Fish Cleaning Tool

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Fish Cleaning Tool
FCT Final A.jpg
Description It is a 3D printable handle that serves three functions: a razor blade to cut open the belly, a scoop to clean out the guts, and a scaler to scrape off the scales. This multi-functional tool is all that would be needed to quickly and effectively clean fish in order to increase the storage life.
Keywords 3D printing, fish cleaning, seafood, scaler, razor
Uses agriculture
Authors Tim Billman
Status prototype
Made? Yes
Replicated? Was this project made independently by someone other than the authors and without their guidance? No
Countries of design United States
Affiliations Category:MTU
Category:MOST
Estimated cost USD $ 1.47
Sustainable Development Goals SDG02 Zero hunger
SDG09 Industry innovation and infrastructure
Documentation data
Language English
Manifest data
Language English
Updated 2020-06-04
Author Kathy Nativi
Author affiliation Appropedia
Author email info@appropedia.org

Fish Cleaning Tool[edit | edit source]

Project developed by Tim Billman


Abstract[edit | edit source]

Tool Background:

When considering something useful for the developing world, an easy to use, cost effective, and helpful tool. Anyone with access to a 3D printer can create (and customize) this tool to help with cleaning fish. It is a handle that serves three functions: a razor blade to cut open the belly, a scoop to clean out the guts, and a scaler to scrape off the scales. This multi-functional tool is all that would be needed to quickly and effectively clean fish in order to increase the storage life..


Fishing Background:

"Fish and seafood are amongst the most traded food products in the world. Over 800 million people are dependent on the catch, processing, production and sale of fish and seafood. In recent years, the number of jobs in this branch has increased more, even, than the world’s population has.

People in developing countries are particularly reliant on fish as a basic livelihood as they deliver the largest volume of catch and production worldwide and employ 97% of the world’s fishing workforce. The overwhelming majority, 90%, are small-scale fishermen, not employed by large fishing fleets. For them, fish makes up the basis of their income as well as an important part of their daily nutrition." 1


Cleaning Background:

"It is a common experience that the quality and storage life of many fish decrease if they have not been gutted. During feeding periods the fish contain many bacteria in the digestive system and strong digestive enzymes are produced. The latter will be able to cause a violent autolysis post mortem, which may give rise to strong off-flavour especially in the belly area, or even cause belly-burst." 2


FCT Final A.jpg

Bill of Materials[edit | edit source]

Part Quantity Source Comments
PLA ~70 grams Filament supplier of choice Red or darker color recommended to reduce staining
Blade Side 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Non Blade Side 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Large Pin 2 Youmagine Using PLA
Small Pin 1 Youmagine Using PLA
Hook Razor Blade 1 Amazon Any standard utility blade will work. The higher quantity purchase, the cheaper the item will be.

Tools needed for fabrication of the OSAT[edit | edit source]

  1. MOST Delta RepRap or similar RepRap 3-D printer
  2. Hammer or similar to press pins

Skills and Knowledge Necessary to Make the OSAT[edit | edit source]

  • Fishing knowledge recommended

Technical Specifications and Assembly Instructions[edit | edit source]

Printable Stl files[edit | edit source]

STL Files available at Youmagine

Print Instructions[edit | edit source]

For all printed components

Material: PLA

Layer Height: 0.2mm

Shell Thickness: 0.8mm

Fill Density: 20%

Print Speed: 70 mm/s

Printing Temperature: 220 C

No printed supports necessary.

Printing prototype with blade in place

IMPORTANT NOTE: Blade side MUST have blade in place during printing. Place the blade in the cavity during the print once the layer height matches the blade thickness. This will ensure a tight fit and keeps much tighter tolerances than can be printed in a flipped orientation.


Total Printing Time: ~5 hours

  • Blade Side: 2hr 11min (32g)
  • Non Blade Side: 2hr 11min (32g)
  • Small Pin: 10 min (1g)
  • Large Pin: 11min (2g)

Assembly time: ~ 5min

Assembly Instructions[edit | edit source]

Once the following parts are collected, assembly can be completed.

Components and Tools
  1. 1 x Blade Side
  2. 1 x Non Blade Side
  3. 1 x Small Pin
  4. 2 x Large Pin
  5. 1 x Blade
  6. Hammer
Commercially Available Product

Common Problems and Solutions[edit | edit source]

Cost savings[edit | edit source]

Break Down of Costs Estimate[edit | edit source]

(Assuming $20/kg of PLA)

  1. Blade side (1x):$0.64
  2. Non Blade Side (1x):$0.64
  3. Small Pin (1x):$0.02
  4. Large Pin (2x):$0.04

-Total Print cost: $1.32

-Blade (1x):<$1 (Bulk packs cost ~$0.15 per blade)

Total estimated cost to Manufacture: $1.47

Comparable Costs[edit | edit source]

Commercially Available Option: $24.99 [1]

Savings: $23.52 (%94 reduction in cost)

Benefited Internet Communities[edit | edit source]

Fish for Good

References[edit | edit source]

  1. WHY IS SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD GOOD FOR… DEVELOPING COUNTRIES?
  2. 6.4 The Effect of Gutting
  3. Developing World Fisheries
  4. Commercially Available Product

.