Introduction: Heat Shrink USB Mod

Picture of Heat Shrink USB Mod

Got some extra heat shrink tubing? Here is a quick and easy case mod for a USB stick! Yes, this is another USB case mod... But don't get upset, this one has never been done before! It's fairly straight forward to do, and pretty cool.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

You will need the following for this project:

  • Scissors - $2.00
  • Lighter - $2.00

  • Large Heat Shrink Tubing (any color, I chose yellow) - $2.00
  • USB Stick - $20.00

Step 2: Remove the Previous USB Case

Picture of Remove the Previous USB Case

I don't have pictures for this step, so stick with me!

Different USB cases come off in different ways. With some you have to slide a thin piece of metal into the side, then pull the two pieces apart. With others you have to pry it open with a knife. So find a way that works for you. You can be as brutal as you want, because I will not be using the case for this project.

Step 3: Slide, Cut, Heat, Cut.

Picture of Slide, Cut, Heat, Cut.

Now for the "Slide, Cut, Heat, Cut." stage.


Slide the large heat shrink tubing over the USB stick's components.


Cut the heat shrink tube about a half an inch from the back of the USB stick.


Heat up the shrink tubing with a lighter, the same way you normaly would with wires.


Cut the excess shrink tubing from the end. You should leave a few millimeters.

Step 4: Repeat (optional)

Picture of Repeat (optional)

If you want, you can repeat step 3 as many times as you wish. I repeated it once, but put the tubing a little further back. See image.

Step 5: Done!

Picture of Done!

So there you go! A heat shrink USB mod!

Remember to rate and comment!

Do you like my awesome image?


Irwind Kee made it! (author)2014-06-04

i thought i am the only one do this

szdicore (author)2014-05-27

we are Dicore heat shrink tubing supplier, could supply this heat shrink for USB mod, just visit us at

eccentricafterglow (author)2013-09-13

So, what was the size of the heatshrink tubing? I know it says Large on the instructable, but when I look at sites like this: -- it says to "choose a size". Should I just measure the USB stick across and go from there?

GASSYPOOTS (author)2012-03-19

how u added led

pcfan (author)2012-02-18

I like it!, but I would go for the clear heat shrink, so that you can see the inner workings.

tbh-1138 (author)2011-09-13

You could just throw the drive on the ground, that usually works for me.

shadow wave rider (author)2011-08-12

i like this. simple, easy to do and looks good

Furball_Fidelis (author)2011-07-25

Pretty cool. I did the same thing to an old USB stick that the case broke on...still works to this day...and a lot smaller then the old case.

nreading (author)2011-07-15


Valeil (author)2011-01-02

Where can I buy heat shrink tubing?

tobyscool (author)Valeil2011-06-11

Electronic store :D

WKD_Side (author)2010-08-28

I added a piece of acrylic plastic to make sure it was rigid and wouldnt snap in my pocket, kept it clear so i could see the micro LED light up

Jodex (author)2010-02-19

Great idea! And cool (mindraping :P) picture!

Hakimi (author)2009-07-05

whoa.. i will try...since shrinksble tube is available at my workshop...

chris.t.r (author)2009-05-25

a way to improve it would be to fold a piece over the end before you shrink over it that way it is not exposed

chris.t.r (author)2009-05-25

very nice idea I like you're thinking, personally i use heat shrink tubing on everything, this is the kind of project I would like

B.F.L.M (author)2009-05-25

Very nice image! Proffessional Quality! FREAKIN' AWSOME!! ( haha! ITS DANCING! HAHAHA)

Arbitror (author)B.F.L.M2009-05-25


liteoner (author)2009-05-25

Can you please make an Instructable on that image? It's amazing :D

killroywasnothere (author)2009-05-25

yes i love your awesome image. and great instructable btw!

ironsmiter (author)2009-05-24

polystyrene (aka shrinky dink plastic film) goes shrinky at around 350 degree F. Or at least, the home-made #6 plastic versions I got to make as a kid do (think clear salad take-out container). For any Lead-free solder, this should be a safe enough temperature. Older lead solder(or Chinese fake imports that did not actually pass RoHS testing, but slipped through customs or were bought on a trip to the Asian mainland) ARE in the danger zone at shrinky dink temperatures. You MAY get away with SHORT times at those temperatures, but don't count on it. The reason flames don't kill the flash drives is that, while shrinking, the heat shrink is also acting as a thermal insulator. The temp inside the heat-shrink is usually a lowly 120F. By the time the heat-shrink actually finishes shrinking, you've removed the flame, and only as small amount of thermal transfer sinks into the chip, and very quickly cools. Considerably more heat gets put to the chip during it's initial soldering during manufacture, so no worries there.

fwjs28 (author)2009-05-24

once again, very unigue, i have had the same idea, but i just never got to buying some heat shrink....i wonder if that shrinky-dink stuff would work...

Arbitror (author)fwjs282009-05-24


fwjs28 (author)Arbitror2009-05-24
Kaiven (author)2009-05-24

Can't you possible damage the USB by getting it too hot?

Arbitror (author)Kaiven2009-05-24

Maybe, but not likely. I got mine pretty hot, and it's plugged into my computer beside me, working perfectly fine.

Kaiven (author)Arbitror2009-05-24

Noice. And cool image :P

About This Instructable




Bio: One of my favorite hobbies is dismantling electronics, then either combining them together to create something new, or adding components to make them better. I ... More »
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