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Proteus Key Holder

by ProteanMan Jan 7, 2018
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Hi can get the fusion 360 fil please? i want remodeling to my wife gift

Hi Abbe86. sorry but I can not give you the original file.
Best of luck.

Did it and works perfectly!
Just one question: is possible to make it clean (without any logo)?!

Happy that it works for you. There is not a version without the logo. For branding and copyright purposes I want to have my logo on everything that is available for free download.

You are more than welcome to adjust the file yourself but I can not supply one without a logo.
Look at the Makes tab above to see some other people's versions where they changed the file.

Oh, I understand.
The problem is that of I import the .STL file into fusion 360 and make a mesh, it's kinda impossible to modify couse it generates so many triangles

I finally got these printed (made 3, one for me, my mom and my sister), but sadly the screws and nuts for my mom and sister came apart. Is there a way to fix this?

Great that you made a few for others, I'm sure they will love using them.
For the screws do you mean they don't stay tight? This is a personal thing since some like their keys snug and some like them quite loose.

To keep the screws at the same tightness I suggest Locktite to start - at your local hardware store. There are a few strengths and I think green or blue are the strongest. This is kind of like a glue but for screws.
If this doesn't work or you know exactly how tight to keep them you can get some super glue/crazy glue and put that on tip of the screw when putting it all together. Once you use super glue you are kind of stuck to where you leave it after 5 or so seconds.

Let me know how it all works.

How do you put this together?

There's a few options and it depends on your bolts and nuts. If you have M3 knurls you can use a soldering iron to melt them into the holes. Otherwise you can just use M3 nuts.
Print both sides, put three M3 bolts through one side, place the keys you want in there evenly between both ends like the pictures, place the other side over the bolts, add M3 nuts and tighten the bolts until the keys are at the tension you prefer when pulling them out.
If your bolts are too long you can get a marker and mark them, take it all apart, cut the bolts at the marks and file it down a bit, put it all back together and enjoy.

I'll try to make a video next week because this question is something I've been asked a few times. Hope this helps a bit. Everyone who uses this keyholder loves it.

Oh I was also wondering if I put a spacer in the middle screw

Thanks for the info! Hey, do you have any sort of step file or fusion360 file of the parts? I want to make one for my mom's birthday but she wants her name engraved on the sides

I do not put a spacer in the middle and I haven't heard of anyone seeing any positive results when doing so vs. not. The most important thing is having both sides of equal height with the keys. A spacer on one side to make it even may be needed - which a simple washer will do fine with.

There are many ways to engrave your moms name into the key holder. Try tinkercad.com and just upload the stl files. I do not give out original files of the design for many reasons. Fusion 360 can cut into the stl file using patch mode but I have not tried that with stl files.

Ah ok! I'll go play around with Fusion and see if I can make it work, thanks though :D

One of my first prints! Printed nicely in black PLA, even though I know instructions don't recommend PLA. Feels like the PLA will outlast the cheap M3 nuts/bolts I used, honestly.

Will probably print another in wood-filled PLA and stain/seal it. Love it. It's going in my daily carry, with a little paracord lanyard/keyring I made for easy grabbing out of the pocket and for non-standard keyfobs and such.

I found that using a longer-than-needed M3 bolt then cutting/sanding it from the other side makes for a sturdier build, especially when using cheap M3 bolts I had kicking around. Didn't do the knurled version since I didn't have any knurls kicking around. Not going to bother with any Loktite or superglue because I want to be able to remove my keys if I need them.

Also another tip for other people printing it, put your super small keys like padlock keys etc in the middle, makes it easier to swing them out with friction from the other keys, especially if the tip doesn't reach the cut-out.

Happy you're enjoying the keyholder. Thank you for the tips and advice. I'm sure many will find them useful!
Definitely post pictures of your wood pla and how the smoothing turns out.

Im glad my v1 printed just fine logo and all, its still in use 11 months later, no worse for wear just a little dirty. might make a follow up when i make another in a different filament type of this version.

Are the colors in the photo a specific filament, or are they painted? If filament, what kind?

Thanks for this. I'm a squatter, and house watcher of 4 separate houses, so I have about 14 or 15 keys because each house has a shed or padlock or chained gate and lock along with the standard Kwikset doorknob. Printed the m3 nut variant on a Duplicator 6/Mono Ult, and this is great for what I have. The add on ring is nice as well, as I can put on nontraditional keys to it, like a freezer lock key, or a drum key. Or if I ever need to unlock or lock my boat, I can get one of those orange buoyant keyrings added onto it so that any accidental drops from slimy fish hands won't be at the bottom of the lake.

