Hi there, in this brief post I would like to share a recent project I took on mostly for fun, but also to help some of my teams students have a more enjoyable experience working in the pit.
The Pit Viper is a rigid body, pocket or belt mountable, tool holster for pit use. It is designed for easy access and zero gravity functionality. That means that every tool latches into the holster with a satisfying click, locking it into place and preventing it from escaping in the case of bodily inversions and other common pit phenomena.
Before I dive into more detail on the Pit Viper itself, let me share a few photos and videos of it in action.
The Pit Viper can currently BITE onto the following tools…
1/8 ball allen
5/32 ball allen
imperial sized multi allen
metric sized multi allen
The model I’m sharing with you now is just the 3D printed prototype. I do plan to waste some time making this thing out of the highest purity, aerospace grade, 6061-T6 aluminum available from my local dealer. When I do Ill try to make another post here.
Although this project has been really fun to pursue, I do hope it will be of some real use to our kids and make working in the pits just a little easier. If anyone happens to come across this post and is interested in it, I will also consider sharing the CAD models and BOM in the next post.
It’s actually not completed here but the ball Allen’s use a captured set of o rings in the 3D print to create a reliable and repeatable friction fit to hold it in place. This is the only mechanism that doesn’t technically latch to retain the tool, but I think you could create something that captures the divers for the ball at the end of the tool
Should work just as well with T handles or plain L allens. The only interaction holding the tool in is the O rings on the shaft of the tool, so as long as the tool is the same allen wrench size it should hold it no problem. Doesn’t even have to be the same length.
while an aluminum set would be pretty cool-looking, I think one of the benefits of this design is how easy to mass-produce this would be for every member of a team. Imo the 3d printed option seems like a very good path to take, and maybe you should invest in optimizing the printable verson, not producing an aliminun one. Or you could make it modular, that would be cool too. Have the base model with attatchments for all sorts of things. The hardware gets their tools, electrical gets whatever stuff they need on hand, and software… maybe a portable charger holder? Being on software I don’t think there’s really any significant uses for a pit viper but for mechanical and electrical this definitely an awesome product.
Update on this, I used 3 captured O rings per allen for the current version, this seems to be a bit much. Hoping they’ll maybe wear in a little be and be a bit more forgiving when removing the tool.
My concern is that when removing the tool, the whole thing will come off the pocket along with it. I think tuning the level of friction is any easy enough problem to solve, and the retention box is made as a seperate print so you don’t have to redo the whole bottom plate, just the little boxes housing the o rings.