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Have you considered the fact that, almost *ANYTHING* can be used to create a USB flash drive?

These are some examples of some I have crafted; so you can get some ideas.

The possibilities are endless...and it is a great way to customize your own gadgets.

Step 1: 1. Get a Usb Flash Drive.

Well, the very first step would be to get the internals of an USB flash drive

The image shows what a common, USB flash drive, internals should look like.

In order to create these drives, I used drives from Sony and Sansa brands....

Of course, you need to disassemble the plastic shell for all of them...
The disassembling process is a quite easy task:

You just need a couple of screwdrivers - a plain one would be most useful -, they usually don't have any screws... they come sealed by snapping. You usually end breaking the outside plastic shell, I could not find a faster way to disassemble it without breaking it.

WARNING: It is recommended to use protection gloves, glasses and use a work table to do this.

Step 2: 2. Find a New Shell/body for the USB Flash Drive, Work on It.

This would be the best step in the overall creation process :)

You should find something that would work as the new USB flash drive body.
There are many things that might fit, but the best things are small toys.

You must pay attention in what kind of material is the new body made of...
you should also consider if it is hollow or not.

If it's a hard plastic and the body is not hollow, then you will need to use a drill.
In the examples I show, the "alien" head was very hard plastic, and I needed to drill all my way to make space for the USB circuit.

For soft plastics, you can work with a small knife.
The "venom" character flash key, is a very soft plastic, and the toy is hollow, so, there was already room for the USB circuit....all I did was to cut a square in the head and inserted the usb circuit...
In order to fix the circuit board inside the toy, I used plastic glue (you know those guns for crafts, you can find them everywhere) to hold it and added cotton and some packaging plastic pieces...

Be sure to fix the internal circuit board good...use plastic glue, or even epoxic resin...if it is not fixed strong enough, it won't last long :P

WARNING: It is recommended to use protection gloves, glasses and use a work table to do this.

Step 3: 3. Paint, Finish, Test.

After adapting your key, you can spray paint it, or add additional support with extra glue...I don't know...whatever details you might want to finish.

Be sure to test your usb circuit from time to time, so you know your work will not be in vain :)

It has never happened to me, but imagine yourself with a great customized usb drive...that does not work :P

This was my first instructable...hope you liked it!

Thank you!




I made a prototype using this article for a completely custom flash drive and asked a company to reproduce it for a handout at a trade show. It was www.everyusb.com. They did a good job and it was cheaper than i thought it would be. Thanks for the article. Good idea.
Very good
<p>very good instructable.</p>
<p>Thanks a lot! Do make one of these and let us see! :))</p>
Always wondered how to do this..Thanks!
Glad you found it useful :) Let me know about your creations when you're done ;)
Will do! But in the meantime, how exactly do you hollow out the toys? (I'm only fourteen so I don't own (m)any knives and no power tools:( )
Well, ask somebody to buy you some, because you will need them :) You can use anything that works - swiss small knife, screwdrivers, drills...ask some experienced adult for advice...and be patient as you are quite young. You can start testing with different tools using un-needed items or useless toys or things so you can know all different textures and materials.
is a liquid that you put into the flash memory slots to open without breaking it liguid what this attack is to glue slots you just waiting and ready and this would only have to use a guitar tab to open greetings from Bolivia
I just used a modeling knife, then a small flat-head screwdriver. Didn't break, and I can still use it.
Hey, thanks for the comments. Yeah, in fact...now that I have more experience, I have found that a little patience and some proper tools can work better than brute force... :) I was just too excited to do my customized USB that I did everything fast and furious to get it done quick!! haha Cya around.
this is the part where I got confused... Great instructable anyways! :)
Hi! What do you mean confused? :)
is that alien???
Yes, it is. :D It's a an H.R. Giger's Alien's head from a cheap-copy toy I found somewhere in my travels... :P
Thanks great idea
:D Thanks for comments :)
how would one take off the old casing. Just pry it off?
Hey :) Well, since most of the original casing comes like "snapped" and does not have any screws...I would have to insert the tip of a small plain screwdriver all around the case and give it a brief turn to "crack" the snappings. Do not insert the screwdriver too much or you can damage the circuit. You can also use a small knife. The casing usually comes snapped in two halfs, top and bottom, so well, the goal of this is to remove one of them; so you can extract the circuit. Once you have cracked all around the snaps from the original casing you can use some pincers to break one of the covers, top, or bottom, once broken, it will be easy to disassemble. I frankly could not find a better way to keep the original casing safe and sound...i broke them all :D It takes patience but you eventually succeed. Thank you!
Thank you so much. I will definitely make this.
Excellent!! You can practice by buying a cheap USB drive :) a 512 MB or so should be around less than 10 US dollars. Be sure to send me a picture of your customized usb drive!! :)
nice :-) too bad I can only get cruzer flash drives with a slidey thingey. i am waaaaaay too afraid that the slidey-usb-plug-thing falls apart when you open it up :-(
hey :) thanks for the comments. well, now that you mention, I remember that I used a 4 gb cruzer one for one of the models I present here...just like you say , it's a sliding one... and yes, definitely I had to break the complete plastic and sliding mechanism in order to pull out the usb circuit :). but well, who cares about that...when your new usb will look amazingly customized ah? :D
ok, thanks for the reply, exact same stick as mine 4gb :-) still too afraid to try :P
hahaha...yeah...why don't you get a cheap 1 GB one :) just to try :) it will be fun :D

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