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The DIY Magnet

By January 23, 2015 March 18th, 2016 News

We wanted to update you on the Magnet and the Kickstarter campaign we ran at the end of last year. We didn’t reach our Kickstarter funding goal for the Magnet, so we’ll be placing any plans for a larger scale production run on the back burner for now.

While we’d love to relaunch the campaign at some point, we don’t have a concrete timeline for doing so. But we do want to give you a way to get a Magnet, and to that end we’re offering DIY instructions so you can make one of your own.

SHAPLEWAYS PLASTIC PARTS: High quality 3D prints in Shapeways' "strong and flexible" plastic material.

SHAPEWAYS PLASTIC PARTS: High quality 3D prints in Shapeways’ “strong and flexible” plastic material.

Parts and Parcels

We’ve used the online 3D printing service Shapeways to prototype the Magnet, and they’ve been awesome. Printing the four plastic parts that make up the main body of the Magnet costs around $100 through Shapeways, and we’ve found it results in the best-functioning pieces (even if they do sometimes still require sanding). We’ve set it up so that you can order these parts directly.

The other components are rubber and adhesive for the gripping surfaces, plus metal rods and other internal parts for the spring assemblies, most of which are available online. The metal rods are the one thing you can’t just get off-the-shelf, as they have to be tapped for screw threads. We were able to get this done by a local machine shop for $50; with any luck you’ll be able to do the same.

UPDATE: We’ve recently had success using nylon rods instead of metal ones — drilling the holes ourselves and using self-threading screws. This saves not only money but also the headache of finding a machine shop to do a small job; however it does require access to a drill press (or clamps + very steady hands!) More detail on the two options included in the DIY instructions.

We estimate the total will come out to around $150–200, depending on what rods you use and how many tools you have already handy, plus a couple hours assembly time.

Some Assembly Required

Follow this link to download a PDF of the instructions via Gumroad. You can get this for as little as $5; we’ve made it a “pay what you want” product so you’re welcome to toss us a few bucks extra for the effort! In the PDF, you’ll find links to order the body of the Magnet (and GoPro adapter) via Shapeways, a parts list with links to the materials you’ll need, and full assembly instructions.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: With the iPhone's built in light, you can capture slow-mo footage anytime day or night.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: With the iPhone’s built in light, you can capture slow-mo footage anytime, day or night.

We know some of you may find the Magnet quite valuable for your playing and teaching. Part of why we’re making these instructions available is that we’re excited to see what you do with the Magnet. And if we’re able to reboot the project in the future, it’ll be awesome to have a community using and benefiting from the device.

Note that we can’t offer support with the process of actually making the thing — we’ve got our hands more than full at the moment. But if you notice any errors or omissions in the instructions, please let us know and we’ll fix as soon as possible.

Thanks for your support — and those of you who decide to tackle this DIY project — we can’t wait to see the footage you capture!


  • Mark Hanna says:

    I love to play and I love your TroyGrady.com website. Your animated productions are really well done as is your writing and narration.
    I am sorry that your kickstarter program did not reach it’s goal.
    Has anyone offered to build these magnets for a fee for someone else?
    I downloaded your plans and I could order the parts, but as I am now a senior citizen rocker, I would need to find someone willing to build one for a fee for me.
    Perhaps someone who had already done it for themselves and now feel as though it is a piece of cake to do now that they have down their first one. Or someone selling one that they no longer use now that they feel confident in their picking prowess.

    If you know of anyone or have a way to post this, please let me know.

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hey Mark, thanks for the message! Glad you’re enjoying our material so far. So far we haven’t heard from anyone offering to assemble the Magnets for a fee, or people looking to sell one they’ve made. One thing we’ll be adding fairly soon to our website, as a feature for subscribers, is a discussion forum — when that’s up and running it’d be a great place to ask about this. And a bit further down the road hopefully we’ll be able to mass produce the Magnet so we can save everyone the DIY work!