Got tired of getting stabbed in the posterior by my keys when I wear my shorts with the baggy pockets that droop to the side. That and less jingling is nice as well. I put them together backwards in my make where the men don't match up on each side, but it was an easy fix to turn it around. Keep on doing what you do.

It's great to hear that you are finding a better key-life with it. That's a lot of keys to use but that's why I designed it, enjoy!

I printed one of these a while back. Love the dang thing. But one request....can we all work together to come up with some sort of pocket clip for it? Would be the only thing Id like to see added as an option for this awesome file.

Happy you're liking it! Can you elaborate on the pocket clip?

  • will it clip to the outside or inside of a pocket?
  • which pocket and type of pocket?
  • any other details?

I like the idea.

I was trying to come up with one that clips on the pocket and keeps the organizer inside the pocket, key ring loop pointing to the bottom of the pocket. This keeps every thing from fall to the bottom of the pocket and bunching up. I wear thick cargo pants made out of a fire hose like material or BDU EMS pants at work. I prefer thick and robust clips, mainly because I'm rough on things and tend to over engineer them lol.

I like these Swiss-army style key holders, but what if I need to get my key off the holder in an emergency? With a regular key ring, it's simple. With these holders, it's difficult unless you happen to have the proper tools on hand.

Maybe there's a way to incorporate an Allen-wrench slot into the case. Kind of like the tweezer and toothpick slots you see on many Swiss-army knives. Would be extra work, but a really cool addition to this popular design. Or maybe it'd be easier to just drill a hole after printing it.

Hi Sevanteenth, I find the keyholder just as fast as a dangling keyring. You know where your key is and grab the right one right away, especially when the bolts are tightened to the right tension.

You can buy an Allen Wrench keyholder and just take out the one you want, then put it in your keyholder with the rest of your keys. As for a toothpick and everything else - I have thought about it before but it is hard to do since there are so many small size differences in tweezers and toothpicks, and more. Plus printing the keyholder the way it is would make a difficult bridging effort to properly make a perfect square for the tweezers - most swiss army knives have the tweezers on the top that run lengthwise inside the body of the knife holder - to print this would be hard for most printers.

Your ideas are good, but until printers can do almost perfect prints all the time it's not worth the effort yet. If you can find a keyring tweezer and toothpick, or whatever else you want then you can put it in with your keys?

Anything else let me know. I like having new ideas from everyone so I can make my designs better. Thanks!

If the allen wrench is on the holder with the keys, it can't be used it to get other keys off. Because it's stuck there with the other keys.

Say I take my car to an auto shop. They need to keep it over night, and ask me to give them a key. I say "sure, got an M3 allen wrench?" If not I have to give them my whole set of keys.

Say I need to hand off a key to a relative or a baby sitter to get into my house. "Sure, you got an M3 allen wrench on you?". If not I have to give them my whole set of keys.

There are so many cases where you might need to give someone a key briefly.

The slotted hole for the allen wrench doesn't need to be perfect. It just has to be roughed in. Then take an appropriately sized drill bit to it, and clean it out.

All this being said, I really appreciate you posting your designs here. It's one of best designs as far as key rings are concerned. Thank you!

I see what you mean now. This I didn't think about at all. One thought is if you use bolts with a different head like a standard Phillips it may be easier to find something to get them off?

I'll see if I can fit an allen key hole in there somewhere - I use allen bolts as well.
Another thought is until I redesign it for an allen key you could drill your own hole? Print on side at 90% or more and drill the hole you need?

Heh, I must be the exception. I printed in cheap PLA almost a year ago. It was a good use of my M2 or 2.5? bolts that were useless for everything else. Some superglue on the nuts and it has been kicking since.

Great the PLA has held up. It gets brittle over time, especially under sunlight. I used M2 and superglue on my first version as well and I am still using it to this day. I have updated the design and function based off of friends and other Thingiverse users experiences but I'm still using the original. So don't throw it out since the original designs are now gone :)

I have files from March '18 if you would like them

Thank you. I still have the originals, just on a storage drive. I meant that I won't be putting the originals back online. Have a great holiday!

Comments deleted.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App

Could you please upload a version without the logo?

I could but why? I put it on all of my designs and it's important to maintain that symbolism.

