Who hasn’t experienced this sense of loss? You buy good beer with an eye toward drinking it slowly, savoring it.
Maybe you actually have your own beer cellar where you store your prize possessions, letting them age gracefully, away from the dangers of direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations, or maybe you live in a frat house or with a bunch of roommates who love stealing your beer…
Then one day you reach for that brew you’ve been anticipating all day only to find that it’s gone – someone’s jacked it.
While there’s not much technology can do about your choice of friends, there is an answer here. You can now lock the cap in place.
How You Can Get Your Own 3D Printed Bottle Lock
Anyone who has hunted for a particularly rare craft beer for months on end, and then happily shelled out a small fortune for a bomber or even a 12-ounce bottle, will find the approach taken by Jonathan Odom of Instructables Design Studio not only innovative, but completely logical.
It puts the one weak point of a glass bottle under lock and key, literally.
The bottle cap lock is exactly what it sounds like. A plastic cap lock fits snugly around the cap, and over the top of the bottle’s neck. It’s hinged for easy installation and removal, and there’s a slot at the front where you can attach your own miniature padlock.
You literally get to keep your treasured brews locked away and out of reach. The only way in is to either cut through the lock with a saw, or break the bottle, neither of which are likely to be good options for your regular beer pilferer.
Jonathan decided to share his bottle lock design openly. He created it using Autodesk, so anyone with a copy of the software can open the files and modify them.
Considering the wide range of different bottle styles out there, this will be necessary before printing your own cap locks. Once you’ve tweaked the design to fit your application, it’s as simple as sending the file to your 3D printer.
The only part that most people won’t be able to print is the hinge pin. It’s best to use a metal pin here to ensure that the lock can’t simply be broken off by a thirsty beer thief. Actually, Jonathan reported that even without the pin, the lock worked very well.
While a beer cap lock might not be the most innovative use of 3D printing technology compared to its first use in the International Space Station, or the number of children born without limbs now able to design and print their own prosthetics, it answers a very basic need.
And when it comes right down to it, that’s what all really great inventions have in common – they take a real problem and solve it in a unique way. By locking up your precious craft beer, you safeguard those treasures from the sticky fingers of those with less discerning palates (or wallets not quite up to the task of paying for high-end beer).