  • Robert says:

    Sorry I missed the kickstarter campaign, wish I’d known earlier. As a suggestion (and you’ve probably already looked into it) I find indiegogo better for finding cool new tech, and I think the way they set it up is that you have to contribute hard amounts instead of “whatever” amounts in order to get in on early production products. I’ve bought everything from completely wireless bluetooth earbuds to a very nice boutique version of the surface pro (not out yet, but looks awesome).

    Love all the series you’ve produces so far. I am a Berklee educated (ha?) player and teacher, and remember the initial vids Troy had put out way back when and saying YES, and making all my students watch them. I’d love to see a forum. Also, at some point, I think it would be fascinating to go into fret hand technique in an equally deep manner, especially aspects such as vibrato. Don’t know if that’s in the cards ever, but would be a fascinating complement to the picking hand stuff. Regardless…great work, love the vids!!

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hey Robert, thanks for the note and glad you’re enjoying our material. Yeah we’ll definitely look into all options for this. Kickstarter is usually the way you describe where you contribute at a specific $ level / “tier”. But I know Indiegogo has made a push to focus more on hardware / physical product production so we’ll take another look. At any rate we’re swamped with video + website work now but still would love to make a Magnet production run happen at some point. We may explore fretting technique more down the line; if you have specific suggestions / questions to address feel free to shoot us an email. And re: a Cracking the Code forum… stay tuned for some website updates coming in the next few months!

  • Mac says:

    Hi there,
    I have access to guys with 3D printers, so I’d like to hear whether the files needed for 3D printing the magnet parts come with this purchase? (This would be really convenient for us guys living on the other side of the pond, with all those tax and shipping costs)
    If these files are not part of the purchase, then I absolutely understand this. If yes, then I of course would never give it to anybody else: I apprechiate all the hard work you guys put into this.

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hi Mac, good question. 3D files are not included with the DIY instructions — we’re still working on this and not ready to make the source files available. But I will note, we have tried this on a variety of 3D-printers, and so far Shapeways’ SLS process gives by far the best results! In the instructions we include a link to order the parts via Shapeways; it’s a bit pricey ($90-100) but also the only solution we’ve found works consistently to produce usable parts.

  • Yunior says:

    Hola muy buenos dias , me pregunto si ya están a la venta y como hago para conseguir dos?

  • Jolo says:


    I am trying to find the parts of The Magnet on the Shapeways homepage but I don’t seem to find them. What should I search for? I have bought the DIY instructions.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      The links are included in the DIY instructions PDF. If you have any trouble accessing that just shoot us an email and we can send them directly. Thanks!

  • erod43 says:

    Man, I wish this would have made the kickstarter! I just bought my parts from Shapeway…. I love this thing and I’m going to make one! Thanks so much for this awesome invention! I have a youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/worshipthekingmusic where I teach worship guitar for beginners and this thing is going to be awesome once I get it all put together! Ive been wanting to do some more fingerpicking tutorials and also I want to see if it will work to show the chord had really nice from this angle.

  • Scottulus says:

    I have a 3d printer, are the dimensions for the components in the pdf? I’d definitely like to take a swing at this…

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hey! The DIY instructions include links to purchase the main plastic body parts via Shapeways (as well as links for other components like screws, rubber, etc.) We do not include 3D files with exact dimensions for home printing, partly because we’re not ready to open that up, and partly because Shapeways’ SLS printing process is the best we’ve found to get good enough results given the tolerances needed. It’s a bit pricey (~$100) but also the only solution we’ve found to get consistently usable parts.

  • chopshopchance says:

    Does anyone have a spare magnet they are willing to part with?

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hey thanks for posting! FYI this comments section is outdated now that we have the forum, see here for a better place to post where more folks will see: https://forum.troygrady.com/

      And please also note that we’re working on plans to manufacture the Magnet, so if you’re willing to wait a bit that’s probably your best bet! We don’t have an exact timeline (and it’s going to be impacted by the current pandemic slowing things down) but hopefully within the year.

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