I would just prefer to print a more minimalist version of the design to make a cleaner looking key holder.

I understand. Unfortunately that would take a bit more work than I have time for at the moment. If I have a chance I'll see what I can do but for now you'll just have to use the styles available. Thanks for asking.

Comments deleted.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App
Comments deleted.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

  • Posted with 3D Geeks Thingiverse Browser App
Comments deleted.

Searching Aliexpress, the only knurl I found is m3 x 4mm x 4.2 mm OD, would this be okay to use for this? Thanks!

Sorry but that would not work. Check ebay and just search for M3x4 knurl. It's interesting how aliexpress doesn't have OD5mm with 4mm heights. There used to be tons!

Here's a current listing that will work:

Will do. Thanks. I was able to find m3 x 4mm x 5.2mm OD though. Could that possibly be it?

Those will work great. Since you have to melt the knurls into the holes your best bet is the exact diameter or slightly larger. If you're unsure about melting them in you can use a soldering iron and just push them in easily. Enjoy!

Ah, good to know. Thank you very much.

any plans on adding a small ring and no ring version again? and was the way you put the logo intentional? when i first saw it, i thought my slicer messed up.

I can add a no-ring version. The ring size seems to be a good size for most key rings. The smaller ring size from the last versions seemed to cause a bit of confusion and wasted prints - from some messages I got.

I'll see about adding a no-ring version in the next few days.

Yes the logo is intentionally cut. Most printers couldn't get the fine details of the wrench and wrist on the fitted logo so I expanded it so that it works with a standard .4 nozzle size.

I've just found a mistake in the "SwissArmy_KeyHolder_OldStyleKeys_3mmBolt_Bottom_Nut" file (Right one). It should be mirrored.

Stepped into the same trap. Damn ^^

I will definitely get that fixed. Thank you for letting me know! Ideas and comments are always appreciated.

Beautiful renders. Solidworks? Also, have you considered shoulder bolts, so that the tension is not too great? and nylon washers for low friction. I have made an uglier version of this with these parts.

Thank you.
Everything is in Fusion 360.

I have considered shoulder bolts. Most don't have them or can get them easily - or so I'm guessing because hardware stores tend to not have them this small. I didn't find much of an issue using threaded bolts with the keys. If you want to drill a larger hole for you're shoulder bolts then maybe let me know how that works. They would have to be very shallow bolts as well considering the thickness of the parts.
Share a picture of your version? You can attach it to the comments here.

Great idea and very useful in daily lifes

Thanks. Happy that you're enjoying it!

Could you link to the little Knurled nuts you use. I found a set on Amazon, but don't know if they're the right ones and also if they're the right size.

I got them off of Ebay but you can find them anywhere.

There is an image that shows the 3mm and 2mm knurls with their heights and diameters. Just go with that from the image.

Typically it's ScrewSize-x-Diameter-x-Height
In this case it would be M3x5x4


Hi, i made some spacers for abloy brand keys - is it cool that i check those spacers to be "remix" of your key holder?

Really nice design btw, i think this made into my EDC right away, one day behind already.

this really made into my EDC. And that is something really cool, as i am really, really picky about what i carry around with me all the time. Really cool design.

I saw the remix. Thanks for thinking about that. If you have any images of them in action I can add them to the main page here and in the description.

Hey, in picture 4 I fell in love with this gear keychain, can you tell me where you bought it? it just looks amazing

That is from someone else. One of the makes of the keyholder. Look under the Made (button beside Comments) link and you can contact the person there.

I wondered about that too. It looks like a pocket watch? from the back

What material did you print the items in you pictures with?

PETG. I use this material 95% of the time. It doesn't make as smooth of a print as ABS but it was just as strong and doesn't warp when printing. Depends what you're going for too - when I print art and sculptures I use ABS. Utility things I use PETG.

Other people use PLA as well, but that has a lower breaking point under stress.

Any chance of a M3 No Ring version? I printed a M3, Nut, Large Ring version for myself, 10 keys, M3x20 screws - works great! My boss saw it, really liked the design and immediately asked if I would print him one without a key ring, he just wants to be able to pocket it without extra bits getting in the way.

Ok I put two new _Top_NoRing files in the list.

Let me know if they are what you were thinking.

Looks great, exactly what I envisioned. Printing a set now. I really appreciate the effort!

You got it bud. I'll post that either tonight or tomorrow. Appreciate the feedback.

