Data Ring





Introduction: Data Ring

The data ring was the my first project involving Maya and a 3D printer.

I always wanted some programs and files to be with me no matter where I was (no internet for cloud storage or forgetting to bring a flash-drive); so I came up with the idea of this data ring. It's more of a novelty object than something used day-to-day, but it was a fun project.

Step 1: Design

This was my first prototyping project designed through Maya and was made to create a wearable tech that blended both art and portability. I chose this design trying to mimic the style of wire jewelry to truly show off the capabilities of 3D printers.

Step 2: Prototype

After finishing the design phase I rendered out the model using Maya's render engine. From there I exported out the STL file which I got printed from a friend's 3D printer. The initial plastic model turned out fairly successful, so I moved on to getting the model casted in silver.

Step 3: Final Print

Unfortunately, I could not manage to get the funds to create a small setup for the lost-wax casting, so I instead went to Shapeways to have it casted in silver. It was fairly inexpensive and I got the result in under 3 weeks. Hopefully with the next iteration I can cast the model myself.

Step 4: Electronics

For the chip itself, I chose the smallest usb flash-drive in the market, a Sandisk 16gb Cruzer. This minuscule flashdrive is already incredibly tiny with its longest length being less than 2cm long.

Step 5: Electronics Disassembly

I needed it to be smaller to fit the ring, so I took it apart to get only its guts. I ripped off the plastic with some pliers and then proceeded to rip off the metal housing as well. From there the plastic housing of the chip can be slid out, but it should be kept for the next step.

Step 6: Electronics Test Fit

From here I noticed that the chip itself was too skinny to fit into a usb port, but length and width wise it was the perfect fit for the ring.

Step 7: Electronics Modification

To get it to cleanly fit into a usb port I cut off the flat end of the plastic piece saved in the previous step. Then I glued it onto the end of the chip using a dab of CA glue.

Step 8: Final Fit

To get the usb flashdrive to cleanly move in and out with the plastic attachment I had to sand off about .1 mm off the sides of the ring using a fine file.

Step 9: Done

Here it can be seen plugging into the computer to retrieve data and then slipped into the ring to wear. The flashdrive fits snugly enough to resist shaking and water, but can be pulled out without too much force. This was the first prototype version and I plan to make a new slimmer ring with a magnetic holder instead.

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    12 Discussions

    thehydoctor, your Data Ring is impressive and portable. I like that you made it fit using the extra pieces left over from taking the USB apart. Why did you choose to make the USB come off the ring to use instead of leaving it on the ring permanently and just plugging in the ring to the computer? Reading some of the email traffic, your Data Ring could work like the credit cards and military ID cards which carry a chip with information of an individual i.e. medical, basic data, etc... which would come in handy in an emergency. Trade mark your idea and get rich off it as soon as you can. Micro chips go up to 64GB and are already small if you want to make a ring or bracelet for them. Just a suggestion! Your instructable instructions and pictures were well broken down into easy to follow steps. Good luck in the jewelry contest.

    4 replies

    Consumer grade micro sd cards like this have capacities of over 200 gigabytes and government and corporation grade cards go even further.

    I did not know thay made them 200 gigabytes or even bigger. Biggest I saw was 125 gb if I am correct. Thanks for the update. Good luck.

    Thanks for the suggestions! When I make my second revision I will try to add more space and functionality to daily life. I created the usb ring intending to have it simply plug into the computer, but due to miscalculation of space I had to make it removable.

    that's awesome. you can bring your "life" everywhere you want to go only with a ring :D


    2 years ago


    I like your combination of practicality and aesthetics.

    Computer had usb 3.0 ports in the front and it's backwards compatible.

    Fabulous!!! So COOOOL!!! Don't know where or how I could ever make one of these but I WANT ONE! And I WANT TO!!!
    Great instructable!!!!