Introduction: Double-ended USB Flash Drive
Why not just get one larger flash drive? Good question. Even with just 4 gigs on each of these drives I'm still not even coming close to capacity with the files I carry around. In fact I could get by with a 1 gig and be fine. The true answer is that I just want to have a physical separation of two types of files: work and personal.
Sure sure, this could be done with two folders on one drive, but I enjoy the switching of one drive to the other as a physical reminder of what I'm working on. It's also a reminder that maybe I haven't been giving enough time to my personal projects that keep the mental fires burning. Work is a fun challenge, I love my job, but to keep myself happy and fulfilled I desperately need to keep doing work for myself as well. If not, I don't see the point. Fulfillment of personal ideas is one of the most beautiful things in the world and I want more beauty in my life.
So no let's take a step back from the glory of creation to the building of a small flash drive, let's do this.
Step 1: Design
- Measure the dimension of the part of the flash drive that will be inside the holder
- Recreate these rectangles in Illustrator
- Add a thin space around and between the drives, this will give you an H-shape for the middle layer and a rectangle for the top and bottom layer.
Step 2: Create a Design
Now for the fun part, making a design for the outside of the drive. Since the form of the drive is symmetrical be sure to create a design that has a left and right side. Here I created two designs: a domino and a double USB icon. The domino is very clear which side is which. The double USB design is a little harder to read, form wins over function, but I like the reference.
What you make here is totally up to you. Or you can make the outside shape asymmetrical and avoid this problem whatsoever.
Step 3: Cut and Sand
I cut these files out of 1/8" plywood on our Epilog 36EXT. You could easily make it out of acrylic as well. Totally up to you. The wood is handy in that I could sand the cut pieces down to make the final item slimmer.
Step 4: Glue and Insert Flash Drives
Now it's just a matter of applying glue, I used Elmer's® Carpenter's® Wood Glue, clamping it and letting it dry.
The fit was so snug that I just pushed the drives in and they're staying put. If it's a little loose you can easily dab a bit of hot glue onto the end and the sides of the drives and use that to keep it in place.
So now you have a double-ended flash drive. Carry your digital life around with you and take on everything.