Instructables
You like to store data. Sure you do. But when you take it out on the street, people are laughing at you! Yeah, I know, they just don't get you, right? Well, maybe you need to help them. Give yourself a little street cred by building a sandbenders-inspired case for your USB drive.
 
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Step 1: Gather Materials

Basic list:

-wax
-USB drive
-carving tools + saw
-Casting house

This can be tricky. You're going to need a block of wax to carve (actually some woods will work too, as long as they burn away cleanly and don't leave too much ash residue.) Wax by Kerr or Ferris is designed for carving and clean burnouts, it's what i'm using here. There are different hardnesses, in this project I'll be using green wax, which is both hard and brittle, but takes detail well and allows for very thin walls.

You will need a USB drive. You probably won't ruin it during this project, but you could, and it will probably void your warranty. Feel free to try it with an old 32mb drive or something first if you're unsure. I'm going ahead with my 1G drive because what can I say, I'm fearless.

You will need a place to have this cast. You can take it to a casting house (easy, fast, and pretty inexpensive) or you can cast it yourself. I won't cover that here.

You will need carving tools. You can make do with some scrapers, pointy utility knives, or dental tools, but the real king of speed and flexibility here is a rotary tool like a dremel or a foredom. You'll want some ball burrs, but try not to get anything too fine-toothed because it will gum up with wax pretty fast. A jeweller's saw frame with a spiral wax blade is reccomended, but if you've got a bandsaw or something that can do it, by all means use that.

That should be it.
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FrozenIce2 years ago
Very nice able man :) but for this work and money, i would hae designed the shell a bit better :P but the final product is very impresive :) love it
martzsam3 years ago
Great ible! Good looking carve.
splazem3 years ago
Very cool- Respect given.
nitrox0276 years ago
use epoxy instead of hot glue epoxy is almost indestructible and water proof
As long as you don't plug a flash drive in while its still wet nearly all flash drives are actually waterproof. Ive had one of mine go through a washing machine 3 times! and it still works.
my sandisk cruzer titanium survived a washing machine, a dryer and being taken out of the computer without "ejecting" it about 10 times
no one actually ejects there flashdrive
 I take mild offense to your comment.  

I always eject my flash drive; I have several portable apps on said flash drive and if they're not properly closed before removing my flash drive, data on that flash drive could be corrupted.

Besides, it takes ten seconds at the most.
ten seconds too long
If the apps aren't actually writting to your flash drive then it should be all fine, i used to use portable apps quite a bit too, and never really had any problems because i always closed them all first and waited for the light on my flash drive to stop blinking.
interestingly the computers at the school i used to go to (just finished :D) actually had the safety eject thing disabled (they were secruity freaks - although i figured out how to get around everything i actually wanted to lol)
It doesn't really take that long, but its just another 10 seconds unnecessarily wasted.
 Exactly the same here, safe eject is blocked on our school computers... but they forgot to block CMD that allows you to do about anything if you know how. 
 haha my school blocked cmd and also the run dialog box, but you can do pretty much anything you can do in cmd in a batch file which i don't think they actually can block
 Well, it isn't exactly in the start menu either but making a shortcut on the desktop to CMD (nothing else, point it to CMD) works just fine. 
They blocked a shortcut to C:\ already but they need CMD for troubleshooting (we use terminals connecting to like 20 servers and with CMD you can see what server you're on so they know where the problem is)
 nah they actually did disable cmd as well lol, if you opened it up with a shortcut it would say something like "Command prompt has been disabled by your administrator. Press any key to exit".
But like i said they didn't disable batch files which can do all the same things.
(although i think they just blocked CMD on student and teacher accounts, im pretty sure the computing teachers still had access to it)

and if they blocked shortcuts to C:\, try right clicking on the start menu, clicking browse and just going back a few directories - that actually worked at my school
 it can ruin all your memory on it

