A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
In 2008 I had an idea to create a folding jackknife lock pick unlike anything currently on the market. I wanted it to be sleek, functional and pack the maximum number of tools in one portable pocket lock pick. I created my first prototype in 2015 out of a small folding knife but it fell far short of the mark I had in mind so I shelved the idea for several years.
Last year I was in a small ProtoBuild bar in Dayton, Ohio that specialized in helping people make their prototypes with 3D printers. Through that venue I finally saw a way to effectively create my idea without breaking the bank. I made my first humble attempt using TinkerCad, an online 3D modeling site. I printed the model and it worked but I needed more features.
Filets, precise measurements and counter milled holes were not available in TinkerCad. I had outgrown this crude tool and so turned my sights to Fusion 360 by Autodesk. I quickly found that with immense power come immense learning curves. Within a week I had learned the program and created my first professional quality prototype.
After another month and seemingly countless revisions to the body and the picks we were ready to put it all together and release it to the public. And here we are.
I am happy to inform everyone that Morsel (Christina Palmer), an amazing pick designer and incredibly insightful lock picker, has graciously agreed to allow us to include her pick profiles in SWICK. We are collaborating and working to make SWICK better than ever to ensure we bring our backers the absolute best product available.
These new designs are a huge improvement over our former blades and I am super excited to share her creations with you here. She has calculated every curve and thickness to make these the strongest most effective picks currently on the market. She has put countless hours of research and development into these meticulously engineered picks and I can't thank her enough for all of her support over the past weeks. Below are her designs and bullet notes on each profile.
-popping chamber caps
-picking tiny locks
curve (1.5" radius)
-most basic practical pick
-easy to control
short round hook, medium round hook, tall round hook, short flat hook, medium flat hook, tall flat hook
-more reach but less maneuverable than curves
-multiple heights required to sacrifice maneuverability for reach
-round hooks are more maneuverable
-flat hooks are more stable lifting pins
-too popular to omit
-curves and hooks are better for single pin picking
-rakes are better for raking
DeForrest offset diamond
-too popular to omit
-curves can do anything a DeForrest offset diamond can do
large quad cycloid wave rake
-raking large locks with .5" plugs
small quint cycloid wave rake
-raking small locks with .4" plugs
large double cycloid wave rake
-precision rear raking large locks with .5" plugs
small double cycloid wave rake
-precision rear raking small locks with .4" plugs
The pick body will be injection molded providing a smooth finish unlike the 3D printed prototype.
The pick blades will be .020 thick and made from 301 Stainless Steel. The blades will then be tumble polished for a minimum of four hours.
The flat, top of the key way tension tool will be .040 thick and made from 301 stainless steel. We chose clock spring steel for this tool to have maximum magnetic properties and be securely held in place by the two neodymium magnets.
The spring used in the locking mechanism is .060 thick and made from clock spring steel. I have been using mine nearly everyday for a year and it has shown no degradation due to the small amount of movement required when opening and closing the picks.
I redesigned brand new picks for this tool as well as redesigning some older profiles to correct flaws that weakened the picks in certain high stress areas. We will also be releasing picks down the road that will be .015 thick and various blade profiles that will cater to everyone's unique picking style.
The pick-blades can be changed out in under one minute. It's a simple process of removing one screw, pushing out the retainer pin, replacing the pick(s) and reversing the procedure to complete the process.
The Next Step
Now we need backers to help us take this from the prototype stage to the manufacturing stage. This step requires injection molds and water-jet cutting along with the cost of materials and various other production costs.
This is fairly costly for a project like this but by no means insurmountable if enough lock pickers like the product and get the word out.
We have the Cincinnati, Ohio based company picked out to do the injection molding and have quotes for various quantities. There should be no issue with a timely turn around on their end.
We also have a Dayton, Ohio Machine Shop primed and standing by to machine the metal parts for SWICK. They are a large manufacturing company and should have no trouble producing the parts in a timely manner.
The components such as screws, standoffs and magnets will be procured from McMaster-Carr and CMS Magnetics in Garland, TX.
Polishing, assembly and shipping will be done in house by myself and four other employees to minimize cost and ensure a quality product that I will be proud to endorse.
This product will be 100% American made.
Risks and challenges
We currently have a functional prototype of SWICK that is ready for mass production. The CAD files are ready to send to our companies when the pledge goal is met.
As with any project we are aware that there may be necessary changes to meet manufacturing requirements. However, I am confident that the companies I am working with will professionally meet deadlines and overcome any manufacturing difficulty that may arise.
Our policy is to make sure that our backers are continuously informed of any updates or changes. We plan to keep our campaign as transparent as possible, and we also promise to do our best to overcome any challenges we encounter on the way.
We are looking forward to the day we deliver SWICK to the hands of our lock picking backers. We thank you in advance for your continued support.
Two extra tension tools (varying thickness)
Two Master 175, 176, 177 ,178 Decoder Shims
Two spiral broken key extractors
One Schlage six pin cutaway with key
One black anodized plug follower
Six standard pins
Six Spool pins
Six Serrated pins