: Cryptex

Posted on pe 13 huhtikuu 2018 in Articles

Cryptex is a puzzle box that can store things like notes inside it, and can be opened only with correct code ( or violence ). Here is the model for super simple cryptex that was originally made as panic gift in huuuuge hurry:


Exploded view of the parts:


Pink parts are glued together after the number dials have been put between them.

The dials can revolve freely around the pink shaft. When the code is correct, the dials are aligned so that the small grooves are aligned. This allows the grey part to go in and outto the pink one.

cryptex_mechanism cryptex_mechanism2

This device was 3D printed with stereolithography printer, so the end finish was smooth which was beneficial for moving parts. Assembled cryptex:


Adding Sugru into the grooves to make numbers more visible:


Stained surfaces can be cleaned with IPA. Also, would be probably better to FIRST add Sugru or paint, and only afterwards do assembling. I did not have much time and super glue dries faster than Sugru, so did all in opposite order.


Needed improvements:

  • Now the dials must be really well aligned before the cryptex opens: wider grooves would make the device more user friendly.
    • Other method would be to create some snapping system, so that the dials would naturally move in clicking one-by-one way. This could be done with spring like system or for example geometric sinewave like form ( see below ).

cryptex dial cryptex dial

  • Numbers should be put in middle of each plate.
  • Now each dial is hard coded, so method to change characters to others in order to modify the code for opening.