DTA
hg341 nitrox0275 years ago
damn that eject thing i have never used in my life(i have used in a pc at least 400-700 times)
I NEVER eject, unless you still have windows 2000 or earlier then you don't need to, your just wasting your time.
my sandisk cruzer is indestructible.too bad i cant find it :-(
Haha don't you hate that
It's not the water that hurts it, it is the electricity that goes to the wrong places when the water connects all of the components. It shorts it out, but as long as you dont put electricity through it while it is wet it will be fine. Same with other electronics. I did that with my phone.
I remember leaving a memory stick (not a flash drive) in my pocket... it went through the washing machine, and fell into a lake on a fishing trip in the same day. Surprisingly, it still works.
adam 1015 years ago
what kind of metal is this? could i use a soldering iron to fix the seems?
Robotrix (author)  adam 1015 years ago
This metal is silver - a soldering iron isn't hot enough. You need a general, not a local, method of heating it because solder won't flow until the whole piece is at temperature. This type of soldering is actually brazing.
AWESOME coolest USb ever. the steps were a little confusing though.
leadace3215 years ago
sick man im gonna go buy a block of wax and make my usb drives
thanks for the idea
Salsa7665 years ago
 where did you get the wax?
Robotrix (author)  Salsa7665 years ago
This type of wax can be bought from any jewellery supply house - some of them offer service online. I can only remember Gesswein and Stuller, and I don't know if they sell to people like us who don't have accounts. Lost wax casting is fun to experiment with though - if you can find some other wax that carves nicely and leaves little residue when you burn out your flask, go for it! I have heard of people using this technique with wood, bugs, leaves, whatever! Just remember that if it's porous you have to apply a sealant before making your plaster mould.
hg3415 years ago
wow this looks really nice but i would like to know some things
A)what metal is it silver?
B)how do you get the cap to stay on?
C)why rivets why not something else?i dont have rivets
D)and last of all about how much did it cost to get it cast?
i loved this im going to try to make it
Robotrix (author)  hg3415 years ago
In order of asking: 1) Yes, it's sterling silver. 2) The cap is friction fit. Once the steel of the usb connector wore down the silver i had to integrate some shims to make it snug again. 3) My rivets are pieces of wire that i hamemred, not pop rivets. I used rivets because i had to use a cold joining technique, and using rivets allowed my to disguise them into the final mess. I glue doesn't stick very well to polished metal. 4) I spent about $50 on the whole thing. I think i cast it myself, but i had a full workshop at school and so that was an option. You can get an estimate from a casting shop based on weight - wax has a specific gravity of 1 and sterling 10.36. Just weigh your wax model and multiply it, and then ask how much it would cost to get something that weight whatever amount in silver cast. You could also try casting it yourself with some basic sand casting techniques and aluminum or tin, i guess, or pewter, but sand casting isn't great for details.
hg341 Robotrix5 years ago
well from what you said you should try out some O-rings for your capyour sliver will last longer
wont the wax melt
Robotrix (author)  imthatguy11255 years ago
The wax i'm using here is a carving wax designed for jewellery. Actually, even if you used parafin wax it wouldn't melt while you were working with it, until you heated it up. It does melt during the casting process, though, so if you're not sure about it it's a good idea to make a cold mold of the wax before casting, so you can make more waxes from the mold if you need to try again.
I made a 1Gb tarantula named SpyderByte
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I made A 1Gb Tarantula Named SpyderByte
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This is WAY CRAZY! I wish I was that creative!!! Coolest USB Drive I've ever seen!
ajmf6 years ago
A great way to polish the wax and get out any unwanted minute lines etc is to rub it gently with an everyday terry cloth towel. This green wax is plenty hard and allows for a terrific shine.
Robotrix (author)  ajmf6 years ago
that's a great idea! I was using a wax solvent product and a soft cloth with this, but i think i would much prefer using a piece of regular towel.
Plasmana6 years ago
Wow! That is the best hacked USB pen I ever saw! 5 stars!
now i want a frostmourn flash drive that way i can rule the world and store data
TwinEdge6 years ago
Just thought of doing one,and thought I'd ask how the casting was donel...but no biggy...I'll look around there should be some kind of intructable around...Thanx...Actually this came out very good...Very original...Thanx again for the instructable....
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