Is it possible to use smaller keys, like for padlocks with this design?

It's definitely possible. The cutouts are placed for standard key sizes, so you'd have to try it and see. Small keys will definitely fit since it's just a matter of their hook hole fitting the bolt size that you use when putting the keyholder together.

Works perfect with PLA and 6 keys :)

Very nice design. I just printed the version for M3 nuts. Holes were slightly too big for the nuts i got. I’ll try the 2mm size and see if that works.

Thank you.
How much of a size difference was it? Maybe try compensating in your slicer settings with the - Horizontal Expansion - option. In Cura it should be easy to find.

Hi Great design! Would you mind sharing the CAD file? I printed this out of ABS. The holes are slightly too big and too shallow for the heat set threaded inserts and, the holes on the bolt head side is slightly too small for the socket head 3mm machine screws I have.

Heat Set Threaded Inserts - do you mean Knurls? like the image I supplied or are they something different?

Maybe try drilling the Bolt Head holes larger? I am not going to be sharing the CAD files unfortunately. You can take the STL file and adjust that in your CAD program as well.

May I suggest a version for double blade keys such as this:
I know its kinda like a whole other thing, but it'll be cool for us in countries that for some reason stick to those stupid blades.


Great idea. Can you send me a photo of the key you are thinking about with a ruler beside it for measurement? The KeyHolder will probably need to be adjusted for size so having the exact measurements of a common key like the one in that link would be helpful.

Ok, this took me long enough :P
You'll see on that post, that we LIVE LIKE ANIMALS! Freaking medieval keys if you ask me.

NOTE: Ruler is in centimeters!

Let me know what you think hehe.
Also posting another comment in a minute with some measurements. Just posted an update to the thread!

Those are some pretty awesome looking keys. I'll draw them into my CAD program and see if there are any changes to make them fit.
That one little tab on the side of the key @6cm, you may want to file down a notch into the key holder. Another option in the meantime if you're impatient is to scale the keyholder in your Slicer program to 1.2 or larger and see if that changes anything for you? You would have to use larger bolts and nuts as well - maybe M4 or M5?

So i ended up printing it 1:1, using the 3mm, big keyring version. I used 2 washers to make the outside keys "sandwich" the old style key with the weird blades. It sorta works. I need to get better screws, i just picked up a few random, rusted ones to do a dirty test.
I had to melt some of the PLA of the screw holes to fit said screws. I will print another one, and get the correct screws to see if it works correctly.
If it doesnt, ill:
1: Model a Key for you to have one and maybe develop your own third world compatible edition.
2: Remix your design to include cutouts so these weird keys can run on.

Ill keep you posted!


Ill try to print the keyholder at scale, and see if i can make it work. Will post an update soon, with pictures to see if it makes sense for a different version of it.

TTYL mate.

Updated with a new version to fit keys like the one you showed me. I used the measurements you gave and modeled your key. Try the new version + spacers and let me know what happens.

I printed one, and I have a couple of suggestions / requests.

A version for M3 hardware would be great. It's, in my experience, a lot more readily available.

Make the hole for the key ring larger. ~4.5mm. The ring I went to use doesn't actually fit properly. It's close, but not quite.

Increase the size of the cut in, on the model with the cut in, to make it easier to pull the key out. Thanks for the neat design.

Definitely on my list.
3mm is what I thought to work better after printing too.
I like the current cutout but will add another larger cut option.

I really like your design a lot, so I started a remix. Attached a shot of the first printed prototype. Not as fancy, but with the changes I mentioned. Just setting up a second print right now with some minor changes to tolerances. M3 hardware. Larger finger cutouts. I made it rounder overall, which is just a personal preference. I totally kept your hole spacing, and overall footprint.

Updated with M3 options and Larger Key Ring option.

Nice job on all the reworks. That was super quick.

Looks great! I think you'll find the finger inset holes easier to use if you switch the position of the keys. The end of the key is meant to be in the inset hole not the beginning (where you hold the key). Look at the picture of the one I printed above.

Well... I feel silly now. lol.

I did the same thing when I first put it together.

Are any of the photos printed items or all generated?

Just added a photo of my printed version.

What color PETG did you use?

Black. I'm typically printing in black or sometimes white.
Do you mean the Blue, Purple, and Orange in the other photos? Those are computer generated. The orange maybe a type of crimson?

Yeah that is what I was referring to. Dang I thought I just stumbled onto some different filament lol.