Coin Sorter

Group Members
Lead Designer- Allie Meri
Lead Writer- Sophia DeLucca

First Design Iteration

We decided to make a coin sorter. Originally we were going to make a device that would spit out the coins into specific stacks but then was notified that there were other, more easily printable ways to create this device. We saw a design on Thingiverse that shows a device that collects all the quarters on the top and the other change on the bottom. We decided to take this design a step further and include a basket-catching device for all types of American coin.

We started by creating four separate bowls, one for pennies, one for nickels, one for dimes, and one for quarters. We created the design by combining the bowls onto a cylinder, meant to serve as the post for the sorter. The bowls are stalked from largest size at the top (quarters), to smallest at the bottom (dimes). This is so that when a coin is dropped in to the first bowl it will fall into the next bowl until the coin is too big for the slot.

For the bottom bowl (dimes), there is no slots in the bowl. It is a solid because there is no need for any holes, being that it is the last coin to fall through the sorter.

The second level of the sorter/ the one second from the bottom, is for the pennies. The penny holes are slightly smaller than the actual pennies themselves but bigger than the dimes so that they can fall through. This tactic stays true for the nickel and quarter bowls as well. We did this so that all but the coin of choice will continue to fall through slots of the hole.

The top bowl (quarters), is slightly more deep than the other bowls because quarters are much bigger in size than the other coins. Also, we figured there would be more quarters than any other coin just because when change is being broke from a bill, there is usually a quarter or two within the change assortment. So there being a bigger bowl for the quarters is equally practical and convenient.

As of our current design, the project is set to print all in one piece. With this in mind, it may be difficult to print because of weight distribution and the various slots in the device for the coins. If it does not pass the first print we may have to further design the coin sorter and print it in separate parts so that it can be efficiently printed and assembled.

So far we are happy with the design. We find that the coin sorter is not only an innovative way to sort out through pocket change but is also a creative and manageable way to use the 3D printer.

For difficulties, we are curious to see how the various holes in the design will print. After the first print we will further adjust these difficulties. If the device is too big to print in one sitting in class Tuesday, we will print one of the bowls. This will give us as designers, a good idea of the level of difficulty of the print and how we should combat the entiretyof the print and the design structure itself.

Below are pictures of the first draft. We are looking forward to making this useful and fun contraption that will help keep person(s) organized. Saving them time and effort when looking for change.


First Draft Print. 9.19.17

For the initial print we decided to print the “quarter” section of the coin sorter. We shrunk the bowl down in size first off because the larger version would have taken too long to print. Next we kept it down to one size for the quarter, although in our final project we will have multiple holes. Our first attempt did not work as projected, being off center with the part of the whole and the cylinder, being incorrectly matched up. The bowl was also too steep so when the machine tried to print it, the print collapsed and misplaced itself with the aligning towards the center. Below is a picture of how the image was first printed.

The above print took only about 25 minutes so after we saw the mistakes we made, we had time to reprint with minor adjustments. Below is the print that worked. The nickels, dimes, and pennies succesfuly made it through the hole. Laura also suggested to make a stand for the bowl to create a stable base and it worked very well. These adjustments helped us as designers know that in retrospect, our concept is on the correct track.

Iterating the Design 9.19.17

After our trial prints we had a few minor revelations. First, we realized that we sized the holes to slightly smaller than the coins that would remain in the dish. We then realized that the holes should be slightly bigger than the coins that need to fall through. With this in mind we re adjusted all the holes to the cooresponding dishes.

Also, when noticing how intricate just a single dish is, we figured it would be easier to print each dish as a sepearate item and then assemble them all when they were printed. Not only will this be more effecient but allow the sorter to be more stable. Printing it all together could be seen as a challenge because the dishes are standing on just one tall post.

Next, we re-adjusted the cylinder that holds the dishes and transitioned the structure into a cone that would hold the dishes. We did this by creating and matching up hole sizes to the various sizes of where they would land on the circumference of the cone post.

Below is the new design peices.


We changed the product to make the dishes flat, and also resized them to be bigger. We changed the product from four holes to three, as well. Lastly, we decided to print all of the dishes separately, allowing for them to be separate colors and also easier to print, putting less stress on the machine at a time.

Below is the final product! The coin sorter in fact works and we are excited to keep it handy whenever we have a pocket full of change that needs sorting! 🙂


We uploaded our final product to Thingiverse.