Introduction: Metal USB - Flash Drive Case Mod

Picture of Metal USB - Flash Drive Case Mod

A case mod for a Flash Drive made with a heatsink.

Step 1: Find Parts

You will need:

Flash Drive I used a PNY attache (256 - yeah, it that old (2yrs))
A metal case I used a heatsink form a dimmer, but anything should work (golo e115041 sc237)
Keychain Flashdrive -keys= external hard drive I'd reccomend something, but it's not critical
Nails I used a strip of brads for an air nailer, but anything will work
Glue Super glue (loctite gel) and plastic cement (testors -for models)

Drill For attaching keychain and a hole for the light (I was lucky and didn't need a hole for the light)
File Sharp corners, etc
Hacksaw blade you can use a file instead
Leaterman Do I even need a reason?! /Just cuz
A Brain Don't cut yourself, ruin your computer, etc IF YOU DO IT"S NOT MY FAULT

Step 2: Case

Picture of Case

If you need to file, cut, etc the case to the right size. File the edges and drill the holes for the keycain and light. Using some sort of spacer cut a slot in the inside of the case for the board of the drive to slide into.
It's hard to give general instructions for this sort of thing so bear with me and look at the pictures.

Step 3: Put in Drive

Picture of Put in Drive

Depending on your drive you might want to wrap it in tape to prevent it shorting on the metal case (you can also use plastidrip spray). Slide the drive in the slots you cut earlier use lots of glue to hold it in place or it will break like it did the first time I did this. If it needs it glue a space on to of the drive. Break the strip of brads to the right width (I score the glue on both sides with the knofe and snap it) and glue it on top. Use a generous amount so it doesn't break. Remember that if you are anything like me you will carry this in your pocket evey day for a couple of years, so it needs every drop of glue it can get. Let it dry over night before carrying it.

Step 4: Final Thoughts

Picture of Final Thoughts

My flash drive lasted me 2 years before it broke and hopefully it will live many more years. As the case gets old it starts it get scratched (aluminum) and develops some character giving it a very industrial look.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable as much as I enjoyed making it.

Please leave me a comment with suggestions, improvements and other ideas.



freakyqwerty (author)2011-03-05

Did you now that this 'ible has been linked to from here?

thoraxe (author)2009-05-09

hey where do you get that ring from? i only have one of those

Grey_Wolfe (author)thoraxe2010-05-23

You can get ring clips like this from quarter toy machines, or crafts stores like Micheal's is the US.

LinuxH4x0r (author)thoraxe2009-05-09

I don't remember. It was a long time ago

GTAman2175 (author)2009-04-22

Wasn't there an instructable on this already?

LinuxH4x0r (author)GTAman21752009-04-22

Look at the date

brandonmiller21 (author)2009-04-22

dimmer switch...I think he is talking about one of those "slider switches" for your house. They dim the lights when you slid it up and down...but I'm probably wrong.

fatman999 (author)2009-03-26

your soldering SK1Lz are l33t and so is this flash drive

LinuxH4x0r (author)fatman9992009-03-26


silent_thunder (author)2009-03-22

what is a dimmer switch

Guardian_Rayovac (author)2009-02-09

That is a pretty sweet idea! Where was this heatsink form? that's the only part i was confused from.

Thanks! It was part of a dimmer switch

santa844 (author)2008-09-28

where did you get the heatsink from?

LinuxH4x0r (author)santa8442008-09-28

It was on a dimmer for a light

GorillazMiko (author)2008-06-01

I like this Instructable. And your SOLDERING SKILZ. +5/5 stars.

LinuxH4x0r (author)GorillazMiko2008-06-05


Radioactive_Legos (author)2008-05-31

it might be more shock-proof if you seal it in silicone. Also, could you drill a hole in the heat sink for the little flashy LED on the drive? I like this a lot! If I pull out the money to get myself another flash drive to hack up, I'll definitley do this!

Actually the hole in it lines up with the original led on the drive. Post pictures when you finish it. Thanks!

Transquesta (author)2008-05-02

I like this one a lot. It has a kind of 60's-ish spy movie look. I can almost hear the theme from Mission Impossible. :-)

LinuxH4x0r (author)Transquesta2008-05-02

Thanks! I'm doing to rebuild this soon because the plug broke. Hopefully I'll put some pics up soon

maxtop (author)2008-03-29 is cool.i like the light and metail usb flash drives.

LinuxH4x0r (author)maxtop2008-03-29

Thanks! the ones in the link look so polished and flimsy. This one's case hass a full 2mm (1/16") of metal going all around it

FreshPineSent (author)2008-02-14

very nice!

cotton (author)2008-02-09

ok but when you do can you make my last comment if you do it into a instructable

LinuxH4x0r (author)cotton2008-02-09

I will if i get the parts for it. Right now I am planning on making a wood enclosure for my external hard drive or maybe just another flash drive.

cotton (author)2008-02-08

you should do it with a 16 gb compact flash card and adapter and then add a usb jack to the adapter if it dosent have one and add the metlcase so it is sort of a square case ok

LinuxH4x0r (author)cotton2008-02-08

Good Idea. I'll do that when I get one. Thanks for the comment.

ultrauber (author)2008-02-05

wow, you've got a shnazzy computer. I like all the lights

LinuxH4x0r (author)ultrauber2008-02-06

Thanks! Thats just the hub. The actual computer glows red.

alvincredible (author)2008-01-28

clean. alvincredible<3 this instructable

LinuxH4x0r (author)alvincredible2008-01-28

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'd love to see pictures of any of your flash drive mods. I hope to make a new one for my 1g flash drive that just broke a few weeks ago.

wiangube (author)2007-11-12

Is it possible to 'transform' a normal USB flash drive in this heatsink?

I bought the SanDisk 256MB Cruzer Freedom in here:

but would like to know if I can make it safer.

LinuxH4x0r (author)wiangube2007-11-13

sure, why not. All you need to do is pry off the case and encase the board in something (I heard somewhere plasti-drip (?) is ideal). Then just find a good case. If you don't want to open it you could always just make a case that slides (or glues) over the original case. Good luck

Rob2_0 (author)2007-10-23

this is extremely convinient for me my 4 gig PNY just broke ( apparent ly most rectangular drive tend to break like that) any one notice how the PCB is glued like at an angle from the usb plug. very good stuff though will do tonight thnks

Daniel Rydin (author)2007-10-20

Nice! I´ll do one myself :D

SimoMies (author)2007-09-19

Very nice indeed! Damnit, mine kingstons 2gb flash drive casing got broken and I made a new one from RS-232 connector, but I forgot to take any pics! And I epoxied it into one piece. Damnit.

marc92 (author)2007-09-16

i think that instructables should have a flash drive contest since there is so many of them

Brennn10 (author)2007-09-16

I like this! I have a broken flash drive case, so I need every idea to make a sweeter one! This one is on my list.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2007-09-15

Thanks, any ideas for improvement or modifications? Killerjackalope suggested one encased in a heat sink, but I'm in New Mexico, and all my stuff is in Minnesota :( .

ironsmiter (author)LinuxH4x0r2007-09-15

I have an "improvement" Chop the case in half, chop the sides off one half, and use THAT as the top for your drive case, instead of the brads?

LinuxH4x0r (author)ironsmiter2007-09-15

Other half in Minnesota :( Maybe I'll do it in a year when we plan on moving all our stuff. (House isn't built yet -renting)

phoenix124 (author)2007-09-14

wow, i like it

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