DIY 3D printed Grip scales

Discussion in 'Benchmade Knife Company' started by Ante Vukorepa, Aug 28, 2020.

I dunno man, it looks

  1. fugly

  2. worse than the original

  3. like a blasphemy

  4. like roadkill

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ante Vukorepa

    Ante Vukorepa Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 28, 2020
    Been working on this for a while now, no plans for sales or scale manufacture. The idea is to tweak it and print prototypes until the fit is good, then find someone who'd be able to CNC it or sinter it from something more durable. And then probably publish the files somewhere for everyone (Thingiverse etc.).

    It went through a bunch of iterations, starting with just replicating loosely the original Griptilian scales, then iterating over something that looked like a very rounded cross between a Hinderer Jurassic and a Grip, and finally settling on this. There will be some more tweaks (more space for the spidey hole, internals need tweaking too as i've messed up the blade clearance on the latest iteration) but i like the way this fits my hand a lot. YMMV.

    Preemptive FAQ

    Q: Why would you do this?
    A: CAD work and printing endless revisions of things calms me.

    Q: What's wrong with stock scales?
    A: The crappy tolerances and liner rattle drive me nuts. Also, jimping is in weird spaces, and i'd like a middle finger choil.

    Q: Dude, just order replacement scales online...
    A: No. This calms me. SHOO!

    Q: Does it have a name?
    A: I started calling it Ergosaur after some 5-6 iterations. At that point it had some design cues from Hinderer Jurassic (a thumb hump on top). It's supposed to be more ergonomic, it's a (rep)-tilian. So, Ergo-saur.

    Q: Does it work?
    A: Work in progress, sort of, but signs generally point to yes - axis lock moves freely, blade pivots freely without bushings. Spine of the handle needs work (i'm fighting the distortion caused by the printing process).

    Q: What are the differences between it and the stock scales?
    A: It's slightly thinner in the back, slightly thicker in the front, and has a slightly more pronounced belly in the middle. Holes have been redesigned for metric hardware (except the pivot and the liner screws, of course, those will stay). Inside is full instead of hollow/waffled.

    Q: Where does the clip go?
    A: Nowhere, yet. The clip post is all wrong and needs redesigning, it's their as a visual aid only for now.

    Q: What's with the roadkill skidmark?
    A: I was playing with a few grip pattern designs, this was just the last one. I kinda like it, it's weird, i like weird things.

    Q: What material is this?
    A: Formlabs methacrylate resin. It's actually surprisingly sturdy past a certain thickness (belly-portion of the scales requires pressing with your upper body weight against an edge of a table to break, but the thin area around the pivot will crack easily). But that's just for fit checks and prototyping anyways.
  2. Silent H

    Silent H

    Feb 1, 2018
    That's pretty cool! I love seeing all the variations people come up with for Griptillian scales. I don't think I've ever seen anyone 3D print them yet. I like that handle pattern, looks like it gives enough grip without all the jimping, while still being a cool pattern.
    TonySal likes this.
  3. Ante Vukorepa

    Ante Vukorepa Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 28, 2020

    It’s weird, isn’t it? I’ve been away from the knife community for some 8-10 years, during which i’ve spent the past 6 or so messing around with 3D printers. I came back expecting 3D printing to be in full swing, people printing prototypes, back spacers, scales... But there’s almost none.

    I’m not planning on sticking with 3D printed scales for the final, every day version (although i might give glass reinforced resin a try), but it’s an excellent way to prototype and iterate designs quickly.

    Re: pattern - i originally had just diagonal cuts in the handle, then a cross hatch. Then i thought - why not squiggly lines? They cover all directions, so should offer some purchase regardless of the force vector, plus, they sorta look scaley, which is in theme. Yes it’s weird, and yes it looks like a car ran over it, but it’s unique enough and does the job.
    TonySal likes this.
  4. DMG

    DMG Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    I like them. And as someone that has co-founded a Makerspace but struggles with the design side of things to put in our CNC router or 3D printers, I massively appreciate anyone that puts stuff on thingverse or shares designs in general.

    I have question. In your FAQ, it says the blade pivots freely without bushings. Did you somehow eliminate the washers used as bushings?
    TonySal likes this.
  5. Ante Vukorepa

    Ante Vukorepa Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 28, 2020
    Ah, no, i'm just trying to avoid unnecessary wear (and possibility of accidental damage) every time i half-assemble it to test for fit / various fixes.
    After about 10-12 prints and multiple assemblies/disassemblies per each, the griptilian i'm using for this has now been stripped down and reassembled probably more times than it normally would've been in 5 years of use (unless you're one of those people who strip their knives every month, lol).
    TonySal likes this.
  6. Ante Vukorepa

    Ante Vukorepa Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 28, 2020
    Another revision, fully buttoned up.


    Mostly changes to hole countersinks (still some needed, the liner bolts go too deep - they still clear the blade, but are uncomfortably close).
    Also, increased fillet to the front of the knife (for slightly less blocky profile) and the index finger groove (for more comfortable fit).

    Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, i've messed up the spine height, so the scales don't meet all the way (off by 0.75mm, which seems oddly specific, so i must've accidentally made a typo somewhere).
  7. ChaseMakesKnives


    Mar 7, 2021

    Can I encourage you to post your file to thingiverse? I was just looking for a Griptilian model to 3D print in PLA+. I'm going to try something new and make a Griptilian clone with a blade from Alloy 800 metal.
  8. DMG

    DMG Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    I bet those would be great resin printed.
  9. daybd


    Oct 13, 2006
    Love the idea but that design is sorta not my type of thing. Just a thought - make one that looks like CQC 7 or even CQC6 po-boy. Drop point and tanto should look cool in that type of handle. I'd buy one.

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