Posted August 2, 2016

DIY: Bottle-Opening Wallet Prototype

My name is Ian Galipeau and I've been working for Plethora for a few weeks at the time of this writing. The main reason for this post is to let you in on a quick view of what Plethora can do. I've always been into making things; tables, wood bowls, race cars, and custom billiard cues. As someone who loves to build things, it isn't always easy to access the equipment that you need in order to make a certain part. In this post, you can see how Plethora unlocks CNC milling as an accessible way to create a prototype for any maker!

For my first project as a new employee at Plethora, I decided to make myself a slim front pocket wallet. Previously, I carried a standard leather billfold in my back pocket. A tri-fold can get pretty bulky at times, so I’ve been thinking of changing to something thinner for a while now. This wallet was inspired by the card shark’s technique of “Bottom Dealing”. You will find two great videos here and here by master magician, Ricky Jay. There’s also a handy side feature on this part inspired by my appreciation of beer.

My design intent for this wallet is to allow the user to grab a credit card, driver's license, or cash from the bottom of the wallet without going through and looking at the individual cards. There are often times when you use one or two cards the most often. To keep a minimalist approach with this setup, simply sandwich your other cards and cash with the outermost cards being the ones that you most often used.

SolidWorks CAD Design Maker Parts

As this is a prototype, I left two half inch slots with filleted corners on each side to allow for either an elastic band to hold the cards/cash in the body of the wallet, or space for holes to be drilled and tapped for a clip (e.g. money clip style, or pocket clip for a folding knife). Currently, I’m using a standard rubber band, but this will change in the future.

Another feature I added was a bottle opener. It is always inconvenient to be without the right tool for the job when you need it. Because I love well integrated designs that accomplish multiple goals in one device, I decided to include this side feature. I’m ready for some field testing, where’s the six pack?

Maker bottle opener automated machining

When I initially designed this wallet, I had limited experience using SolidWorks. In spite of this, I created this adaptation of the wallet within two weeks of learning the software. The Plethora Add-in was even easier to use. There is a “Request Analysis” button on the Add-in that took a look at the part and determined whether or not it could be processed. For my initial wallet design, it highlighted, in very clear red colors, which features were an issue. In my case, I forgot to fillet a few corners. Adapting my design to work with the Add-in was a snap from there. As a new employee, I’m obviously a bit biased towards our Add-in features, but I have tried to convey the ease of use in this entry as objectively as possible. 

Bottle opening wallet prototyping maker movement
Automated prototype and low volume production
Plethora lets anyone get real-time design and manufacturing feedback in their CAD software. You can also see pricing informations and you are free to choose your "Ship By" date when you place your order. Check out the free Plethora Add-in for Solidworks and Inventor in this link here:

I added a few interior corner fillets, and now it's successfully gone through the Add-in! Here is the finished product.

Cheers, Ian

CAD usage for automated production
Maker movement CNC milling production
Custom made bottle opener wallet

Topics: Makers, Manufacturing